As people get more and more refined with their sales process they begin to execute on the individual steps of the sale with more confidence.
- They understand the power of a good introduction and how It develops rapport and sets them up for a good investigation.
- Their interview focuses on understanding what the client is trying to do (not just what they want) and identifying areas of dissatisfaction or concern.
- With a good interview the presentation of product becomes much easier and they understand that in order to generate motivation for a client to buy they need to talk about how the product will specifically make the client's situation better.
- When all that is done the final step of asking the client to make a decision seems logical and natural.
It's interesting to note however that even as people get more refined at the individual steps they sometimes struggle with the transition between steps:
* When and how to switch gears from building rapport and talking about the weather to talking business and investigating for unexpressed needs .
* Moving from the discovery to the presentation of product .
* Transitioning from a preliminary investigation to a more detailed interview at a later time or with someone else.
Regardless of when this transition needs to take place, or for what reason there is a simple way to go about asking the client to take this next step.
A transition question is one question that has two parts to it:
1. a suggestion that we can help
2. a request or suggestion to move to the next step of the sale
A. When and how to switch gears from building rapport and talking about the weather to talking business and investigating for unexpressed needs.
"I appreciate you coming in today to discuss your mortgage, do you mind if I ask you a few questions to help me best select the right financing for your situation?"
B. Moving from the discovery to the presentation of product.
"Based on what you've told me I'm fairly certain I have a product that will help you accomplish your investment goals; let me just take a few minutes to outline what I am thinking."
C. Transitioning from a preliminary investigation to a more detailed interview at a later time or with someone else.
"It sounds like you are not getting the level of service you deserve from your current bank; I think we may be able to help provide you comparable products with far superior service but I'd need to know more specifics about how you do your banking. Would you be open to meeting with me at a later date just to explore some different options?"
There are a variety of different ways to phrase the transition question. The key components however are a clear indication that moving to the next step of the sale will be beneficial for the client and a direct request for action.
Statements vs. Questions
Too often salespeople are guilty of just making statements when they should be asking questions when trying to move a client from one section of the sale to the next. For example, when trying to set up a referral for someone it's common to hear the suggestion, "you should really meet with John in Wealth Management". Now we all know that if a client is motivated enough to see John in Wealth Management they will respond by saying "that's a great idea" and asking how they can set that up. If you abide by the philosophy however that selling is a leading we can make the argument that that should be the salesperson's job to lead the next step. They can do that with a powerful transition question that paints a clear picture as to why the client would want to meet with John and then a specific request to do so. This makes it easy for the client to say yes to the next step of the sale and smooths out that important transition between steps of the sale.