May 1, 2015
This was the week of meetings! 19 of them, to be exact! Some sales meetings. Some project kickoff meetings. Several client and power partner meetings.
You may have heard me talk about Brad DeGraw before. He’s one of our clients (see below), a friend, and a source of great business and sales advice. He has a lot of sales experience in call centers as well as out in the real world. He knows what he’s doing.
During my Tuesday morning coffee with Brad, I showed him our new portfolio and explained how Patrick and I use it during the sales process.
He approved, but had some good pointers for us to improve the overall sales experience for us and our potential clients.
Brad said we should cover these 4 things during our conversation:
#1 – Who are you?
This question can be worded in a number of different ways, such as “Tell me about your business.” or “What does your business do?” or “How long have you been in Colorado?” or “Do you get up to the mountains much?” Etc.
The goal of this question is to get to know the person you’re talking to, both personally and professionally. It’s small talk with a purpose.
#2 – Tell me about a past success.
For business prospects, this will help them explain who their ideal client (and type of business) is without you asking who their ideal client is (since most people aren’t very good at explaining it).
It also gives your prospect a chance to share a positive story about their business before you dive into the next question.
#3 – What challenges are you facing right now?
Our go-to question at OnlineStir has been, “What are your goals?” which isn’t a bad question, but the answers are always the same: we want more clients or a new website or better social media…
Asking about challenges instead of goals is a much more fruitful approach because it helps your prospect get more specific about the problems that need to be solved in order to reach their goals.
This is the part of the conversation where you listen intently for challenges that can be overcome with the products or services you offer.
You’re not selling…you’re helping people solve their problems, ideally by buying what you’re selling, but not necessarily. You may decide to refer them to someone you know and trust if you don’t sell the solution to their problem.
Once you hear something that you can help them solve, share your thoughts by saying…
#4 – I have an idea…
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but the trick is to explain it succinctly and using language your prospect will understand. If you use a lot of industry jargon or acronyms, or drone on forever, you’ll talk yourself right out of a sale. This happens with a lot of sales people!
Remember, your goal is NOT to show how smart you are. Your goal IS to share your ideas and explain how they will help your prospect solve their problems.
See? I Told you Brad was a smart guy! That’s some great advice that Patrick and I are already working into our sales meetings, and hopefully you will, too.
If you’d like to learn more about Brad, check out his before and after for one of the landing pages we built for him: http://www.onlinestir.com/azdoneforyou/.
And here are some kind words Brad had to say about us:
“OnlineStir did a great job for me. I hired them for 3 websites and will use them again with additional sites. They are everything you wish a developer to be: quick, provided a clean and professional finished product, easy to communicate with, they didn’t need or want to be micromanaged. Hiring them is simple and saves brain damage.”
Thanks Brad! We love you too!