Do you want to increase sales and be more profitable for yourself and your company? You can start by changing the way that you look at things. With this simple change, you become aware of new possibilities. Here is an example: You most likely have a sales process that you follow. Does it put the focus on YOU and your stuff or does it put your focus on the PROSPECT where it belongs? When you look at generating new business as helping people buy, it creates a whole new set of actions. I’ve heard it said that “people love to buy but they hate to be sold” A change in the way you approach meetings with prospects can have a dramatic positive impact on your top line.
“How do I do this?” you may ask. Here is a simple and yet incredibly powerful way to help you turn more prospects into clients. Just follow the 3 “C”s: Connection, Clarification, and Commitment. Let’s take a look at each:
Connection is the starting point of any sales process. It is critical to establish because you can’t move on to the next “C” without it. This is what helps your prospect buy you and your company. If they don’t buy “You” first, they are certainly not going to buy anything that you have.
Connection is trust and rapport. Sound familiar? It is developed through:
– Empathy, understanding, and common experience,
– Focusing on what really matters
– Asking questions.
You start to establish connection in your introduction. It is here that you begin to effect a positive emotion. This is important because people buy on emotion!
Connection is about building and maintaining relationships. It’s all about focusing on your prospect. Get on their agenda as soon as possible. This will allow you to develop the needed trust and credibility so you can have deeper conversations about what’s going on. You can’t get to real issues without this. This is why connection is critical to moving forward to the next step: Clarification.
Clarification is moving to a tactical conversation. It is discovery and exploration of areas of the highest importance, motivation, and urgency. It gets to very deliberate stuff you need to know to build a case for action.
It is critical here to both maintain and build on your first “C”- Connection. You know you are doing this if your prospect is doing most of the talking. So let people talk. This creates a positive emotional experience. Remember emotions?! People buy on them. So make sure everything you do keeps them positive.
Clarification through skillful questioning facilitates discovery and awareness of causes of issues and not just symptoms. It also leads to removal of barriers to moving forward.
Clarification creates possibilities and opportunities. It might create openings for further exploration. You want to get your prospects to think about things that they normally don’t think about. This is how the best sales people begin to create value.
Some great questions to begin testing clarification are: “What’s Important…?”, “What really matters…?”, and “Is there dissatisfaction with your current situation?”
Here are some indicators that clarification has been reached:
-Hearing your prospect say “I know what to do.”
-Seeing an increase in energy
-Sensing a reduction in resistance
It is only when these indicators are present that you can successfully move on to the last “C”- Commitment.
You need your prospect to come to the conclusion “I need to do something.” The first two “C”s are essential to getting to this. Commitment is the readiness, willingness, and ability to act until the prospect’s issue is resolved or changed.
Commitment often entails your prospect stepping out of a comfort zone. It must be preceded by recognition of the need to act (clarification). It must also be accompanied by a willingness to act.
A few ways to ensure commitment are to:
-Preview outcomes by asking “What if…” and,
-Getting positive feedback by asking “What do you stand to gain by doing this.”
If you have met the objectives of the first two “C”s, gaining commitment should be a natural conclusion.
Turning more prospects to clients does not need to be complicated. Remember to keep your focus on your prospect and just follow the 3 “C”s: ”Connection” with your prospect, “Clarification” of issues, and gaining “Commitment” not closing sales and 2014 will be a better sales year than 2013 was!