How can I get better at selling? How can I sell more and exceed my targets? These are the questions I am often asked during our sales courses. At Sandler sales training we believe in developing behaviours that guarantee long-term results. Our sales techniques are based on - asking good questions, allowing your prospect to do the talking and listening to what they say. “Dummy Curve” is a key tool taught at Sandler sales training courses.
At first, you might find the name of this tool quite odd, I did too. Yet as you learn about it, you begin to realise that it is not about acting silly or incompetent. Think more like Los Angeles’ finest cop - Columbo. He didn’t try to look or act like a “know it all’’. He asked “dummy questions’’, learning more each time and putting the other person at ease.
This approach tends to be helpful in the selling process because:
1. You are not doing “Un-paid Consultancy”
Ever been in a situation, where you told your prospect exactly what to put in place to solve their problem? Perhaps they used this information to buy a solution from your competitor?
With our best intentions, we often answer our prospect’s questions in as much detail as possible. We hope to impress them with our knowledge and expertise. Without even realising, we do one of the two things – bore them, as half of what we say is not relevant to them. Or, give them enough information to get a better price from our competitor. Often we don’t even understand why the prospect asked us their question.
2. You can show expertise in things that are relevant
Too many sellers talk about the features and benefits of their product and use lots of jargon. Instead, ask the right questions to show your expertise in the area your prospect wants to know about. If you are selling IT packages, don't bore your prospect with talk about all the available IT packages. Ask the right questions, find out what's relevant to them and focus on that. You could say, ‘I don’t suppose you have tried this product to solve your problem?’. You may also try, ‘I was wondering if it is worth discussing solution A in this situation?’. How about ‘How would that help?’.
3. You can uncover your prospect’s PAIN
One of my favourite Sandler sales training rules is ‘No Pain, No Sale’. Asking the right questions will help you to uncover your prospects PAIN and buying motives. It will help your prospect to open up to you and form an emotional bond with you. They will begin to see you as their trusted advisor, not just another salesperson. Even as directors, CEOs or MDs of big companies, we buy emotionally and justify intellectually.
There might be many features and benefits of your product that you believe your prospect will find useful. Yet it’s your prospect’s ‘picture’, not yours. That’s important. Don’t cloud their perfect image with your bad painting.