Can I take your order?
No I’m not talking about cafes here.
I’m talking about how easy it is for salespeople to fool themselves into thinking that “doing only what the client requested” is selling. Neither is selling a recital of menu items for the customer to choose from.
We’ve got to do more than that. We’re better than this. But we’ve all done it.
Not because we’re lazy but maybe because we’re busy, or we think we’ve done all of the question asking before.
It’s a trap.
Here’s not to fall for it:
For example: Why now? What are you hoping this will enable you to do that you can’t without it? If you do that, what else is possible? What inspired this decision? What has changed since we last spoke?
When customers present you with a request for a proposal or quote and give you all of the inclusions, do not be fooled. This is exactly the cue to push back. Again, this is done with questions to establish context with your customer:
For example: Talk me through how this criteria was established… Who has been a part of this decision making? Who will this impact? Have they been consulted? Why/why not? What did they say would be important? What else do we need to think about with this? What are we leaving out by focusing on this?
If you’re being handed an order with some urgency, don’t push other opportunities aside to include it. Doing so will diminish your value. Ensure your customers know you value everyone. It demonstrates how you would also treat them should another customer do the same.
Push back by establishing timeframes and less capacity – especially when the customer wants to jump the queue and pass on their urgency onto you. The danger is that in doing so, the service will be rushed and real value may not be delivered.
Questions are your saviour.
For example: What’s driving the urgency on this? When is the latest this can be delivered? If you miss or extend that deadline, what impact will that have? So that I make sure I can deliver this well, I won’t be able to do it until x…
This is my busiest time of the year, so I’ll come back with a date to make sure you have a solution that works and you don’t miss out: is that okay?
Great selling relies on great questions. Be a salesperson – not an order taker.