How productive was your last conversation with a prospect or customer? How about the last five conversations? Did the conversation matter? What was the outcome?
More awareness A sale
More information An action to move the sale forward
A good connection A decision
All of these outcomes are good – yet the items in the right column are better. Why? They advance the sale or make the sale. To keep the sale progressing forward, we need to make EVERY conversation matter!
Now some people don’t think ‘little’ things matter. In fact, when my teens tell me that something they are supposed to do or something that they r didn’t do ‘doesn’t matter’ – I cringe! And I always respond with ‘everything matters!’
It’s true – everything you do or don’t do does matter in some way. The good news is that making your sales conversations matter is not hard… but it takes preparation in systematization.
The power of preparation is often the differentiator between a conversation that matters and one that doesn’t. Making the time to prepare your ‘plan’, outcome, questions to ask and concerns to address DOES matter!
Then what? What comes after preparation? A systematic framework to follow for your sales calls-we call it WIIFT. WIIFT is the acronym we use for What’s in it for Them as a philosophy of selling? It’s all so an acronym for a systematic approach to make every conversation matter.
- Wait. Your mental pause to break your preoccupation and focus on the contact you’re about to have. Review your notes and be ready to engage in a meaningful conversation.
- Initiate. The beginning of your conversation whether it is an e-mail, telephone, or face-to-face contact. The conversation needs to start with a purposeful focus on them.
- Investigate. The needs analysis and opportunity to ask and listen about them and their situation.
- Facilitate. The part of the conversation that is a discussion and presentation of what you can do that will provide an answer to a need or eliminate their challenges. Then work through concerns or objections they have.
- Then consolidate. Bring closure to your conversation. This includes asking for a commitment or decision to the next action and setting the expectation for what comes next.
Read through these again. Notice how this following this framework and accomplishing each step in your conversation WILL:
- Advance your sale more quickly?
- Keep the focus on the prospect and not on you?
- Build value beyond what they pay?
- Strengthen your relationship and
- Open the door for more business?
In short, following a systematic framework for every conversation after preparation will make every conversation you have matter.