Sales calls are always hit-or-miss, but the right strategy can help increase your lead conversion rate. By asking the right questions and listening carefully, you can get into the buyer's mind and deliver a persuasive pitch.
Do Your Research
A little research goes a long way, particularly when you're selling high-ticket items. Before you schedule a sales meeting with a potential new customer, take some time to get into the buyer's mind. Google the name of the company and the contact person to find relevant reviews or news topics that can help you understand the company's situation. If the company recently dealt with a slew of bad press after a product-related customer injury, for example, they might be looking for a supplier with a proven safety record. Learn to speak the customer's language during a sales pitch — industry-specific phrases and jargon set the buyer at ease and positions you as an insider. Identify key players and check out their blogs and social media accounts, or read forums dedicated to the customer's focus area. The more you understand, the easier it is to pick up on subtle cues from the buyer.
Ask the Right Questions
Think back to your last sales meeting or phone call. Who did most of the talking? If you spent the bulk of the time pitching instead of listening, you might not be trying hard enough to understand the buyer's mind. A more balanced strategy can help. Instead of jumping right in with a sales pitch, try asking open-ended questions to get the customer to discuss his situation. Start with inquiries that help you identify the customer's pain points, such as, "Why are you looking for a new supplier?" or "What steps have you already taken to try and solve the problem?" Once you have a good grasp on the situation, go deeper into the buyer's mind with more specific questions. Try "What are your top priorities for this purchase?" or "What would deter you from purchasing this type of product?"
Set the Buyer's Mind at Ease
Once you have a clear understanding of the situation, deliver a sales pitch that's targeted to your customer's specific needs. If an executive expresses budgetary concerns, give specific examples of how your product has reduced operating costs for other clients. If you sense that the company is seeking someone to ease the stress of a complex procedure, position yourself as a competent expert. Presenting your product as a solution helps your client picture how you can make his life easier. This strategy speaks directly to pain points and creates a powerful emotional connection that can drive the purchase forward.
A thoughtful strategy can swing the balance of a sales call in your favor. With the right questions, you can delve into the buyer's mind and figure out how to deliver a pitch that secures new business.
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