Based on our previous lesson, we already know how important it is for sellers to have enough account knowledge to close a sale. Knowing a little about the potential customer’s background will definitely bring you one step closer to closing the sale. And now you ask, how am I supposed to collect account information (customer information)? Well, it’s actually easy: read a book on basic sales.
Just kidding … It is my commitment to you as your online sales mentor to assist you in your sales efforts. Here are the basic steps for gathering account knowledge:
Many salespeople tend to focus on selling right away, saying that only action can result in a sale. But without any information about his potential client, he is like a soldier going to war without any firearm.
It doesn’t matter if you’re calling a new prospect or a repeat customer, asking a few key staff members goes a long way to your sales success. Although the questions you ask will be important about how long that customer has been buying from you, asking always helps. In fact, there are even times when you can handle customer objections very easily based on the information you know.
Here are a couple of sample questions you can ask. The potential customer’s full name, key decision maker, competing products, potential products to sell, buyer’s name, ability to pay, brand preference, etc. Now asking doesn’t have to be tedious. You can spontaneously ask people like the security guard, the owner’s assistant, the administrative staff, the owner’s husband or wife, and many people who you think have an idea of the information you need.
After asking questions, don’t speak directly to the potential customer and march like a cowboy smashing a bar. You have yet to verify the questions you collected. This is also very important, as all the information you have collected is still considered “opinion” until verified as fact by the potential customer directly involved. Plus, verified information lets you see the big picture, giving you a more “customer-tailored” strategy for approaching each respective prospect.
Lastly, the easy part of selling: getting your sales pitch across. After asking and verifying the important account knowledge that will be crucial to your sale, now is the time to sell to the customer.
Now make sure the information you’ve collected is included in your sales pitch. Be specific when mentioning the benefits of your products and how they relate to the needs and preferences of your potential customer. Don’t just follow a “sales story” given by your boss or company, make your own version that relates to the prospect you are talking to.
An important note. When passing on the information to your prospect, be sure to only mention facts to avoid conflict with the prospect. This is one of the reasons the verification process is very important in the sale, as it will translate opinions into facts.
Congratulations, you have just learned the basics of sales, the OVT (Get-Verify-Transmit) process. Now you can start making your actual sale on any product / service you want to do.