As a salesperson, you are in the Business of Gap Analysis and True Detectives. Think about it. Do you ever feel like a "problem detective"? Your job, somewhat like a police inspector searching for suspects, is to find problems for which your product or service is the ideal solution.
Think of your product or service as a key. You make calls looking for locks that your key will open. In the prospecting phase, you insert the key and find that it fits. In the presenting phase, you twist the key and open the lock. In the closing phase, you turn the handle and push the door open.
Like a verbal detective, the tools of your trade are questions. You use them to get appointments, uncover problems, and discover gaps between where the prospect is now and where the prospect could be by using your product or service. You then show the prospect how much better his situation could be by owning and enjoying what you are selling.
There is an old saying, "No need? No presentation!" Before you begin your presentation, it must be clear to the prospect that there is a distance between where he is and where he could be. The prospect must recognize that he has a need that is unsatisfied or a problem that is unsolved. The prospect must also feel that the gap between the real and the ideal is large enough to warrant taking action.
Now, here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action.
First, ask good questions aimed at uncovering the real need or problem the customer has. Listen attentively to the answers. Never assume that you know already.
Second, the larger the gap the customer sees between where he is today and where he could be by using your product or service, the greater is his desire to buy. Show him continually the size of this gap.
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