How to let your prospects sell themselves. A new paradigm is rumbling through the world of sales, transforming how professionals relate to and connect with their clients. [AMA Marketing Power]
Building business relationships is about bringing and keeping buyers in the most cost effective manner possible. Without buyers you don't have customers, without customers you don't have a business. For a technology company, the most cost effective way to transform more prospects into customers by helping them sell themselves.
Start with an open dialog where prospects bring forward any challenges they face in respect to the problems your company solves. This can include direct interactions with your company, trade groups or associations, even communications at an on-line portal. You have to go where the prospects share their problems.
Provide prospects the details they need to make the right buying decision, not necessarily to purchase your product. At this point you are establishing rapport and building trust necessary for them to be open to your solutions.
Use product interaction points to educate and measure desires of prospects. Product interaction points are anywhere your prospect may need, could use, is using, or would consider your type of product. Marketing must be available at these points to share success stories of clients experienced similar problems.
Success stories should say, "Is this what you're talking about?" instead of "Hey, look what we've done." To convert rapport into credibility every message must be about the issues faced by prospects. Help them identify that your company has experience in the areas to which they have problems.
Your prospect may not know they need your solution, nor have they specifically indicated they want to solve these problems. Use response tools like lead generation to extract additional details in exchange for educational materials.
These educational materials teach prospects how to choose the right solution, what points must be considered in the decision making process, and what results they can expect to gain. Focus providing informative details, not thinly disguised sales copy.
To this point you have developed trust, established credibility, and provided the tools prospects will need to make a decision. Along each step of the way, you've also used product interaction points to give specific examples of others who have already solved the same problems with your solutions.
Now, invite your prospect to contact the sales department. Sales will concentrate more on fulfillment of clearly defined needs than actual selling. Your prospect will be open to consultative selling that outlines the options they can take, reinforced by the materials they have previously received.
If they don't buy at that time, rest assured you've already sold them on your solution. You've also made it difficult for competitors who will have to fill the expectations created in educational materials. Bottom line, build a relationship around the solution, educate prospects around the problem, and then use response tools to extract the ones ready to buy.
/ customer-relations | profitable-customers /
By Justin Hitt at December 11, 2003 4:38 PM Subscribe in a reader
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