Best Practices

Dealing with the Age-old Prospect Question: What’s in it for me?

Christopher Tuttle

Every now and then it’s good to review the basics, the essentials, related to the sales process.

For sales reps, the success of a prospect call is rooted in how quickly and effectively we answer the question that forms in the mind of every prospect at the other end of the phone:  “What’s in it for me?”

As salespeople, we are known for thinking on the fly, being able to communicate and operate in the highly variable situations we find ourselves in daily.

When it comes to conducting a successful first sale call, your job is to address that inevitable question, or at least have the skills that enable you to engage that person so that you can uncover their pain points, their issues, and their needs as it relates to your product/s.  What are the steps you can take?

Tip 1:  What was the offer they responded to or the web page/s they reviewed just before they filled out a lead form or placed a call or sent an email that caused them to become a lead in your system?  Begin your conversation there so as to establish rapport as quickly as possible.

Tip 2:  Look them on up LinkedIn and explore who this person is, their likes, dislikes, interests, activities, work history, industry experience, title, role – know something about them that you can use to make your conversation more relevant to them personally. Are they climbing the sales ladder? Are they in an industry that has a set of problems with which you are familiar? How can you best position your product to their personality and their industry issues?  What question can you ask upfront that will help you uncover this knowledge?

Tip 3: Develop a set of questions that enable you to uncover if your new prospect is experiencing any of the common pain points that other prospects who turned into clients experienced.

Of course, you should focus on the company, and how your product or services will benefit it, but recall the often forgotten fact that at the end of the day it’s all about people, and it’s people who ultimately make the decision, not companies.

Imagine you are selling discount cards that offer exclusive deals at local bookstores and you are trying to sell it to someone who isn’t an avid reader. One approach is to position the discount card as a gift card that this non-reader could give as a present to friends and family who are avid readers.  You would explain how buying this card simplifies their gift shopping. In other words, you help them “see” how buying this card will alleviate some of their stress.

The same approach can go for your own sales tactics whenever you approach a lead response. Remember, as soon as you have someone on the phone and are telling them who you are and what you do, their mind immediately begins to wonder to the question: “So, what’s in it for me?” Bring the talk back to their issues and needs as quickly as possible or your time will be wasted and this phone call will be forgotten as soon as your prospect hangs up.

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