(This article originally appeared on Dave Kurlan’s blog)
Yesterday I wrote about the Importance of the Relationship to the Sales Outcome. I was asked to talk more about how the elite (top 6%) salespeople develop that kind (late-stage in the early stage) of relationship.
Have you ever worked with salespeople that were so bad you thought, “She couldn’t close a door!”? And have you ever worked with salespeople that were so good that you thought, “She could sell white to rice!”?
There’s a good chance that the difference has less to do with their closing skills and much more to do with their ability to build a late stage relationship in the earliest stage of the sales process – the first meeting.
So what do they do? Here are the top ten things they do:
- They learn about their prospect, not only from a business perspective, but a personal one too
- They ask lots of questions -not from a list of 50 questions -by going wider and deeper with the responses they get from the prior questions
- They share a little about themselves – no life stories, no company histories – by empathizing with something they heard about
- They ask the really tough questions – the ones nobody else dares to ask – that differentiate them from everyone else
- They walk rather than run from 1st to 2nd base (Baseline Selling Sales Process)
- They get their prospects to share their feelings about the issues being discussed
- They gain their prospects’ trust gradually over the course of their discussion
- They are credible – they don’t talk badly about their competition and they don’t oversell themselves
- They make it all about their prospects
- Their posture includes the roles of humble expert, caring friend, and helpful advisor
Now I’ll ask yesterday’s question again – how do your salespeople stack up?