Welcome to Part 3 of this 4-part series on the Anatomy of the Sales Call. I hope you’ve enjoyed the series thus far, as we’ve covered opening and probing. From there, we’ll move on to Supporting today and talk about how you’re going to show the customer how you can meet their needs that you uncovered during the probing process.
This is the second-most important part of the sales call. Now, they’re all very important to the overall success of the call – but it’s critical that you discover the clients needs (probing) and then show them how you can meet their needs with your product or service.
The purpose of supporting is to demonstrate to your customer how you can meet their needs with relevant features and benefits. To do this, you have to provide information to your customer that helps them make an informed buying decision. You also have to know when is the best time and way to talk about your product/service or organization. If the customer doesn’t feel confident that you can handle their needs, they will take their business elsewhere. Even if you’re the best closer in the world, there’s no chance of you getting the sale if you don’t have the confidence of your client.
How Do I Know?
I’ve told you that you have to know when the optimal time to start supporting is and you’re probably hanging on the edge of your seat. (Ok, maybe not.) The time to start supporting is after you have uncovered and confirmed all of your customer’s needs. Once you know what their needs are, you can start to discuss how you and your company can meet their needs with relevant features and benefits. Notice that I keep going back to “relevant features and benefits”.
Relevance is King
It seems so elementary that you would only want to discuss how you can benefit your customers with something relevant to their needs. The truth is, I’ve seen way too many salespeople start supporting with features and benefits that are nowhere near what their needs were. It’s a quick way to lose a customer. If you’ve got a customer that comes in for family portraits and says that they want to order lots of prints because they all kinds of frames in their home, you don’t want to try and sell them canvas gallery wraps. You want to tell them about all the different types of prints, papers, and finishes that you offer in your prints. Make sense?
Features vs. Benefits
Yes. There. Is. A. Distinct. Difference. Features simply tell the customer what your product or service does. Benefits tell the customer what those products or services will do for them. Human beings are all about the W. I. I. F. M. (pronounced “whif-em”). It stands for: What’s In It For Me? When you begin supporting, you need to remember to offer benefits over features and you’ll see your sales go up drastically because now you’re customer knows how what you sell or do will benefit them.
Remember when I mentioned to take notes? This is where it really comes into play. If you wrote down all of your customers needs that you were able to uncover during your probing, now you know exactly what you need to support and you won’t miss one of their needs. You have to show that you can support all of the needs that you uncovered in some way, shape, or form. If you forget something, your customer could wind up feeling unimportant and take their business somewhere else. Make sure that you are providing all the support possible.
So there’s part 3 of 4 covering the Anatomy of the Sales Call. Tomorrow we will talk about the final (and my personal favorite) portion of sales – closing! So come back and join us tomorrow for the last piece of the puzzle. Thanks for joining me on this sales journey and I hope that this information has been helpful and informative!