Setting the Ground Rules

When you meet a prospect for the first time they are usually a little nervous and skeptical. They probably wonder how long the process will take, what you’re going to require of them and whether you’re one of those “pushy salespeople.” As long as your prospect is worried about these things, their guard will be up and they won’t actually hear what you have to say. Setting Ground Rules will relieve your prospect’s anxiety so you can then sell effectively.

Defining the GAP

The secret to selling to a prospect is uncovering a GAP between their current problem and its solution. Most of your prospects will come to you with the same basic problems. It’s your job to ask questions to help them discover all of the emotional consequences associated with their actions or inactions surrounding these issues. The more emotional pain you help the prospect uncover, the more motivation they will have to eliminate that pain through the services and solutions you offer. Once the GAP is uncovered, your prospect will “close” themselves.

Discussing the Exchange

In order for your prospect to do business with you and receive the help they crave, they’re going to need to give up some resources. In this step, you uncover the things the prospect would need to do in order for that exchange to take place. If you neglect the crucial step of walking them through the process of weighing their hard-earned resources against the GAP you helped them uncover, many of your deals will die.

Discovering the Decision Process

Too often in sales scenarios, salespeople only go so far as to discover who has the authority to say “yes” and how they will make that decision. You need to know that, of course, but you also need to know how to uncover the people in your prospect’s life that can influence your prospect to say “no.” If you fail to take this extra step, you may fail to handle the objections that can keep your deal from closing.

Closing the Deal

This is usually the simplest part of any sale. You absolutely MUST NOT use manipulative closing techniques. When you use a solid, proven sales process, you simply don’t need to. When you close with integrity, you also ensure that neither “buyer’s remorse,” nor unexpected challenges, nor your competition, will cause your deal to unravel.