“The same wind blows on us all. What matters is not the blowing of the wind but the set of the sail.” – Jim Rohn
At my last GBN meeting, I asked one of the members how the educational pieces were working for him. He said he liked them. I asked what I had not covered that needed to be covered. He told me that the mechanics of the sales process would be useful.
The meeting started and I thought about it. He was right. He was a salesman; I am not. I focus on some things to the exclusion of others. After the meeting, I asked him if he could work out what should be covered. He told me that he had an excellent sales presentation overview and that he would use that. He presented at our meeting. What follows are excerpts from this sales documents. While I have not disclosed the identity of the sales material, I am stating up front that the block quotes that follow are not my material, but they provide an excellent overview for those in sales. To further set apart my words from the sales training document, I have converted all words from the document to italics for clarity. My commentary follows.
The document follows a series of ten steps from breaking the ice to the close and handling objections.
Step 1: Breaking The Ice
Whether you are walking into a face to face appointment/presentation or doing an online webinar, it’s important to break the ice before jumping into business; sales is about relationship building….
Don’t be too “salesy” always be yourself! Ask questions that will break the ice and help you out when it comes to “The Close” at the end of your presentation.
Questioning should be spread out over the course of the presentation, so the client doesn’t feel like they are being interrogated.
This is good advice. Get to know people first or you appear smarmy. Be yourself. No one wants to be sold. They want to buy what they need.
Step 2: Confirm Decision Makers
Whether you made your appointment on the phone or face to face, it’s important that you confirm that you are with the decision maker/s before you proceed with the presentation.
SIMPLY ASK: “Before I get started, I just want to make sure that everybody is here that would make a decision regarding our program.”
… If you continue with the presentation, 9 times out of 10, you’ll be wasting your time and theirs and probably lose the sale. The last thing you want is for one decision maker to try and pitch our program to others involved. Please DO NOT make this mistake. Reschedule the appointment so that all decision makers are there to see the presentation at one time.
It makes little sense to give your presentation to those who are not in the position to agree to the sale, so get this sorted out first. Do not waste your time or their time.
Step 3: Introduction
It’s important that your prospect knows who we are, what we do and who we are affiliated with. If you introduce our company the correct way, you will encounter fewer objections at the end of the presentation. The main objective of our introduction is to build credibility with the prospect/merchant.
…Begin the presentation.
SIMPLY SAY: [Name of company] is a national company that offers programs and solutions which help businesses like yours increase cash flow, walk-in traffic and overall profits.” “
What makes us different (Merchant Name), is that we provide merchants with multiple finance options that are not based on the customer/patients’ credit.”
Presentation shows several funding Partners that we promote.
There is no reason to go into much detail, but credibility is key; read off some of the information for all three companies and be ready to answer any questions the merchant may have.
This is good. Tell them who you are. Tell them what you can do for them. That is what they want to know.
If you have a script to follow, some highly paid sales executives have probably worked out the process pretty well. Just follow the process and answer questions. The process does not have to be that hard.
Step 4: Benefits
SIMPLY SAY: “Let me tell you what our programs will do for your business.”
Then list the benefits:
• No Risk to You (Once we approve a customer or patient, you are guaranteed payments and there is no recourse to you.)
BE READY TO EXPLAIN THE NO RISK GUARANTEE.
Our program allows you to:
• Repeat customers
• Drive more customers to your business (Word of mouth advertising works best. Your customers will tell their friends and family.)
• Edge over your competition
• Increase your average ticket price/up-sell (Our program will now let you maximize each sale. Customers are happy they can get everything done and pay over time, and you increase sales. It’s a win-win situation.)
Often prospects will try and jump ahead and ask questions about: • How does it work?
• How Much?
It’s important that you don’t stop the flow of the presentation.
SIMPLY SAY: “We are nearly there. I will go over exactly how everything works and the functionality, including rates and pricing next.”
Continue with the benefits…
What you say next is by far the most important benefit to your prospect. You want to look them in the eye and,
SIMPLY SAY: “Now let me tell you what makes us at [Company] is different than the rest. Our programs work, there is no doubt about that. The reason we don’t lose clients and are successful with increasing merchant sales, clients and profits is because of our customer service.”
“Our promise and guarantee to you, is that we will help you market and promote the programs and most importantly train you and your staff also.”
Assuming that all of that is true for your company, this is a great path to the customer’s heart and wallet. You are addressing the things that he most wants to know. Customers do not want to lose money buying your services. They want to know that you will be in their corner.
Step 5: How it Works
Merchants need to know the functionality of our programs. You need to make a clear picture of “How It Works”.
Again, your presentation has this information. It is important that you keep things simple.
The last thing you want to do is make the process seem complicated.
The main points to cover before explaining the functionality of each program:
“We have multiple programs…” [Describe them here].
Simply follow and read from your pitch book and let your prospect know all about Global first.
SIMPLY SAY: “Again, both these programs are very simple and part of our customer service is to educate and train you and your staff until everyone is comfortable with the process.” Then move to the “Pre-Close”.
In my observation, this is a tricky thing for many salespeople. They think they have to have this memorized or that someone will have a question that they will not be able to answer and that they will blow the sale. But as the sales training document said, “keep it simple.”
Step 6: Pre-Close
The “Pre-close” is just as important as “The Close”. You are preparing your prospect/merchant for “The Close”. At this point in the presentation you have “Broken the Ice”, “Confirmed Decision Makers”, “Introduced Our Company”, “Explained Our Programs”, and “How They Work”.
So this is when you look at the prospects/merchants and SIMPLY SAY:
• “Did everything make sense to you so far?” 9 times out of 10, they will say “yes”. If not, answer their questions and move on with “The Pre-close”.
• “Our programs do have a cost which I will be going over in detail shortly, but let me ask you this… If I can cost-justify the program to you and everything makes sense, would there be any reason why we wouldn’t be able to move forward with the approval process today?”
Many sales trainings look to leverage the prospect’s psychology in order to give them greater odds of closing the sale. By getting prospects to agree to these questions, they embrace their own psychological commitment. If you think back over sales presentations you have been part of this, it is a familiar feature.
Step 7: Worksheet
It is at this point in the presentation that you want to put yourself into the prospect/merchants shoes. In sales, you need to be touching on emotions. As a business owner, your main two emotions are fear and greed. So it is important that you show your merchant/prospect where they are losing money. You should have enough information at this point to be dangerous.
Ultimately, it is your job to cost-justify our program. This is when you bring out the Worksheet! (Compliance and Suitability Questionnaire) Your objective is to find out what business is being lost.
The Worksheet is designed to show the merchant all areas of their business where money is lost. All these numbers are coming from your prospect, not you. (Be conservative! Always use the lesser numbers.)…
• “Could you imagine how much business you could keep in the door if you could offer ‘No Credit Financing/Payment Plans’?”
• “Imagine what this program could do if you used it for up-sales.”
• “So, let’s look at the numbers! From what you’ve told me, and conservatively speaking you’re losing around $___ per month.” (“Now, let me tell you: Our programs have a 70% approval rate over traditional credit check finance plans.”
Remember: Cost justification is the key. You need to emphasize the numbers.
“I told you earlier, that this program has a cost. It’s my job to cost justify our program. So let me go over our programs and costs before we recap.”
There are two things I want to point out here. The first is the hard data on which you are building your sale. Notice how the prospect can justify the decision on the hard data. But do not miss this line: “You want to put yourself into the prospect/merchants shoes. In sales, you need to be touching on emotions.” In sales, as in leadership, people are moved by emotion, not logic. If you clearly and rationally demonstrate the numbers, but they are emotionally blocked, they will not buy no matter how appealing the deal may be.
Step 8: Pricing
Your prospect should know exactly what they are paying and what will be deducted from their checking account.
You also don’t want to spend too much time on pricing and you want to get to “The Close” as soon as possible.
“You can Buy our program for $6995.00 or finance the program over 2,3,4 or 5 years. There is a one-time setup fee of $95.00 and the monthly statement fee is $10.00 per month.” Then go straight to “The Close”!
Don’t complicate the process. If you can demonstrate greater value than price, you have something. You are not ripping them off—but helping them generate greater value.
Step 9: The Close/Paperwork
If you have followed all the steps correctly in the presentation flow and answered all questions, then it’s time for “The Close”. Look at “The Close” as a summary of the sale, and all you are looking for is a “yes” or “no”. Don’t drag out “The Close”. You have your prospect/merchant where you need them. If you can get them to “nod” 3 times, you should have the sale “closed”.
SIMPLY SAY: “So, (Merchant Name):
“Did everything I showed you today make sense?”
NOD = Yes
“By the numbers and information that you gave me, can you see how this program will definitely increase cash flow, overall business and profits?”
NOD = Yes
“So, going back to earlier… Regarding cost-justifying our programs, it’s clear that you’ll have a return on your investment in less than ___ weeks.”
This is where you go for “The Close”!
The Actual Close
“So, would you like to pay upfront or finance the Program today?”
DO NOT SPEAK NEXT! YOU WILL LOSE THE SALE!
Note the psychology here. If you can get them to “nod” 3 times, you should have the sale “closed”. The salesman is using consistency against the client. This is why Robert Cialdini, in Influence: Science and practice calls consistency one of the “weapons of influence.” Consistency is usually a good thing in life, but it can be used against us. In my view, the questions are good, but if you rely on the consistency rather than the value proposition, something is wrong. If you are really helping someone, you should not need to psychologically twist their arm.
Step 10: Objections/Handling
Objections are just hurdles that if handled correctly will get you to the finish line/close. Merchants/prospects will always have questions or concerns. If you followed each step of the presentation flow correctly, then it’s just a matter of recapping on those specific questions/concerns.
Good advice. There is no much more to add. Don’t be afraid of questions. Questions can be good things. How you handle questions can bring your prospect closer to the sale.
This process is very similar to most sales presentations. There is nothing magical about this approach. It is a very simple and methodical process. Following the process should serve you well.