I always tell sales reps that your client or prospect has all the answers as to why they will or why they won’t buy, and that it’s your job to find that information out. You do this by asking the right qualifying questions, by layering those questions, by qualifying any red flags you get and by actually listening to the answers you're given.
While this may sound basic and simple enough, you'd be amazed by how many sales reps still don’t do this correctly. There are a ton of reasons why, but in order to simplify the entire process, I'm going to give you the one question that will get your prospect to tell you exactly what they are looking for (and what they're not looking for as well). And here it is:
During the course of your qualifying, simply ask your prospect, "_________, if you could wave a magic wand right now and fix (or get) three things that would help your (sales process, bottom line, productivity - whatever is appropriate for your prospect), what would you wish for?"
Now shut up and listen. You will be amazed by what comes next. My experience is that my prospect immediately begins telling me exactly what they are looking for. As I listen carefully, I'm asking myself if my services can actually help them, or if they have issues that are outside of my range of services - like more procedural or accounting/process based.
If they are telling me something that I know I can't help them with, then I know they are not going to be a buyer. If this is the case, I try to find them a resource and move on.
If, however, they tell me things that I know I can help them with, then, after waiting until they are completely done, I will then give them the good news:
"__________ I'm glad you shared that with me, and I've got some great news for you. The Top 20% customized training program we're talking about addresses those wishes perfectly and let me tell you why. First of all...."
I then go over, point by point, exactly how my training matches up with their expressed needs/desires, and I specifically use their exact wording back to them as much as I can (I was taking notes as they spoke!).
This technique works especially well in today's economy because it gets your prospect to open up and start talking. And, of course, it gets them to reveal why they will or won't be a deal for your product or service.
Try this for yourself this week and send me some of your results; I’d love to hear from you!