Is Your Sales Process Focused On The Prospect Or The Sale?
At iContent, we spend a great deal of time trying to establish a customer journey that is pleasant, useful and engages the potential customer. In other words our customer journey is not to simply get clients, it is to attract our ideal client.
Some businesses and business owners make the mistake of thinking that a sales process is about gaining clients in any way possible. We all want sales but the process itself should be about qualifying the potential customer and making sure that are right for you and whether your service is effective for them.
Often customer journeys and sales processes try to ‘corner’ the customer with sales scripts and emails that are designed to not give the customer any choice but to say yes, a kind of ‘entrapment’ if you like. This is a challenging environment because it makes it hard work to get the client on.
‘If they can’t object any more they will have to buy!’
In many ways it’s an approach that works and has worked for many years.
So why do I have an objection to this approach? Well, you initially dehumanise the client, forgetting that some objections can actually be true rather than excuses to get off the phone / out of the email sequence. By ‘always having an answer’ you essentially can create a situation where the customer may sign up because they have run out of excuses but that customer however can feel like they didn’t have a choice and become troublesome or leave quickly.
If we give the customer more choice, if we offer up information for genuine objections and if we give the customer an ‘out’, this can lead to the sales process being a more enjoyable, informative and less pressured environment and your business with qualified sales.
Just 17% of salespeople think they’re pushy — compared to 50% of prospects asked after the call
As an extreme example, in the more aggressive scripted markets such as financial products, if you gave the person who has been called a chance to ‘press 5 to end the call at any time’ – how many times during a sales call do you think they would press 5? I think we can all agree that, at one time or another, we can think of a call where we would’ve pressed 5.
So, what’s the alternative? Well, we can treat people in our customer journey / sales process as people, we can think what we would like to know, what options would we like to have, how do we want to be treated.
People object for all sorts of reasons and most of the time they are genuine, for example, ask yourself this: do you really want a customer that, on the first introduction to your product or service wants to get off the phone, are they really your customer? Do they become long term customers? In my experience, those that have a high number of objections at the start of a sales process are often the same customers that don’t understand the service properly and can take up a lot of your time explaining the service to them. Do we not want customers that are excited about the prospect of working with us? About using our service or products? Surely all businesses want those type of customers.
Ultimately, its about getting into your ideal customers head, its understanding what appeals to them, its creating a customer journey that gives people options rather than reducing it to a “I’ve got an answer for everything you say so you might as well give in and buy!” We want our customers to be informed, to know what they are paying for, what benefits they will receive with our service and go away from the initial sales process feeling like they have been respected and that after qualifying, our service is definitely for them.