Orientation in the client
S: What is the meaning of orientation in the client? What is important to learn about him? What aspects of a client’s personality should we focus on?
T: The answer to these questions, of course, depends on why you are communicating with the buyer, what interests you in this communication.
When you are a seller, and the buyer decides whether or not to buy your product or your services, it is important for you to find out:
What kind of person is the buyer?
How does he want to see me?
What does he really need?
Will my product interest him?
Will my price and terms suit him?
Can he make a decision?
Will he pay?
The ability to find or, more precisely, guess the answers is called “experience in communication with people.” But is it not better, instead of guessing, to find this out from someone who knows the exact answers to these questions? Oh, by the way, who knows these answers? Of course, the buyer. But how to get his answers? He will not expose himself in front of the first person he comes across! So, you should somehow win his trust.
S: How can I do that?
T: First, we should determine where in the Sales Cycle these questions occur, where the answers are needed, and where the trust between the seller and the buyer should be gained.
Obviously, the questions arise during a personal meeting with the buyer, at the stage of orientation in the buyer. But the answers are needed much later, at the end of the sale, at the time of closing. Without answering these questions, closing a deal will be at least irresponsible. If the buyer intends to abandon his decision or violate it later, it would be better if the deal has not taken place. If you do not meet the expectations of the buyer, he won’t want to do business with you, and then there is no hope that the deal might be concluded. If it is not clear what the buyer really needs, then it is also not clear whether both of you need a deal. If he is not interested in your product, if he is not satisfied with the price and terms of the transaction, then, there is no closing, no matter how hard you try. If the buyer is unable to make a decision, pushing him to make a deal will be in vain or anger him. Well, if he belongs to the category of people who do not like to pay for delivered goods and services, then you would regret this deal more than once. That’s not something you need.
But if you have received all the answers before the closing, and these answers are quite suitable for you, feel free to close!
The rapport that you need to establish with a prospect in order to get answers helps you establish and maintain good long-term relationships with the buyer.
Now you should think, when and how you can establish trust? Obviously, at some stage between Offer and Bidding.
The best moment to gain trust is, oddly enough, the stage Handling the Objections. I never would have thought! And here’s the reason. Establishing a trusting relationship is best done through dialogue, and even better, by cooperation. During the Proposal you are basically monologuing. Bidding is not suitable for gaining trust. But while handling objections (or rather, concerns, fears) you are actively dialoguing with the buyer and searching together how to avoid his troubles. It’s right time for him to feel confidence in you.
Studying the Buyer Before Contact
S: Why should we study the buyer before contact?
T: Later it would be easier to deal with him. By studying the buyer before contact, you decide whether to deal with him, whether he is worth contacting.
You can study the buyer before contact in two ways: to collect all available information and communicate with those who collaborated and are collaborating with him (former and current suppliers, laid-off employees, etc.). You need to understand how to deal with this buyer. A little more about this in the section Types of buyers.
Observation of the buyer during contact
S: While working with the buyer, I have no time to watch him. Why is this needed?
T: Why watch the buyer? To understand how he reacts to you. Imagine a date with your loved one. You have concentrated on yourself, speak, gesticulate, but don’t even look at her, don’t listen to what and how she says it. that’s stupid, right? You might miss the important moment when she gets interested in your story or offended by something. Then all you can do is wonder why she reacts to you in a strange way.
And how does this situation differ from your communication with the buyer? In no way. Something in your words may interest him, and you need to cling to it, develop your thought. Something may sour him, then, it is better to hush up on this topic. Something in your gestures may be degrading, so it’s better to immediately apologize nonverbally and not allow it anymore.
Nikolay Rysyov recommends the following:
...we need to scan any changes in facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and then ask ourselves the same question, “Why is my dear client changing in this way?” By the way, these changes can be subtle. The sooner we notice such changes, the better for us. Because we could respond more efficiently to them. A sudden smile, a stone face, a leaning back – anything, any change! Follow them!!!
Why do we have to talk about this topic again and again? The seller is focused on the main task, to convey his message to the buyer and persuade him to buy the product. The seller, alas, is not a computer, but just a human being, and his RAM is far from unlimited: only “seven plus or minus two pieces of information.” The main task completely occupies his short-term memory and leaves there no room for other information. Many inexperienced sellers are blind and deaf as a post.
With experience, the seller performs more and more of his main task automatically, without loading up his short-term memory. So, now he can observe the reactions of the buyer, both verbal and non-verbal, and correctly respond to them.
S: But what about an inexperienced seller?
T: He needs to start performing his main task in “automatic mode” as soon as possible.
The win-win sales technology provides you with tools and algorithms. These are algorithms for identifying benefits, identifying troubles and preventing them, as well as tools for splitting the story into individual events, preventing these events and assembling solutions from individual ideas. These algorithms and tools are quite simple, and it is important to “apply them blindfolded” before using them with a real buyer. This can be accomplished by continuous exercising. Then these actions cease to occupy your RAM, and you can observe the buyer and respond to changes in his behavior.
It’s like in the army: first, a rookie is taught to disassemble and assemble a weapon and shoot, until they do that blindfolded, and only then are they trusted to go on guard duty, participate in military exercises, and only then in military operations. Automatism of actions becomes a critical means of survival in the battle.
Sales are like “fighting” for the seller, everything is real here. But one needs to prepare for these actions, to use the “weapon,” i.e. algorithms and tools, blindfolded.
Such automatism, among other things, enables the seller to closely monitor changes in the behavior of the buyer during contact: listen to his words and watch his body language. Without these observations, it is simply impossible to adjust your behavior and your offer to the expectations of the buyer, create a positive attitude for him and convince him to close the deal. Without the understanding of the buyer you cannot gain his trust and establish long-term good relations with him.