Have you ever had a prospect bring you a problem that you knew you could solve, you decided to business together, and it all fell apart? Often that’s because the prospect brought you what they thought the problem was, but it turns out that the real problem was completely different.
Is that really their fault? Or should you have taken steps to discover that ahead of time?
Of course, as a professional, it’s really up to you to discover the true problem. The key is to ask questions ahead of time. Regardless of how difficult the question, you’ve got to have the guts to ask it.
In traditional selling, the prospect wants something, and you have it. So all you do is show up. And that’s the difference between being a professional salesperson and a cashier.
Many of us get excited when we hear something like that. We respond with, “We can do that!” And we may have jumped ahead before we determine if it’s the real problem, or just a symptom of the real problem.
In the medical world, they call that malpractice. In the selling world, it’s unfortunately all too common.
One of the most important aspects of really digging deep with questions is that most of the time, people don’t even know the pain they have. When you uncover the real problem, you’re also proving value to our prospect. You’ve brought to their attention a pain they didn’t even know they had! How much could that have cost them down the road if nobody had told them about it.
I ran into this with a prospect just the other week. The conversation started off with, “We go on a lot of appointments that never lead to anything.”
My prospect thought that was his pain, but I knew from my experience that it was really just a pain indicator. When we sat down and had a conversation, it turned out that the owner needed to start making more money, because he needed to put his elderly, sick father in a home. It was going to be $5,000 a month that he currently didn’t have. So he needed to make a lot more money to have that extra $5,000 a month.
That’s a whole lot different than going on too many appointments that don’t lead to anything!