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When you’re growing a small business, you’ll encounter a lot of questions — particularly when it comes to how to manage your selling processes.

Here are two common questions I receive from small business owners and their teams — with very ‘uncommon’ answers.

Question 1: Should you share product information before qualifying potential sales prospects?

Industry: Software

“I have heard you say that you shouldn’t give out pricing unless you gather information first. Though I agree with you, sometimes you can‘t do that. We have several applications and packages that we sell and they are somewhat customized, but we do carry inexpensive, off-the-shelf packages as well.

How can I ask questions and find out more information if the person on the phone making the inquiry asks about our basic package and how much we charge upfront?”

Answer:

Okay, let me calm down a minute before I answer this because I might blow.

First of all, I didn’t realize that if you use a particular procedure to collect information and recommend a package, that what they ‘think they want‘ is automatically correct — and you’re obliged to answer.

I took a look at your company’s website (before I answered) and I don’t see an indication (anywhere) that you operate as a non-profit organization.

What we fail to remember is: When it comes to selling, if you give an answer too quickly without knowing (a) why they need your product (b) what other options they are considering (c) and what issues they expect your product to solve you could prematurely lose a sale.

If you don’t find out simple answers to the questions above there is a high probability that you could recommend the wrong product for their actual needs.  It isn’t necessarily your responsibility to react to the issues they are having and make a recommendation simply because they asked for it.

Take control of you sales process, or it will take control of you and turn you into an order taker instead of a sales organizations.

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