When selling to B2B prospects, you always have to evolve. What worked 10 years ago may be ineffective today and if your current sales process has nothing current or new built into it, you’re likely missing out on potential business opportunities. In today’s world, prospects want to learn, not be sold to. So many sellers want to pitch and sell to their potential customers without taking the time to understand what a person is going through or how they can help.
Businesses and consumers do research before they purchase. The reviews, price comparisons, and forums discussing the product or service are all there, easy to access, easy to find. Gone are the days of finding consumers that know nothing about a product. Nowadays that’s rarely the case.
It used to be much simpler, with the seller telling the potential buyer about their product and the buyer making a decision in the moment that resulted in the completion of a transaction. Sometimes the buyer would end up experiencing buyer’s remorse but that was just the name of the game.
In today’s business climate, your customers have so many options that you simply cannot ignore the need to be a more informative, trustworthy seller who engages with their customers in a genuine fashion even if that’s only online.
For instance, with B2B, prospects are almost finished buying the product or service before the seller is involved with direct contact.
Now the seller must seal the deal and the buyer is the one who has the upper hand. Pressuring them just doesn’t work and usually makes it a lot worse. A salesperson can no longer be pushy to win; they have to be genuine, caring and informative. Here are the six ways that you can seal the deal and build genuine relationships in the process, ensuring long-term success.
The Six Ways
A generated lead needs as much research as possible. Here are some things to look up:
- How big is the company?
- What do they offer?
- What is their mission?
- What is their company culture?
The more you know, the more you can identify with them and create a climate of trust.
Ask questions! This is a dying art but it’s one that customers truly appreciate and it will set you apart from the rest. Especially those questions that are open ended and encourage your prospects to reply. Get a prospect to talk about what they like and get them to talk about their business.
But be sure to ask ‘engaging’ questions. The days of the “yes” or “no” answers are over. They’re dull, uninteresting and not conversational in tone. Also, by being fully informed, you can avoid assumptions.
A good asker of questions lets the person on the other end talk. You may be tempted to ask another question or to think of a comeback, but a prospect tends to dislike that. Instead, repeat what they told you. This way, the client feels like you understand them. Spend only a quarter of the time talking. It’s less effort from you, yet as they say, less is more. Letting the person on the other end talk is a good move.
Be an educator. Obviously, you shouldn’t lecture the prospect, but find ways to inform them. When a buyer learns something new, they feel good, uplifted, which will generate more loyalty to you and your company. Just don’t mention your business too much in the process. Name dropping you business makes the customer feel like it’s all you care about.
What do we mean by qualifying? One way to qualify is to use the BANT method, or budget, authority, need, and timeline.
With budget, ask if there are any ways you can solve their dilemma financially. With authority, find the best way to make the decision easier for them. Use your expertise. With need, find what the buyer needs to relieve their trouble. Finally, with timeline, give a timeframe in which you can offer your services.
At this point, your prospect will usually be ready to close the deal. They’ll feel secure and not feel like they’re being persuaded into doing something that could lead to a regrettable purchase.
In the B2B world, you have to master the new, more evolved art of the sales. Only the most qualified, sincere, knowledgeable person can seal the deal.
A good seller will teach, find solutions, and try to help a prospect. They aren’t going to be pushy and sell something the buyer isn’t interested in. By knowing this, you can go far with completing your goal, signing a new customer/client or, at the very least, you’ll generate great reviews, which can lead to sales down the road.