Categories: Sales and Distribution
Let's say you've got a prospect who's using a competitor's software, and they seem to be satisfied; how can you persuade them to get a demo of your product?
Steve Kraner of sales consulting and training firm Topline Solutions offers this six-point action plan:
#1: Ask them who they are using now.
#2: When they tell me, I'd say, "Good company what do you like about their solution?"
#3: I'd keep asking what they like and I'd note every item until they are finished listing everything they like. You have to know how to be equal before you can displace anyone.
#4: Many prospects will go negative on their own, but if they don't, I'd ask, "If there was one thing they could do better, what would it be?" Then pain funnel it and keep looking for more pain.
#5: If they can't give you something they don't like, have three or four third-party stories ready: "When we speak to other (competitor) users, sometimes they say they wish there was a less labor-intensive and time-consuming way to distribute updates. That's not a concern for you is it?" Then pain funnel.
#6: Once you have pain continue with your sales process, using the demo as the leverage to get information from them.
What does Kraner mean by "pain funnel"? "It's a questioning technique developed by Dr. Eric Berne, the father of transactional analysis," he says. "Berne taught that what the patient brings you is never the real problem so, what you're doing with the pain funnel is causing them to focus on the impact of the problem, and deciding if it's worth acting upon."
Editor's note: Kraner has about a zillion of these kinds of tips, with the real-world experience to back them up that's why we signed him up to lead three of this year's software sales seminars in our Software University. His classes are January 30, June 26, and November 20. SoftwareCEO Site Members can attend for $195 each; those in the CEO's Circle get in free.