When you are selling, or better yet, LEARNING about your prospect, are you really there? Are you checking e-mail, answering Instant Messenger pops, playing minesweeper or are you LISTENING? If you are listening, are you asking questions to ensure their needs will be met or are you giving your prospect your life history on something you have in common?
Selling is about LISTENING and LEARNING about your prospects' needs. You may find out your product or service really isn’t well suited to your prospect and can keep from wasting their time and yours...but only if you listen and ask the right questions.
We have one mouth and two ears. This means we should be listening twice as much as speaking. With selling, the balance should be 70/30. The thirty percent of the time we do speak should involve QUESTIONS. Ask, define, and repeat what the prospect said to be sure you understand their needs.
Just yesterday, a staffing service in Newport News, Virginia experienced a prospect requesting listening skills before granting a meeting! The Placement Specialist was making a cold call for their salesperson when the prospect said, "I’ll allow her to visit if she’ll LISTEN. Will she?" The sales person was asked to announce themselves upon arrival (no appointment allowed). She listened intently AND got the SALE! That goes to show you how many people DON’T listen.
When making a follow-up call, continue to ask "How can ABC Staffing assist you right now with your personnel needs? Would you benefit most from temporary, temp-hire or direct hire? Could you utilize our payrolling features to place your hires onto our payroll before making them a permanent addition to your staff? Can I ask you if our pre-screening integrity test for your hires and ours would be of benefit to your firm? If we meet your criteria for quality and price, will you place an order today?"
If your prospect has an "objection" reply with a question related to their point. For example, they may say, “Your company seems rather expensive.” You could respond with “where do you feel we are pricey.” When they come back with a response…then offer your benefit. Another objection could be that your prospect states “XYZ company calls me with resumes that meet my firms hiring criteria before I even need to place an order.” Respond with, “Why kind of relationship would you like to see between your firm and ours?”
If you have discussed your company’s benefits and services available and your prospect still doesn’t bite, you can try, “I don’t know, maybe you shouldn’t.” Insert a long pause and let them respond. Normally they will come back with an objection or they weren’t ready in the first place. This sometimes can help your prospect realize that you don’t HAVE to have the sale.
There is also a point when a prospect is just not ready to become a client. If this is the case and you feel you have spent enough time simply say, “I don’t think you are ready for this change. Would it be okay if I called you in a few months to follow up?
But, oh happy days! It’s a numbers game and someone out there is READY! They are ready to jump at the opportunity to work with your company. In this case and during every sale…..UPSELL.
It is done daily and we don’t even realize it. Have you ever gone through McDonald’s and they say, “Would you like a Combo?” (Upsell). “Would you like to Supersize your #3?” “Would you like the 6 or 8 piece chicken nuggets?” (Upsell because you can buy the 4 piece and they don’t even offer it!) Or how about when you are shopping for shorts on the internet and screens show you matching belts, sock and shirts. Or, “click here to see alternate colors in that size.”
You make sure to do the same. If your prospect has decided to try your service, first THANK THEM. “Thank you for your trust in ABC Staffing and the confidence that you have shown in me.” (Review the deal). “We will be sending a clerical receptionist to your firm for two weeks in August. I’ll be calling you with resumes, etc. etc.” THEN UPSELL. “If you find that you are pleased with our staff, our procedures, and the employee we send, will you contact us in the future with additional personnel needs?” Or with Hospitality where more than one employee is needed, “If you find that you are pleased with the first five wait staff we send, would you allow us to fully service your next event, your next long term need, your next contract, etc.”
You’ve already sold them, why not try to get a future sale right then and there! If they are pleased then they have already committed to a future sale!
So go out there and see if they will supersize their FRIES with your shake!!
COATS Systems Sales Manager, a leading staffing software. More staffing articles are available at their site, www.coats95.com. Feel free to contact Karen directly; firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.888.5894.