Imagine this picture in your mind. Imagine your buyer having a running mental grade card during a sales meeting. Forming their impressions and their likes or dislikes based primarily on the way you sell to them including aspects such as your approach, confidence, words, your tone and attitude.
Imagine it, because that’s exactly what happens.
Everything communicates something to your customer. How you ask questions, answer questions, handle yourself in a meeting, how well you listen, the substance of your emails, the messaging left on a voice mail or the professionalism of your follow-through.
Everything we do as sellers either “adds to” or “subtracts from” the customer’s perception of the value we personally bring to the table. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. There are no neutral formative impressions.
This is why closing a sale begins at the starting blocks not at the finish line.
You can improve your wins in complex or long-cycle sales substantially by using a too rarely utilized, secret tip from the playbook of successful B2B selling. This technique is: Gaining A Commitment.
Gaining A Commitment is a strategy to continually move your customer closer and closer to buying from you, and it’s done in progressive steps throughout the sales cycle. Like moving pieces on a chessboard, each action is carefully considered beforehand.
Winning a tough sale is a cinch by the inch but hard by the yard.
Successful sellers never make a move that they don’t already know the specific outcome they want. When they ask a question, it is carefully considered, and they anticipate what they will do next if the answer goes one way, or another. The same things go for the value they communicate. Everything is thought through.
The way to use Gaining A Commitment successfully is to convince your customer to commit to a specific action – or to agree on a specific benefit to them for purchasing from you. This allows you to gauge the buyer’s expectations, and catch any “lost-sale signals” before it’s too late.
Commitments give you more leverage to influence the sale and they make it easier for you to tailor your proposal to fit the buyer’s value drivers.
Gaining A Commitment allows you to notice a buyer’s misperception or misplaced conclusion about your product. You can be proactive and change their impressions, thus avoiding a lost sale.
Bottom-line: The more buyer commitments you gain through each stage of your sales process, the better you can manage the buyer’s expectations and increase your wins.