Prospects want to work with sales reps who are helpful.
If you have figured out that the number one thing about being a good sales rep means helping your prospect then you are on to something. If I ever have the opportunity to build my own sales team or manage sales reps I am going to make sure that they understand why helping their prospects is one of the most important things they will learn to do while being in sales. Being helpful in the sales process goes a long way. It can and will help you to win deals.
You can either be seen by your prospects as a non-helpful sales person or someone who is helping them with their problems (who is also a sales person). Which one would you prefer?
When you think of your prospects and opportunities you are working right now, if your manager called them up and asked them what they think of you, what would they say?Ask yourself the question I have below. How you answer should help you to understand why being a helper as a sales person is more important than being a "traditional sales person." The new sales rep is one who is human, who is helpful and who puts the actual sale as just one part of the process.
1. Sales person who is just selling to sell. Always trying to make a deal whatever it will take.
2. Helper. Always trying to help. Pleasure to work with so far and really has made the experience of working with your company a joy.
There are a few things you can do as a sales rep to come across as more helpful than not. Here are a couple of things that I try to do in the sales process to make sure I am being as helpful as possible. These things should help you to be more helpful in the sales process rather than too salesy and not helpful.
1. Ask good questions when someone says something.
- Don't take things that your prospects say at face value.
- If someone says something they are saying it for a reason. They are saying it because they feel something or know something that you don't.
The best way to do these consistently is by using this technique: Your prospect says something to you, think about what they said, come up with a real and human response (not a salesy response) and say what you think. Then ask another question. That is how your conversations should likely go. The more human and normal you can be in your discussions, in your presentations, in your calls, etc the more helpful you will come across and they will likely want to continue talking to you.
2. Have your own opinions and educate the prospect on things they might not know.
- Your prospect wants to work with a sales rep who is educating them on things that they could do better than they are doing now.
- Make sure you are taking time to educate them on all parts of your product or service. I think some times reps like to do high level overviews of how their product or service works. I don't think that is what prospects want these days. They are more educated than ever. Make sure you are going over things that would be helping move things along and helping them to understand better than they do now.
- Educate your prospect on things they might not know about the competition or what they could do if they didn't go with your service or product. If you are helpful in explaining the value that people typically see in what you sell then they will start to understand why your product or service is a better fit for their needs in relation to other options.
3. Help your prospect to sell your solution internally.
- Ask your prospect how you can help sell this internally.
- Fully understand the steps that he or she might have to take internally to get approval on this or move things along.
- If you don't know all of those things, you need to and must ask them.
- Once you know what will happen internally make yourself available to them and try to help them do it.
- Provide them with the right content, collateral, videos, tools that will help them to sell this internally.
- Ask questions about the DM and what they care about so you can help figure out with them what might help sell this.
- If your prospect has to put together a presentation to present the solution for buy in you should ask your prospect to take a stab at it. Then tell them that you will look it over for them before presenting.
4. Ask yourself one simple question throughout the whole sales process. Say this prospect was to become a customer today what would they want to do right away with your product or service?
- If you don't know why someone would buy your solution at all points of the sales process then you haven't helped enough.
- If you cannot say why you think the prospect would find value in what you are selling then you need to take a step back and explore needs more. This means that you are selling to hard. You are just selling to sell and you don't know enough about their situation to help them enough.
Throughout the sales process you should have checkins with yourself about the value you think they see in your solution you are working on with them. Make sure you are moving that along through each step you take with them in the sales process.
5. One of the simplest ways to make sure you are being helpful and learning how to be more helpful is by simply asking...
- HOW CAN I HELP?
- WHAT CAN I HELP YOU WITH?
- CAN I HELP YOU WITH ANYTHING?
- DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ON ANYTHING WE HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT SO FAR?
Make sure that you are consistently letting them know that first and foremost your job is to help them. From the begininng of the sales process you should be making statements like:
- "My job as a sales rep is really to assess your situation and to help you understand if we can help you."
- "Together we will explore whether we are a good fit for your needs. My main priority is to see if we can actually help you do what you want to or need to do. From there we can talk about the solution."
- "Before we even get into what our product or solution is we need to explore together what you are currently doing and what you would like to accomplish. From there we will be able to see if we can help you with the goals that you have."
Do not make your sales process about what you sell up front. Make it more about how you are there to figure out:
1. If there is something you can actually help them with.
2. If they want to be helped.
If those 2 things exist then you should start working on ways to help them with their problems. If you do that correctly then you should get a new customer at the end of the process.