I once heard it said, 'You will learn more in the first five minutes of meeting a person than you will learn in the rest of your relationship with them." I have witnessed this in my own relationships time and time again.
What does this mean in sales? Nothing unless you are listening...
What is the buyer telling you?
I coach sales professionals and sales teams from all industries. Sometimes professionals ask me to ride along on a sales call to assess their team. This helps uncover strengths and weaknesses. Like a professional athlete hires a trainer, I have helped salespeople strengthen their sales and improve their performance.
I recently helped a professional in the timeshare industry. I was present during the initial presentation for a walk-in customer.
The timeshare property was fantastic! It had everything you could want in a vacation resort. Tennis, golf, water sports, beautiful scenery, childcare, classes, great dining, and tons of social activities to have fun with others. I was impressed with this little piece of heaven! I love my job!
But I digress, let's get back to the story.
The following are the first few minutes of the conversation between the seller and buyer:
"I am interested in your golf course, how difficult is it to get on and what is included in a round of golf?
"It is the same as any other course in the area. They are always busy." Here is the list of fees for the course. Would you like to know about all of the other amenities? I would love to give you a tour."
"Sure, why not?"
The sales person showed the buyer around the resort. She talked about social activities
, dining, childcare, classes swimming, and discounts at participating resorts.
I could see the buyer's eyes glazing over the more she talked.
As the conversation continued, the seller could see the buyer was showing less interest in the sale. She began to discount. She was injecting into the conversation,
"I can give ten percent off if you sign today. A few minutes later she stated, "I'll give fifteen percent of the initiation fee" all with no response from the buyer. He was still thinking about the golf course.
All this discounting was an attempt to close the sale, but it was never about the price, it was about the value.
They were just not on the same page in terms of value. The buyer asked for some information to take with them and said, I'll get back to you."
The seller gave her card to him and said, "Please contact me if you have any other questions."
While there was room for improvement in other areas, let's stick to value creation.
The clue was there in the first five minutes. The value for this buyer was in the golf course experience.
The buyer is the only one to define value. What I find valuable could be different than the next person. Creating value is not about assumptions, personal taste, or amenities. It's about listening and focusing on what you learn.
If you actively listen in the first five minutes and focus on what you hear you can determine what the buyer values. Questions can reach further into your buyer's needs and desires creating a picture of their unique value.
1.) Actively listen to what the buyer tells you in the initial conversation.
2.) Learn more by asking questions to create a unique picture of buyer value.
3.) Create a vision of unique buyer value.
These are the three easy steps to creating value in your next sale.