Before beginning, it is essential to have some context. So, let’s understand what makes sales calls work in the first place. There are seven beliefs your prospect needs to have to buy, including:
- Pain: problem or unfulfilled desire
- Doubt: inability to fix that desire
- Cost: there has to be a consequence if the problem goes unfixed
- Desire: the compelling payoff of fixing the problem
- Money: resource or willingness to fix the problem
- Support: people around them or the stakeholders support them in the decision to fix the problem
- Trust: they trust your methodology to fix the problem
All the latter six are predicated on pain, so you cannot establish any of them until you establish pain.
How to Establish Pain
Thus, the first thing you should do on a sales call is show the pain. Now, there are two types of pain, a problem and an unfulfilled desire.
For instance, a problem takes somebody from subpart to part; a problem is when the day the doctor says if you don’t lose weight, you won’t see your children past the age of 10, whereas unfulfilled desire is, saying, I am 10% body fat, but I would love to bring it down to a 7%.
To understand this difference in a call, you need to ask the prospect about what challenges they face gently. Your tone should not sound offensive; instead, it should feel like you are willing to help them humanely. However, if you are still trying to get a proper answer to that, which is uncommon, ask them what the constraint is which is stopping them from doubling their business.
Ultimately, it would help if you started by asking about their goals, then elaborated on them and asked probing questions. Thus, you must identify the pain as soon as possible because all the other six beliefs depend on it.
Once you identify it, you need to understand it. To do so, you must ask basic probing questions like, ‘Tell me more,’ ‘When you said —, what did you mean specifically’ or ‘Can you elaborate?’
Chunk it down
The third step is to chunk down. Chunking down is assigning a specific instance or an example, taking the abstract, and making it concrete. So, for instance, if it is business related, you can ask how many leads they had and note down the numbers.
If you cannot get numbers, try to get examples. Hence, you can go from inconsistent to concrete. When they give examples and relive the moments while explaining what happened, emotions of pain, guilt, and shame will surface, which are emotions of change.
In conclusion, the first and most crucial phase of every sales call is identifying and comprehending the prospect’s pain or unmet need. Inquire first about the difficulties they are having or the limitations they are up against.
Then, ask probing questions and break the suffering down into concrete examples to get to the bottom of it. Adhering to these guidelines increases your chances of having a fruitful sales call and making a positive impact.