If you’re in sales, you have to think and act like a doctor. What do I mean by that?
What you do in a sales environment is consult for sales, and you need to think more along the lines of consulting to diagnose, to prescribe a solution.
We refer to it as P-S-Q: Problem, Solution, Question.
Start with a thorough consultative phase in our negotiation process. The SWISH method uses a twelve-step negotiation ladder that you can use to help you know when to get into this. Initially you’re looking for people’s problems. This is like when you walk into a doctor’s and they ask, “how long have you had the cough for? Okay, what other symptoms have you had? How’s it making you feel? Okay, are you allergic to anything? Have you had this problem before?” Consult, consult, consult. The idea is to get as much information about your customers’ situation and perceived problems as possible, so that you’re then able to present your product or solution as the solution, or prescription.
Okay, based around all that information, you’ll also be able to counter objections such as ‘not interested’, ‘I’ve got no money’, ‘I’ve got to talk to my partner’. Ask questions like, how long has this been going on for? What sort of training have you had previously? Whatever the answers are, you can now offer your solution, or diagnosis based on the information that the customer has given you. If you don’t consult and don’t find that information, you cannot diagnose the right problem.
After that it’s time to ask the question: based around everything that I’ve just said to you in return, do you think if you were to take this, or if you were to do this, that would solve your problem?
Yes, it would. The close should be easy from there. Doctors are the best closers in the world. They’ve got an air of authority. You walk in, they do a consultation, they diagnose, they prescribe, you buy. If you prescribe your solution before you’ve diagnosed what’s really wrong with your customer, what their true problem is, what their root cause is, or how our service or product is going to solve their solution, you are not going to close the deal.
So P-S-Q to consult for sales: problem, solution, now ask the question: Based on everything that we’ve discussed together just now, do you think our product or service is going to help you? If they say yes at that stage, we don’t ask do you want to get started, we just transition nice and easily into the close. After all, there is no value exchange until there is a transaction exchange. Your close should be something more like: based around everything that you’ve said it seems like this would suit you perfectly. The process to get you started is really simple, requires nothing more than a basic bit of information and I’ll take care of absolutely everything else for you. This wraps it up nicely for your customer and gets the ball rolling while they’re still in the mindset of how this will solve their problem and actually taking action to make it happen.
Any sales conversation is easy when you learn to step back and learn to approach the situation like a doctor, with problem, solution, question. To learn more about effective strategies for sales conversations and closing, read about our sales training, sales coaching, and sales courses. No matter if you are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast or anywhere in Australia we are able to assist in providing the most innovative ethical sales training.
Written by Ryan Tuckwood