On average, 57% of the cycle of the sale is spent finding the need. This is also known as the needs analysis, questioning, qualifying, probing, the discovery phase, or the introduction. When you ask the right questions, your prospect will tell you the experience they are looking for, and in the process, they will close themselves.
Zig Ziglar once said, “we don’t buy what the product is, we buy what the product does for us.” In other words—people don’t buy things; they buy an experience.
People Don’t Buy Things
Buying an experience is more of an emotional process than a logical one. Significant purchases can almost always be tied to an experience. Let’s look at some examples:
- People don’t buy braces; they buy a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
- People don’t buy insurance; they buy peace of mind.
- People don’t buy boats; they buy years of relaxing on the water.
- People don’t buy convertibles; they buy Sunday drives with the wind blowing through their hair.
It’s all about tapping into emotions. Braces, insurance, boats, and convertibles don’t evoke an emotional response—but smiles, peace of mind, relaxing on the water, and Sunday drives do.
People only buy when they want what you’re offering more than the money it costs.
Read that again. Seriously. Even better than that, write it down and put it up on your wall so you can look at it every day. Because want is an emotion, and emotions sell a lot more often than logic does.
Are you asking the right questions so that your prospect feels that way about what you’re selling? Are you asking 10, 20, or 30 questions to learn as much as you can about your prospect? Keep asking questions until you can visualize the experience they are looking for—and then paint that picture for them and help them see it.
A Personal Example
People know me as a sales coach, but when I remind them that I am also an active salesperson, they often ask what I sell. I love that question because I do sell an experience. I sell peace of mind. I sell success. When I find a prospective client’s need, and I realize that sales coaching, consulting or training is the answer, I look them in the eyes and say something like: “Imagine how good it’s going to feel when you don’t have to worry about taking a vacation next year with your family. Because not only are you going to be able to afford it, but your business is going to run like a well-oiled machine while you’re gone. Imagine what that peace of mind is going to feel like. Now, to get you enrolled in our coaching program, I just need to know…”
So think about who your clients are and why people buy from you. What experiences are they looking for? Take some time to create those common stories ahead of time and practice using them, so you’re ready the next time you meet with a prospect.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!
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