Interacting with the Prospect – Customer

Selling Process - Skills - Article - Series

The main goal of interaction with the prospect many times is to sell the product or service. As a part of the interaction, a salesman is going to intensify the need of the prospect, convert it into a want, and create a favorable attitude for the specific product he is offering.

Goal of interaction




The main goal of interaction with the prospect many times is to sell the product or service. The first few minutes of the meeting with any customer is spent in determining the prospect’s mood and situation, his need and effort is made to capture his attention and interest in the conversation that is going to follow about the product or service.



As a part of the interaction, a salesman is going to intensify the need of the prospect, convert it into a want, and create a favorable attitude for the specific product he is offering. To create the want for his company product, the sales man presents the features, advantages and benefits of his product, and his business proposal for the transaction.



The salesman has also the job of convincing the prospect that not only he has to buy the product, but also that he has to buy from the salesman himself, because he is the best source or salesman to buy from and get service from.



SPIN – Series of questions




SPIN is a questioning technique in which series of questions are asked to bring out the need of the customer, intensify and convert it into a want for the product the salesman is offering.



In SPIN, ‘S’ stands for situation questions. These questions aim at the situation that gives rise to the need. For example, a salesman for children education product may talk of children the prospect is having, their current education and their plan for future education.





‘P’ stands for problem questions. IN this group of questions fall, questions that bring out the problems or difficulties perceived by the prospect relative to the situation questions. In regard to the education plans of children, these questions bring out the need for funds in the future and the difficulties the prospect is facing to plan for them.



‘I’ stands for implication questions. The implication if the problem is not solved is brought out in this group of questions. The fact that the child has to forego the preferred course or the family getting into financial difficulties in the absence of a financial plan for education is brought out in this group of questions.



‘N’ stands for need payoff questions. In this group of questions, the effort is to make the prospect agree that he has an important explicit need and he is interest in listening to the solution to the problems.



Thus SPIN questions set the background for a presentation of the features, advantages and benefits of the salesman’s offer.



Presentation




The presentation of the salesman’s offer has to follow three essential steps.



Step 1. Full discussion of the features, advantages, and benefits of the offer (product or service).



Step 2. Customer value plan: Explanation of how the customer is going to use the product.



Step 3. Business proposition: Relating the value of the product to the cost of the product. The general recommendation is to discuss the price of the product last, as you want the prospect to listen to the benefits and value first and cost later.



The presentation of the offer needs to include apart from the persuasive communication from the salesman, participation of the prospect, visual aids, proofs or proof statements, demonstration of the working of the product, and some dramatization.

A survey of sales managers brought out the importance of three factors in sales presentations - enthusiasm, persuasive communication, and verbal skills.

Persuasive communication is discussed in detail in a separate knol.


Trial close




In the presentation at various points of time whenever the prospect shows strong conviction about the merits of the product or offer, salesman needs to try for a close.
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