In the last post, we began examining an example of a “retail” sales dialogue – in this case, a homebuilder with model homes open to visitors. So far, the prospect has revealed she is in a hurry, concerned about the speediness of the builder in completing homes, and would like to move quickly to take advantage of low interest rates.
Notice how the salesperson uncovers and deals with Pain, uses listening tools, and works toward developing trust by allowing the conversation to go beyond traditional bounds with discussions of the prospect’s concerns/Pain rather than just talking about the homes this company has to sell.
My comments regarding what’s going on in the conversation are in (parentheses).
Salesperson: Okay. And where are you living right now, Sharon? (It’s good to ask about your buyer!)
Prospect: I’m renting right now.
Salesperson: You’re renting? Okay. And is there a lease that’s terminating, or are you able to continue? (Good listening, looking for Pain…)
Prospect: It is terminating. I may be able to extend on a month-to-month basis, but I’m not sure what kind of rate that will be. (That’s more Pain, and urgency.)
Salesperson: Ah! I see. So, you really would like to just get this done and get into a new place? (That’s Level Two listening.)
Salesperson: Have you ever owned a home before, Sharon? (Good to keep asking questions.)
Salesperson: You have? Wonderful. And you went from your own home into a rental then? (Touching on possible Pain.)
Prospect: Well, I lived in a different part of the state, and when I moved to Phoenix I was just renting.
Salesperson: Oh, okay. What part of the state were you in? (Expressing an interest in the prospect—letting the conversation go beyond traditional bounds, which helps to build trust.)
Prospect: Down south in Tucson.
Salesperson: Oh, in Tucson. Oh, okay. Well, what possessed you to come up this way? (That’s expressing an interest about the person and something other than what you have to sell.)
Salesperson: So, you have folks in Phoenix and you want to be closer? It is a long haul down to Tucson. (That’s pushing on the Pain a bit.)
Prospect: It is. I used to run a cattle ranch down there.
Salesperson: Oh, you did? (Expressing interest.)
Salesperson: Well, wonderful. So, now here you are in a rental house and you don’t have any cattle with you. (Listening, tying to what she said.)
Prospect: Right. Not only am I worried about the slow delivery, but your lots seem awfully small. I really don’t like hearing people when I’m out on my patio. (Pain)
Salesperson: Well, you know, that’s an interesting issue that you feel like you would be out on your patio and you’d be able to hear other residents. I think that is a realistic concern. (Acknowledge the Pain; don’t be defensive.)
Prospect: What do you think you can do about that?
Salesperson: I don’t know. It depends on what you are willing to put up with. I think any time you move into an urban environment, there’s probably going to be a little more noise than you would have further out. How big was your ranch? (Answering the prospect’s question, then goes back to asking.)
Prospect: It was 150 acres.
Salesperson: 150? My gosh, well you had a wide-open space. (Listening, and expressing that you’re impressed, which is likely to feed your prospect’s EGO)
Prospect: Well, actually, father left me 660 acres, but I gave it off to the kids.
Salesperson: Ah, the kids! Keeping 150, that’s not exactly a small spread. (This is reﬂective listening.)
Prospect: No, but this is a lot different. So I really am worried about hearing people.
Salesperson: Understand. How is the noise in your rental now? Are you in an apartment, Sharon? (Acknowledging, and asking.)
Do you acknowledge your prospects’ concerns about your product or service—or try to ignore them? Acknowledgement is better!
We’ll continue this conversation and analysis in the next blog post!
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