As an internet marketer, as well as someone who is involved with sales every day, I find myself always looking for the hidden undertones in advertising. This is especially true when I am actually looking to purchase something, where I find myself constantly grading the salesperson based in his or her ability to control the sales situation. It's incredibly interesting to see how people conduct themselves during the sales process.
Diagnostic sales is nothing new. In fact, if you've ever been to a doctor or dentist, you've experienced its brutal efficiency firsthand. Diagnostic sales is so effective, in fact, that many of the top sales-oriented organizations in the world are relocating their sales force from a "consultative" approach to a diagnostic one.
Why Diagnostic Sales is So Effective
If you consider how the sales process works it will only take you a second to realize that diagnostic sales is simply about providing a solution to your clients problem, whatever that problem winds up being. Whether that solution is the ideal pair of shoes for their ailing foot, or a multi-million dollar advertising campaign for their ailing sales, your role in the diagnostic process is to determine and recommend an effective solution.
The reason why it's so effective is actually quite simple. People hate being sold things, but love being provided answers to their problems. It's basic psychology: by shifting the sales process away from being a "sales" situation and instead a "solutions-focused" situation, you remove the psychological stigma of being "sold".
Learn How to "Prescribe"
Utilizing the diagnostic sales process is actually quite easy- it just requires you to retool your sales vocabulary and thought process a bit.
The first step is removing any preconceived ideas about what the sale will wind up being. What makes the diagnostic approach so effective is that you take the time to listen to your clients needs and problems and only provide a solution once you have one that will solve them. Would you give a prescription your doctor? What if you did not take the time to listen to your symptoms first?
Step one: Take the time to completely listen to and understand your clients needs before making a recommendation.
The second step is to ask exploratory questions that flesh our clients need or problem. For example, if your client is looking for a new car but is unsure of what type of vehicle to purchase, it would be a good idea to find out what they will be using their vehicle for. Will they be going off road? Do they have kids? Is speed and performance important to them? Do they need storage space? Questions like those will ensure you get the whole story, as well as ratify to your client that you're there to help them.,
Step two: Ask questions to round out your needs analysis so you have a clear picture of what your client needs.
The third (and final) step is to create and present a recommendation that adequately handles your clients needs. Going back to our car analogy earlier, if your client said that they go camping, are planning on having kids in the next year, and need a vehicle that's great in the snow you now know that a CUV / SUV is probably an ideal solution for Them. Knowing that, you can comfortably and confidently make a recommendation that meets their needs.
Step three: Present your recommendation with confidence and explain to your client how it meets their needs.
Some Other Important Information
You'll notice that price was never a topic of conversation during this process. The reason for that is simple: the right solution is the right solution, regardless of price. If you are recommending the right solution to your client, and your client knows and understands that you are doing so, price will not be as much of a concern. If price does become an objection you can then move from there and respond accordingly.
Just remember this: people will not care until they see how much you care. Aim to genuinely service your clients and your customer satisfaction, not to mention your overall sales performance, will take flight!