Convincing someone to part with their money is a tough job, but it doesn’t have to be.
What makes calling prospects difficult isn’t having a conversation – something each of us do multiple times a day with friends and family – rather, it’s trying to have a conversation while convincing someone to buy something.
The best salespeople don’t approach their conversations that way, and neither should you. Instead of focusing on the features of what they sell, top salespeople focus almost entirely on their prospect. This type of prospect-focused outreach creates the types of relationships every salesperson wants and creates the sales results most dream about.
To learn how to be more prospect-focused in our outreach, we sat down with Patti DeNucci, an award-winning ‘chief connector’ and author of the new book More Than Just Talk. She explained how any salesperson can shift the focus from themselves to their prospects to provide more value and drive more sales!
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: Patti recommends triggering a prospect-focused system not as a singular event but treat it as a habit that occurs across your sales activity. That means defining what ‘great’ looks like in each of your sales conversations so that you have goals. She recommends running your end of any conversation through the ‘WAIT’ filter:
Triggering this system means asking ‘why am I talking’ in any conversation. If what you are sharing, or about to share, isn’t focused on making your prospect more successful, you will want to re-assess whether it’s worth sharing.
R – Repeatable: To make focusing on your prospect a repeatable process, Patti says to begin by focusing on what you need to do to show up as the best version of yourself, because if you don’t have a positive attitude to give, then it will be hard to focus on your prospect. If your energy isn’t consistent from one call to another because you’re ‘faking it’, your prospects will know.
Next, set intentions on what you want to accomplish in your next conversation. That doesn’t mean selling something. According to Patti, it means deciding how you want to listen. You should be listening 60% of the conversation or more.Finally, focus on the quality of the conversation. If it isn’t leading towards a great relationship, Patti says to be willing to exit the conversation. If you see the conversation is leading in the right direction, ensure you continue to deliver quality by setting a next step and delivering on any materials you promised to send.
I – Improvable: To improve the way you stay focused on your prospects; Patti says to listen to your sales calls and have a trusted peer review your calls as well. Listen for how much you’re asking prospect-focused questions and how much time you’re focusing on your product or service’s features, your company, and your accolades. You can even create a percentage breakdown of how much time you spent talking or how much time your prospects spent talking so you have a benchmark to beat in the future.
M – Measurable: To measure how prospect-focused you are, and the results you’re getting, Patti recommends we track not just overall sales, but also what’s happening ‘beyond the sale’ – which means what interaction is happening even if a sale isn’t made? Are your prospects referring you to others, developing relationships with you of their own accord. That’s the measure of whether you’re succeeding in being prospect focused.
If we want to hve prospects focus ons, it starts with focusing on them