UNCOVERING THEIR SECRET NEED… in 1996 the Procter & Gamble Company was working with a substance called HBPCD. They discovered that it removed unpleasant smells from rooms and clothing. It was magical… it really worked. The P&G scientists developed a product around their findings and called it Febreze. It was marketed as a spray that "eliminates odors". It was a colossal failure! The reason it failed is because P & G learned that the consumer does not notice the smells in their environment… you get used to the smells around you and ultimately you do not even know they exist. Other people smell them but you don't (example: the smell of smoke, pets, cooking, etc.). The scientists kept hearing things like, "Why would I buy something I don't need?". Procter & Gamble had spent millions of dollars developing and promoting the product and it was a colossal bust.
Fast forward two years… the researchers then discovered that if they added a pleasant odor to the Febreze spray then people started to use it. P&G realized that "We were looking at it all wrong. No one craves scentlessness. On the other hand, lots of people crave a nice smell after they've spent 30 minutes cleaning." They started marketing it differently. They had discovered their customer's "secret need". The consumer wanted things to smell nice. Febreze became wildly successful. By1998 their customers had spent more than $230 million on the product… what a turnaround!
The message is clear…Sales results are entirely dependent on meeting the Prospect's needs. Identify their need and you will create a sale.
Here is your ACTION STEP… the most successful Salespeople are the ones that identify and meet their Customer's needs. Sometimes those needs are less than obvious. The only way to get to the bottom of this conundrum is to ask more questions. Here's some examples…
NEEDS AND MOTIVATION QUESTIONS
1. "Tell me more about what you are looking for"
2. "What specifically is going to make a difference for you?"
3. "How flexible are you on your criteria… what are your must haves?"
4. "How soon do you want to make this happen, what's your timeline?"
5. "What's the next step for you?"
6. "How important is it that… (add a phrase related to their overall motivation) Eg: "…we come in under budget?)
7. "Help me understand why you are considering making a change"
8. "What is important to you about making the right decision here?"
It is critical that you develop the confidence to ask these types of questions. Practice doing so and pick the ones that work best for you. Once they become part of your daily sales routine, your customers will start saying things like… "She really seemed to understand what we wanted" & "We connected much better than the last two Salespeople we spoke to". The curious thing about Selling is that oftentimes the Prospect is not 100% clear on what they want. Your job is to help provide some clarity. By asking the right questions and continuing to dig deeper, you will not only make more Sales, you will do so in a shorter period of time and…they will get what they want. NO Excuses.