When I sold franchises in 1972, I drove a big new Cadillac. I would pick up the prospects at their home, and as I walked toward my car I would say, "Gee, I have a headache, do you mind driving?"
By the time Mr. & Mrs Prospect got to my office they wanted a car just like mine. They would buy the franchise I was selling to get a Cadillac with the profits they were sure to make. I involved the prospect in the sale from the first 5 seconds.
How involved is your prospect when you make a presentation?
Tactile (touch, feel) involvement leads to the feeling of ownership.
If you want to find out how receptive a prospect is to your product or service,
get them involved early and often in the selling process.
Obviously a product being demonstrated is easier to involve the prospect than a service, but if you use your creativity, you'd be amazed at how involved you can get someone. Below are some areas to consider and try:
Involvement in the presentation set up
- Ask for help with an easel, slide projector, etc.
- Ask for something – paper, special marker, board eraser.
- Ask him to plug things in or help you move something.
- Take the offered cup of coffee or soda.
- You can even request stuff the day before to be ready and in the room for your presentation (markers, projector).
Involvement while demonstrating a product
Prospect physical involvement is the single most important aspect of the selling process. Let him do the demo, push the button, work the copier, drive the car, hold something, help me put this together, make the call, scan the document. Get the picture? Even though you know how to do it, you're not going to impress the prospect with a wiz–bang demonstration, you're going to bore him.
Try to let the prospect do the entire demonstration if possible. The more the prospect does himself (successfully), the more ownership he will take as he gets closer to decision.
Look and listen for buying signals:
- Big smiles
- Words of praise
Involvement while explaining a service
Get the prospect to follow along. Read aloud. Play a part in the demonstration. Take a test. Do anything interactive that is fun and creates interest. A 20–minute pitch (monologue) is not nearly as effective as a 10–minute interaction (dialogue).
Involvement techniques and questions
Ask open ended and probing questions to determine how interested the prospect is:
- How do you see yourself using...
- If you decide yes, when would you...
- Can you see this working in your environment?
- Do you see how easy it is to operate?
- What are the features you like best?
- Let the prospect sell himself – How do you think this will benefit you/your company?
- Ask the prospect if he/she can qualify or afford the product.
NOTE: When you have finished the demonstration take things away from the prospect, turn things off, and remove all literature. This eliminates all distractions and keeps you in control of the selling process. If the prospect asks to play with something again, or see something again – it's a buying signal. Close on it.
Try to create some involvement that puts a pen in the prospect's hand. This way he's ready when you give him an order form to sign.
Prospect involvement lets them have a sense of ownership that leads to a purchase.
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