Does “helping” generate more sales than just selling?

helping sales

In this article, I will show you why the old always be closing, demonstrating why your product/service is the best choice, leads to high chances of failure and how to generate more sales in a consultative way.

Whether it’s a quick and simple sale, like a T-shirt, or a long, complex sale, as a software development service, the rule is the same.

One of the first reasons always be closing is inefficient is that today people want to hear something that makes sense in their reality, in their business scenario.

They don’t want a monologue where the salesperson just talks about why their product/service is the best choice.

People want to make sure their problem is understood firsthand. If the seller communicates that he understands the real problem and that the solution offered will solve it, the sale will be natural.

As told by bestselling human relationship writer Dale Carnegie :

People don’t want to feel like something is being sold to them, they want to feel like they’re buying something.

The “hooks” in the sales dialogue are essential for the potential customer to feel this connection between the problem they have and how the solution can help.

The times at which hooks can be used vary widely, and actually, practice will help the salesperson feel the right moments to execute them. After all, a seller is like wine, the older the better 😛

A perception we had in our team is that, in general, when the potential client reveals relevant data, it is an interesting time to use the hooks and enhance the lead’s empathy and connection.

When the lead reveals data such as objectives/targets, difficulties/problems, specifics of the market in which it operates, budget, physical structure (internal tools, team, processes), it is certainly a significant opening.

  • Objectives/Goals:  Demonstrating how the solution offered can lead you to achieve these goals in a shorter time or in a safer and more sustainable way is a good way to go.
  • Difficulties/problems:  Once the potential customer reveals his/her difficulty/problem, linking the way in which the solution resolves it is critical. By demonstrating this in a second moment, there are great chances that the potential customer will not have the same attraction for the solution as in the first moment.
  • Market specifics:  Demonstrate that the solution meets these specificities well or that it has already served other customers with the same scenario, for example.
  • Physical structure (internal tools, team, processes):  Demonstrating that a current process has errors or that the wrong tools are being used by linking this to how the solution would put these things in order can be a good move.

Now let’s go to a more practical example, which demonstrates some specific points and differences:

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  1. Seller 1
  2. Seller 2
  3. Situation 1
  4. Situation 2

Seller 1

Client: I am looking for a chemical to clean the floor in my house.

Seller 1: I have the right thing! This product here will serve you very well, I’m sure! It has a magic formula that removes dirt, however, encrusted it may be, and dries very quickly. 1 liter costs R$10 and, taking 2 liters, I can make it for R$15.

Client: I’ll take another look around and I’ll be right back.

Seller 2

Client: I am looking for a chemical to clean the floor in my house.

Seller 2: Okay, but I need to understand your case better. Why do you want to clean the floor? Spilled something specific? And is your floor made of hardwood, slate, or what other material?

Client: It’s my middle child and my youngest, they spilled paint and the floor is made of hardwood.

Seller 2: I understand, since you have children at home you need something that won’t do you any harm and, as the floor is made of hardwood, it would have to be a product that doesn’t stain or is corrosive. How much are you thinking about average spending?

Customer: Exactly! I was thinking of something around R$20.

Seller 2: Good with these 3 factors that you presented to me and what you have to invest in this product X is what you need. It does not have a strong smell, it would not affect the children’s health in any way and, in addition, it is suitable for your floor and removes all the paint. Other customers have already taken it in a similar situation. It’s costing R$22, a little higher than I thought, but it’s the best option, considering what you told me. Could this be the same?

Customer: That could be it!

Guys, of course, the above situation was quite banal and simple! But let’s get to the differences and what’s behind them.

Situation 1

Seller 1 just wanted to sell, at no time did he try to “help”. He didn’t make hooks that made sense for the customer to think he was making a good purchase. The salesperson didn’t even fully understand what the real situation was and whether he could really help that customer at that particular moment.

This is one of the big mistakes in sales. Sellers often imagine that the customer has a problem that he can certainly solve, just because the customer has contacted and asked about their product/service!

The seller, assuming that he already knows what his potential customer’s pain/problem is, ends up being too hasty and already tries to point out that his product/service is the best solution, even before he fully understands what the customer’s real problem has, what causes that problem and what are the consequences.

If this survey was done well, the salesperson would see the best way to demonstrate how their product/service could solve the problem, so the customer would perceive value in that solution, would feel that that purchase makes sense, and would also generate a sense of urgency in the purchase.

Situation 2

Seller 2 was able to make a consultative sale, even though it was a short and extremely simple sale. At first, he tried to understand the potential customer’s pain, what the customer’s problem really was!

When questioning why the customer wanted to clean the floor, if it was a specific product that was spilled, and what was the material on the floor, seller 2 got the information he needed and got another one as a gift.

In short, the salesperson was able to understand the initial problem, paint on the hardwood floor, and later discovered that the customer had children, information that he used to his advantage in the process.

With this response from the customer, the salesperson was able to make a consultative sale, seeking the information he needed and, at the same time, making hooks with the two problems raised, the stain on the floor and keeping the children healthy at home.

All of this made the customer realize that the seller really understood his problem and saw much more value in the product/solution. Even with the product a little more expensive than the customer’s budget limit, the sale flowed with ease.

The hooks, in any sale, are extremely important, as this way it is possible to link the solution (product/service) to the potential customer’s problem/pain in a much more influential way. It’s like speaking the same language as the customer.

I see this as the biggest challenge in closing more sales: getting a valuable connection between the information that is gathered from the potential customer and the solution offered, in a way that makes sense and makes the customer really feel that they need that solution to solve his problem at that moment.

For every salesperson, the sales made always differ from each other, but the service/product he sells is always the same. A tip is to create a script of questions to ask, or data that are important at the time the diagnosis of the sale is carried out.

Of course, the questions do not need to be exactly the same as the ones in the script at the time of the conversation with the client, but they will certainly help to better fit the question into the information and the ideal hook, collecting the necessary data at the right time and generating authority to the Same time.

I believe this will always be the biggest challenge in sales, asking the right questions, in the right way, at the right times, and connecting the information raised with your solution, in a way that makes sense to your potential customer, generating urgency and authority in them. If you succeed, you will definitely close more sales.

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