IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

A Crazy-Simple Three-Step Sales Process (That Even Techies Can Follow)

It’s all about helping prospects identify a desired future and demonstrating how your solution can make that a reality. By Jennifer Bleam

THERE'S ONE THING that you must have in order to build your business: sales. It doesn't matter if you're offering traditional IT services or advanced cybersecurity solutions. It doesn’t matter if you generate hundreds of qualified leads every year. What does matter is your ability to close a sale. If you cannot make a sale, your business doesn’t grow. Here is a simple three-step process to help you close more sales.

Step 1: Reveal The Gap

During your sales conversation, your first job is to discover the gap (hence the sales phrase “doing discovery”) and to make sure the prospect sees it. Prospects want something they don’t have today, which means there is a hole between today’s reality and the desired future.

Be careful: There will be times that you see a Grand Canyon-sized gap, such as lack of proper cybersecurity protection, but your prospect is focused on smaller challenges like lack of customer service, minor tech issues, or productivity lag.

The trick is to not simply tell them what the giant gap is. (When you tell someone something, that person is naturally inclined to argue with you.) Rather, ask questions that will help prospects see (“discover”) the gap for themselves, which will make them much more likely to embrace the idea of bridging the gap.

Step 2: Feel The Gap

If you’ve done a great job with Step 1, your prospect is now aware of a gaping hole in his or her life, business, or relationship with the current service provider. Resist the temptation to present your solution and ask for the sale.

You’ve helped the prospect logically and analytically recognize the gap. But in order to bridge that gap, you must help the prospect feel it.

To get from Point A to Point B, there must be change, which humans hate. In fact, if you don’t engage the prospects’ emotions, they won’t buy. Emotion is the missing puzzle piece in almost every sales process. You must help prospects feel the emotional impact to their company, their employees, their clients, and to themselves personally. The more you help them feel the negative emotions associated with staying in today’s state, the closer you are to making the sale. When they desire the positive emotions of the future, this creates urgency.

According to Keenan, author of Gap Selling, “A sale is not based on whether or not your service is superior to any other. It is based upon your ability as a salesperson to enable the desired outcome and HELP THE PROSPECT FEEL WHY THEY WANT OR NEED YOUR SERVICE.” (Emphasis mine.)

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