This article is part of our Key Fundamentals of IMPACT Selling® series.
The First Rule of IMPACT Selling® Is…
We’ve previously discussed the role the value formula plays in identifying and structuring communication of the benefits a customer gains in a salesperson’s solution. There can be major consequences associated with incorrect decisions when making certain larger purchases, and a buyer might not feel comfortable spending money with you until they are fully convinced that your solution can get the job done.
Wise sales professionals take it upon themselves to help buyers do their job. But remember—the first rule of IMPACT Selling® is “Don’t skip a step.”
In an effort to convince customers they have the best solution, salespeople tend to send too much literature in the early phases of a sales conversation and not enough when the customer could actually use it.
Here’s how to stop that from happening on your team.
Test Your Team
Here’s a training exercise you can do over the course of a month to give your team the best chance of overcoming customer objections.
Write down the most common objections and concerns customers give your team after they’ve presented your solution. In a group setting, raise two or three of those concerns to your salespeople, and ask them to tell you what Convince Tools they would send to overcome each of those objections. A Convince Tool is anything (or anyone) that helps overcome a prospect’s objection so they feel comfortable moving forward with the order.
For this exercise, tell your team to pretend they don’t get to speak with the customer again, so they can’t rely on their questioning ability to overcome the objection.
Ask them what Convince Tool they would send. Why would they send that piece rather than a different one? Running through the exercise of submitting the strengths and weaknesses of each resource to your team for 15 minutes a week helps them tremendously.
You’ll hear people say things like, “I never thought about using that resource,” “I didn’t know we had that,” or “I used to use that, but then I found this piece, and now I use this instead.”
Matching Proof Points With Behavior Styles
Once you’ve analyzed the merit of your sales collateral, you can take things one step further by aligning all of your proof points with the four behavior styles.
As a general rule, you won’t be effective if you send too little information to someone who wants a lot of it, too much information to someone who wants a high level of understanding, or any type of information to someone who prefers to speak with a live human.
Obviously, there is no hard-and-fast rule on what collateral you should send to someone based solely on their behavior style. However, it’s a great place to start.
Send Dominance, or Doer types, white paper abstracts, third-party claims or awards, or anything you can summarize with bullet points. D-types are direct and to the point. They like short conversations and have strong personalities. They think in terms of the bottom line and tend to make quick decisions. As the saying goes, “Be quick, be brief, be gone.” Be sure to give them access to the longer-form content if they want it, but just know they’re going to skim it (if they open it at all).
Influencers, or Talker types, will appreciate hearing from other clients. Send them testimonials and videos, or help set up a customer referral call (if you can arrange one). I-types are friendly, upbeat, and talkative, so anything focused on their personal nature is best. Be sure to avoid highly complex or long written material.
Steadiness, or Pacer types, can be a blend of both worlds. They value both thoughtful, research-backed information as well as the personal side of customer testimonials. If appropriate, ask them what information they would prefer to receive. If you have to guess, they’ll respond well to case studies with references, third-party awards and recognition, and customer testimonials that aren’t overly emotional.
Compliance, or Controller types, will also be interested in white papers, written case studies, third-party lab results, and anything data related. C-types are methodical and deliberate. They focus on the details because they’re concerned about doing things the right way. They tend to be skeptical, so include as many third-party resources as you can. That customer testimonial video on your website likely won’t do much for them.
Master the Art of Convincing
Mastering the art of convincing customers who are on the fence about buying is a crucial skill for sales professionals. Following the exercise in this article will certainly help your team provide the right information at the right time, but to elevate their long-term sales performance, consider enhancing their skills with our IMPACT Selling® Seminar. It’s an award-winning sales methodology that’s been taught to over a million sales professionals worldwide. A member of our team would be happy to talk with you about it. Still not convinced? Feel free to check out some of our case studies and customer testimonials—or whatever materials fit your behavior style the best!