Every prospect has a unique story. Their needs might sound similar on the surface, but when you dig deeper, you’ll gain the insider information that wins deals!
Follow this three-step exercise and let’s put your ability to uncover opportunities to the test![private]
Step 1 - Hot Prospects
Pull out five sheets of paper and number them 1 through 5. Each page represents one hot prospect. At the top of Page 1, write the name of your hottest prospect. On Page 2, write the name of your second hottest prospect… on Page 3, your third hottest prospect… continue the process until you’ve listed one hot prospect per page.
Step 2 - Specific Needs
Next, focus on only one hot prospect page at a time. Set the other four prospect pages aside to keep your focus on that one prospect. Under the prospect’s name, write down your answers to the following questions…
- What specific needs or frustrations does this prospect have?
- How does my product/service specifically accommodate their needs or help overcome their frustrations?
Work through each prospect page until you’ve completed the exercise for each of your Top 5 prospects.
Step 3 - Crack the Shell
Now it’s time review all of your answers side-by-side. How do the needs, frustrations, and recommended solutions compare? Are your answers fairly similar or significantly different for each prospect.
If your answers look like this…
- Frustrated with Customer Service
- Looking to Improve Efficiency
- Wants to Save Money
- Product Integration is Important
…you only have a generic, surface level, overview of this prospects needs. This type of information makes your entire presentation and your follow-up look like a bunch of undifferentiated sales babble.
Instead, you want your notes on each prospect to be extremely specific. Crack the shell to get below the surface. Something like…
- Customer Service – Joe’s current service reps don’t answer questions effectively. He gets bounced around to five different people with five different answers. He wants to work with an account manager who is a product expert. When complex questions arise He needs a go-to person who can answer questions immediately and correctly.
- Efficiency & Integration – Joe is frustrated with the idea of having to enter the same data into multiple products. He needs an integrated solution that will allow him to enter information one time and have it feed into all three department systems (Sales, Operations, Accounting).
- Save Money – They are happy with our current proposal… but want to review options for using our SaaS application rather than installed software and hardware. We are working on a cost benefit analysis for both options. My numbers show a savings of $100,000 per year if they go with the SaaS model.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These notes should be words that came directly out of the prospects mouth… not words you translated into your own version of the story.
Now you are working with real information! Develop your ability to work beyond generalities. When a prospect tells you they need to be more efficient, don’t just write down “Efficient” and blow past the details. Dig deeper and say, “Tell me about the specific areas where are you trying to be more efficient?”
That’s the difference between success and failure. It’s specific insider information that wins deals!
What are some of your best techniques getting your prospects to share detailed insider information?