After we complete phase one of the sales process, Need Analysis, we move into phase two, Need Awareness. There are two distinct parts to the Need Awareness segment of the process. First, the light must go on in the salesperson’s head, UNLESS THE PROSPECT SEES, UNDERSTANDS, AND BELIEVES THERE IS A PROBLEM, THERE IS NO PROBLEM and thus no need for your solution. Need Awareness applies to the salesperson AND the sales prospect.
“People” skills is important, 85% of our success is dependent on our people skills and attitude – regardless of profession. We must identify the true need without getting caught up in the symptom of the need. Even when we have discovered the client’s need, we must continue probe for two basic reasons (1) to be sure we have the true need and a symptom of the need and (2) to be sure the prospect understands that there is really a need.
The natural law of homeostatic balance says that an organism stays in perfect balance until acted upon by an outside force. The outside force causes the status quo to be disrupted and the organism becomes out of balance. We rarely take action until we are out of balance. Once we are out of balance, we will take the proper steps to correct or right our balance. Homeostatic balance is helping the prospect understand there is a need and by showing where the prospect is out of balance, the sales professional upsets the homeostatic balance. We must discover where there is an imbalance and point it out in a convincing manner, this makes the prospects uncomfortable or unhappy with their condition or situations, that means we are now in a position to make a sale because our prospect wants to solve their problem.
If we need to help the prospect become aware of specific needs, five areas of knowledge will benefit us. Enthusiasm for the product or service comes from product knowledge. Confidence in our sales presentation is dramatically affected by product knowledge. Regardless of how good we feel about ourselves, if we do not thoroughly understand our product, we will face great difficulty in generating confidence. The more we know about our product, the more we believe in our product. The more we know about our industry in general, the more we are able to understand the all-important “why”. Basic industry knowledge and in-depth customer profiles will set us apart from the vast majority of people in sales profession. We must also know the importance of pricing knowledge and it can be known as “in-depth” product knowledge. When we understand pricing, we understand how we are helping ourself , our organisation and our prospect. Pricing knowledge includes many different areas and we need to focus on showing the prospects how and why the price of our product or service is fair to them. The use or application of our product will help us enormously in showing the prospect the need for our product. If we understand how our product, goods or services can be used, and we can help others understand the process, we will help more people and make more sales. Competition knowledge will help us in many ways when we are showing the prospects how we can meet their needs.
People do not care how much we know until they know how much we care – about them. To be super successful in helping others discover and cure their imbalance, we must constantly keep prospects’ best interests in mind. Selling is a transference of feeling. When we believe in what we are selling, honestly feel that the prospect is going to be big winner in the transaction, show genuine concern and interest in the client, and terminate all sales calls politely, pleasantly, graciously and in friendly manner, everyone wins. When we miss the sale, it is even more important to make a cheerful, friendly, optimistic and courteous exit than it is when you make the sale. Our most powerful weapon at proving imbalance is the “tough” question and we must earn the right to ask.
(Adapted from “The Ultimate Handbook for the Complete Sales Professional – Ziglar on Selling”, Chapter 8 – Making the Lights Go On – Need Awareness for the Sales Pro AND the Sales Prospect, by Zig Ziglar)