In this article, leading Telecoms Sales Expert Andy Preston explains some of the ‘buyer thinking’ that goes on in prospect’s buying process – that most salespeople aren’t even aware of!…….
Whenever I’m working with a telecoms company, one of the main reasons they tell me they wanted to work with me specifically, was that they wanted to get more of an insight into the way that buyers think.
And by the word ‘buyer’, we’re not just meaning professional purchasing staff here, we’re meaning ANYONE that has responsibility for dealing with the purchase of mobiles and associated products.
A lot of my work is about the ‘buyer mentality’ – and how to tap into that, as before I was a top-selling salesperson in my own right, I was a professionally-trained buyer – which gives me a unique perspective on what makes people buy, and what makes them NOT buy.
So why do I say that most telecoms (and specifically mobile) salespeople are often ‘too late?’ Here are my reasons……
If the prospect has been looking at their next mobile contract for a while, the fact that you’ve only just bothered to call them up is going to count against you in most cases. They might give you an appointment – they’re going to get a number of ‘competitive quotes’ after all – but just because they’ve agreed to speak with you over the phone (or see you face-to-face) doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got a good chance of winning their business!
Add to this the fact that most of your competition will only call the prospect shortly before their contract end date, and then you wonder why buyers think you’re all the same?
That isn’t really helping you stand out from the competition, is it?
I’m talking specifically here about the timing of sending your proposal. In my experience proposals about mobile phone contracts fall into one of two camps, the ‘back-of-a-fag-packet’ type, and the ’20-page proposal’ type.
If you prefer the longer type proposal, be aware that the time it takes you to prepare the proposal is crucial. Note – I’m not advocating you do a ‘back-of-a-fag-packet’ job here, just making you aware of the impact time can have on the success of your proposal – or not.
Here’s a bold statement. The LONGER it takes for your proposal to reach the prospect, be prepared for the fact that the LESS likely you are to win the deal.
Why do I say that? Simply because the proposals that reach the prospect first are more likely to be studied closely, compared to when they have 5,10, or more to look through! And if they’re read through a few already, how closely do they really want to study yours?
Another big reason that most mobile phone salespeople lose deals, is that they take too long to get back to prospects – and some don’t even get back to them at all!
This applies if the prospect asks you to send them an email. It applies if you’ve promised to lend them a handset. It applies if they’ve asked you to find out some specific information for them.
In all of these situations, like it or not, you’re also being judged. Why? Simply because the longer you take to get back to the prospect, the longer the prospect thinks you’ll take to sort out future problems for example.
How likely is it that the prospect will do business with someone that takes ages to get back to them? Not very….
This is a HUGE mistake that most mobile phone salespeople make – and if you can avoid making this in future, you’ll go a long way towards bringing in more business and improving your sales figures!
Most salespeople think that the PROPOSAL is the main thing that helps them win (or lose) the deal. They’re wrong.
Often, often buyers have made their decision on who they’re going to use (or at least have a good idea) BEFORE the proposal stage – and if most of your effort goes into the ‘proposal’, then you’ve got a problem.
Managers – have you ever interviewed for an employee, and even though you’re going to a 2nd interview, you’ve already got a ‘favourite’ or ‘favourites’ from the 1st interviews? Of course you have. Exactly the same thing happens in a buying situation as well.
So, in order to increase your chances of winning the deal, focus on the things that happen BEFORE the proposal stage – like your questioning, your understanding of their TRUE needs, and their appreciation of you and your solution – and you’ll be much more successful!
Follow the tips above and watch your sales soar! I look forward to hearing how you get on……..
He runs the Ecademy ‘Sales And Cold Calling Tips Club’ as well as writing for magazines, newspapers and trade journals all around the world on anything related to sales and selling.
You can get Andy’s free cold calling and sales tips HERE