Sales calls can be tricky and knowing how to talk to your customers can be hard.
Most businesses have problems getting potential customers to buy from them once they’ve got them as a lead. Often, the challenge starts when a business must first talk to a potential customer in a way that makes them want to work with you.
In this blog post, I’m going to outline a four-step process that will help you turn leads into sales. The process is based off of a seven-part framework, called StoryBrand, that we at Caffeine Marketing use to clarify a company’s messaging and marketing.
1. Identify What the Customer Wants
Every potential customer has something they want. They may want to increase leads, receive less spam, become better with time management, etc. All of our customers are looking for something. Your job is to identify what your customer’s core desire is.
You might work for a B2B company, and someone calls saying, “Hey, we really want our staff to not have to respond to generic emails”. Well, great! That’s the phrase they’re using to initially identify what they want.
Here’s a B2C example:
Let’s say you work in marketing with an interior design company and you’re on a sales call. You would need to ask your potential customer what their core desire is for their space. They may work with a property management company and want a great looking and efficient office kitchen to host large work parties. Or, they might be a home owner and want a great living room for movie nights. These sort of answers will determine the starting point for the rest of your sales call.
(We’ll stick with the interior design company example throughout the rest of the blog.)
But we can’t stop there. We have to learn what is motivating them to start solving this problem.
2. People Buy Products to Solve Problems
Imagine you have the option to either gain or lose money if you were to do a specific physical activity. Would you be more motivated to gain $100 dollars or lose $100 to do it? Based on research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, people are more motivated to lose weight if it involves losing money. The University discovered that “…the way in which a financial incentive is framed is important in determining its success”. Suffice it to say, I believe the way we frame things matters. Knowing motivation, or why a person is coming to you for a product or service, makes a world of a difference.
People buy products to solve problems. What your customers are looking for is a solution to a problem that is keeping them from getting want they want.
In the interior design company example, the potential customer might say they want a great kitchen, but they don’t know how to start.
They may be able to run their own property management company with no vacancies. Or, they might be able to organize the lives of their two sets of triplets with ease. But when it comes to interior design, putting together different patterns and materials in a way that works just doesn’t come naturally.
Once you discover they don’t know how to implement a kitchen design concept that works, you can offer a solution. To continue the conversation you have to uncover their core desire or motivation for coming to you. They may really need a kitchen to host large work parties and share memories, but they can’t do it without help.
In other words, after you find out their core desire, you have to find out what’s getting in the way. It might be lack of knowledge or they might not have the time to do what they want to do. Once you’ve learned what’s getting between them and their solution, you can frame your product as a problem-solver.
3. Position Your Product as the Solution
Our products must be positioned as solutions to people’s problems.
Imagine you’re at a cocktail party and you’re with a group of people sharing career stories. For you, now’s the perfect time to talk about – you guessed it – your interior design company. You start going on and on about your business. You go into great detail about how you started the company and how quickly the client base grew. You even tell them how everyone is talking about your design team on social media, giving you likes left and right. Soon though, you realize no one is listening.
That’s because your words have essentially become white noise and that once chattering group of people is starting to zone you out.
And the truth is, they won’t start listening to you talk about your company until you learn about them.
Only after a customer has entrusted you with their problems and needs can you position yourself, your product as the solution.
Positioning a product or service as a way to solve a person’s problem WILL get you more sales.
Often people aren’t just motivated by their external problem. They are also motivated by what they are feeling internally.
Yes, it’s about offering a product or service that will help them do something more efficiently. But ultimately, people are most motivated to buy products that solve their internal problems.
They want to feel better as well.
So when you and a customer are having an initial conversation about a particular design, you should want to help them feel better.
In other words, with lead calls we need to empathize with the potential customer before hopping into a sales pitch.
Recently, I was talking on the phone to a marketer at an interior design agency. Through all of the things he listed off that filled his work day, I could tell he was feeling overwhelmed. And I think that sucks so I told tell him that! “We don’t want you to feel that way. We want you to have peace of mind and ease the stress of your daily tasks.”
That’s positioning you and your product as a solution.
4. Paint a Clear Picture of Success
What are the benefits of working with or buying from you?
How are people’s lives going to be better after they buy your product and how is that going to make them feel?
Customers need to know what’s in it for them when they decide to buy or work with you.
As an interior designer, you would tell the customer about the result of working with your company. You might say, “you’re going to have a house that you love and your family and friends are going to want to spend time there”.
If you sell cars, you’d say, “you’re going to have a car that you look good in and you’re going to enjoy your commute”.
If you’re a personal trainer, you might say, “you’re going to look good in a swimsuit and love the way you look”.
You absolutely cannot make it clear enough what their life will be like after they buy or work with you.
What story are you telling in order to help turn these leads into loyal customers?