As a sales rep, it’s your job to convince the buyer that you’ve got the solution to their problems. But how exactly do you get a sales lead from the point of zero product awareness to enthusiastic buyer?
Today we’re talking about perhaps the most foundational of all sales techniques—how to convince a customer to buy from you. And stay tuned. We have a lot more to talk about than you might think!
Selling Mind Control
The crooked smile. The slicked-back hair. The patchy sports coat. We’ve all seen the old caricature of a sales rep before. You know the type—the one who’d step over their own mother just to close a deal. They’re one part charmer and two parts swindler.
But we in the sales industry know that grifting a lead into buying a shoddy product is worse than just bad business. It poisons your reputation. Kills any chance at repeat customers. And decimates your earning potential.
Instead, a truly successful sales rep knows value-based selling is the way to go. This form of selling prioritizes the buyer’s needs. And instead of pitching them on a product at every stage of the buyer’s journey, this type of rep does their best to offer value stage by stage. They assess the situation, identify the problem, determine if they have a solution, and then (and only then) will they start closing the deal.
But even after picking out the perfect solution, they still need to convince the buyer they have exactly what they’ve been looking for.
Now, there are plenty of ways to approach this pivotal moment, the pitch. Some dig deep into emotions, others focus purely on logic. But over my career, I’ve found that a mix of the two is by far the most effective.
Today, I’m showing you my proven four-step process for convincing customers to buy from you. And with it, you’ll be able to turn even the toughest sells into enthusiastic brand evangelists in no time flat.
Ready? Let’s do this.
1: Understand Where The Buyer Is
If you’ve been doing things right up until this point—you know, researching the business, investigating pain points, asking about past solutions they’ve used, etc.—then you should already have a pretty good idea of the problem your buyer is facing.
What you need to do here is call it out. Call out the, say, inefficient teams they’ve been dealing with. Or the frustrating accounting system that no one quite understands. Or a lack of engaged customers.
Bring it all up in the pitch with your buyer. Get them to think, “This guy really understands what I’m going through.”
But don’t stop there.
The trick is not to just point out the pain. But to take it one step further by getting the lead to feel that pain.
Founder of the MEDDICC sales framework Andy Whyte put it to me like this in our interview:
“Now, implicating the pain is the one that really elite sellers do. Where it’s like, I’ve found some pain, I’ve quantified it, but now I’m going to really make you feel it.”
How are those problems impacting their work-life? Their opportunities for advancement? Their respect they get around the office?
What are those pains doing to hurt their reputation? Their finances? Their sense of fulfillment?
Hit those points and hit them hard.
2: Point Out the Barriers
Similar to picking out the pain points, this step also builds rapport and gets the buyer thinking, “Man, he knows his stuff!”
What is it that’s holding the buyer back from solving this problem on their own?
In most cases, the barriers fall into four different categories: Selection overwhelm, confirmation bias, blowback risk, and cost of change.
Let’s take a look at each.
A) Selection Overwhelm
Now, selection overwhelm is a big one. In almost any industry, you’re going to have competitors. And sometimes, it’ll be a lot of competitors.
If a prospect hasn’t solved their problem yet because they see so many potential solutions but don’t know which to choose, that’s selection overwhelm. Your job up to this point should have been to differentiate your product enough to make it clear why you stand out from the rest.
B) Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias. This bias is essentially our tendency to stick with our past decisions and look past its faults rather than work with something new.
C) Blowback Risk
Blowback risk, which is the risk of your potential buyer looking stupid if things don’t work out. The solution to this barrier is your brand, reputation, reviews, case studies, etc.
D) Cost of Change
Cost of change. Now there will always be costs to implementing a new solution. But if you can make your buyer’s job as easy as possible, say by providing complimentary training or free support for a year, then you can help them overcome this barrier.
So during your pitch, you should pick out which barrier your prospect has been hitting in the past. And then later in step #4, we’re going to loop back and show them how you tear that barrier down.
3: Paint a Picture of Where They Want to Be
What does life look like after your buyer’s found the right solution? Are they more productive? Is their team more efficient? Are they happier? Do they sleep better at night?
Really try to paint a clear picture of what their life could be like with the right solution.
And try to cover a broad spectrum of effects—how has their productivity changed? How has their home life changed? How has their career trajectory changed?
Now obviously, you’ll want to make this picture as positive as you can. But it’s important to be authentic here. Don’t promise them a new reality that your product can’t create. Upgraded accounting software can do wonders for your bookkeeping but saying it’ll give your buyer a six-pack, 7-figure salary, and a perfect head of hair isn’t going to fool anyone.
The point here is to get them connecting the solution to their problem with a brighter, happier future.
4: Establish Yourself as the Guide
Remember those barriers to a happier life we talked about in step #2? Well now it’s time to bring in the details on how you help buyers overcome those barriers.
If they’ve been held back by selection overwhelm, hit them with your core differentiators. Confirmation bias? Show them how your solution outperforms what they have now. Blowback risk? Case studies and testimonials. Cost of change? Throw in free onboarding or even an immediate discount to reduce the risk.
But ultimately, explain that you are the connection between their current reality—with all its pain points and frustrations—and the glowing future reality we painted a picture of before.
You can get them there. They just need to let you lead the way.