Three-Point Sale

By Pelletier, Ray | Independent Banker, March 2001 | Go to article overview

Three-Point Sale


Pelletier, Ray, Independent Banker


Master the three biggest pitfalls that championship sellers avoid

Successful selling involves more than just knowing about your bank's products and services. It's also about understanding customers and knowing how to construct a quality sales presentation. The most successful salespeople in any industry have mastered three steps before they become championship sellers.

Unfortunately, the average salesperson today focuses primarily on product or service features, and they give little thought to other factors necessary for sales success. In their haste to tout their products, salespeople often fall victim to three most common sales pitfalls that ultimately doom the sale:

not qualifying the customer;

not designing an effective sales presentation; and

not overcoming the customer's objections.

It your bank's employees are searching for ways to reach greater sales success, they need to implement three key sales steps into their daily routines. Doing so will enable them to attain the sales figures they and you both desire.

1. Qualify your prospective customers. The first step to becoming a championship seller is to qualify customers-a step that essentially involves determining what may motivate a particular customer to make a purchase.

Doing this, however, requires speaking to the decision-maker and finding out what will make that person ready to make a purchase. When employees effectively qualify their customers, they're essentially enabling customers to sell themselves.

The qualifying process should consist of a series of questions that help uncover customers' underlying needs and objections to making a purchase. Some common qualifying questions used in various industries are, "How important is quality to you and why?" and "Who will be using this product or service, and what's most important to that person?"

Other qualifying questions include, "What do you like most about the product or service?" "What do you dislike about your current situation?" and "Why are you ready to invest in this product or service now?"

These are standard questions salespeople ask. You should find out which questions are most appropriate to ask your bank's customers. Then make note of customers' answers, as these will later help you in the selling process when objections may arise.

The goal of qualifying is to help customers open up so they reveal what's important to them. Remember, the more your customers talk, the greater your chance of closing the deal.

2. Design your sales presentations. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople often make is not building a winning sales presentation. In fact, when asked whether they use a script during sales presentations, most salespeople say no. They mistakenly believe they're too professional or too busy to bother with a predetermined format to sell to customers. However, to sell more effectively, your bank's employees will need to think about a structured way of talking about each product or service they sell.

Most salespeople know that people buy out of emotion and justify with logic. However, most sales presentations overlook that reality. Instead, too many salespeople give presentations to impress their customers, when customers simply want to know how a particular product or service will benefit them. …

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