Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video System step one: Explore, part of Sales Secrets for Small Business.
- The first part of this three-step sales process is Explore. The idea is we want to explore what it is that the customer wants most. Can we help this customer? We really don't know that until we've taken the time to explore this with them. This helps setup for the sales process later on. Explore is the most important part of the three-step sales process. So feel free to spend the majority of your time in this step exploring with the customer.
The more decision makers we have in the room or on the call, the easier it is to get all the information that we need to get. So I recommend that you take a moment and try to setup the call or the meeting to have everyone present. Exploration is about asking questions, so we want to ask our customers lots of questions to determine what they want versus what they need. The truth is, most people make their buying decisions based on what they want, because it's more about emotion.
One way to help you figure out this information is by using a questionnaire in advance of the official meeting. If you want an example of a simple questionnaire that you can use, go to chaosquiz.com. That is a questionnaire that I use for prospective customers. Also we want to ask second-level questions. Second-level questions are where take someone's answer and we ask a question beyond that. For instance, if they say, "I like the color blue," then we say, "Why do you like the color blue?" We want to question the answers that we get to questions.
And then we want to take notes on what people are telling us. Taking notes is important because it helps us know what we're going to focus on when we present, and it also communicates to the customer that we're really paying attention. Finally, after you go through the exploration, you want to restate what the customer has told you. One way to do that is by summarizing what they do want versus what they don't want. For instance, we might say, "You told me that you do want the color blue, "but you don't want the color red." This gives them the opportunity to correct you and make sure that you're on the same page.
Everything in the Explore step prepares you to present based on what the customer wants. In the next video, we're going to role-play the Explore step, and give you a brief example of how this process works.