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The first thing to understand about concept selling is that consumers don’t really approach a transaction looking to buy a product or service. People spend money to purchase something that they think will benefit them in some way. The most successful sales people understand what the prospect hopes to accomplish with the product or service and knows exactly how to tie what he or she is selling with a solution to the customer’s problem. Using a conceptual selling approach offers numerous benefits, including:
- Allows the sales representative to get to know the customer at a deeper level and focus on achieving results
- Draws attention away from pricing to deter the customer from going to a lower-priced competitor
- Offers a way to stand out from the competition
- Makes it easier for sales professionals to determine early on which customers will bring in the most revenue while costing the least to nurture
Conceptual Selling in Action
For the sake of example, assume that a car dealership just sold a new car. That’s always exiting, but salespeople often neglect to look at the big picture. A new car replaces an old one that no longer works efficiently. This is a straight product sell, which only looks at the immediate need.
A car salesperson who incorporates conceptual selling will help the prospect visualize future automotive needs as well. He or she asks the prospect to consider ongoing transportation needs and the best ways to meet them. In this example, the sales representative would ask the prospect to think about potential future problems with the car and how he or she will meet them when the need arises. This gets the prospect thinking beyond the moment and establishes an early long-term relationship between sales representative and client.
Steps Involved in Using a Conceptual Sales Approach
The first step in any sales process is gathering information from the client<. The sales representative should ask detailed questions to qualify the prospect, such as more information about their company’s problem areas. This helps to develop trust and learn more about how the prospect handles major decisions. It also sets up the selling organization as a credible one.
Moving on, the salesperson should now focus on answering the prospect’s questions and providing detailed information about the product or service. This is another important area where it’s important for the presenter to separate his or her company’s products and services from those offered by the competition. It’s time to capitalize on known strengths to generate excitement and trust with the customer.
After making a sales presentation, the last step is to obtain a commitment from the prospect. If the person can’t provide one, it means that he or she feels the sales representative presented a losing proposition. The prospect couldn’t visualize the benefits from it, regardless of cost. To win a customer, it’s important to keep expectations realistic and listen to his or her needs and objections. If it doesn’t appear to be a good fit by the end of the presentation, a smart salesperson will walk away from the deal rather than continue to pour time and resources into a prospect unwilling to commit.