Why are you a good match for this customer?

“Better keep that writing pad handy,” Joe said when Matt finished scribbling. “You’ve got a little more homework to do tonight.”

“Yeah, I’m sure I do. But let me take stock of where I am in this drama,” Matt said, looking again at the laminated sheet Joe had given him in the airport to illustrate the nine acts of the Action Selling process.

“If I can get Iverson to agree on at least three high-yield needs that we can solve for him, then Act 4 is
over. Also, I’ve done all I can to address his first major buying decision, which is whether to buy the salesperson. I’m finally done ‘selling myself.’

Acts 2, 3 and 3 sell the salesperson. During Act 5 you sell your company.

“Let me rephrase that,” he added quickly, as Joe was about to speak. “Assuming I did everything right in Acts 2, 3, and 4, Iverson has made the first of his five major buying decisions: He has bought me. So now we move on to Act 5: I sell my company. After that, I’ll address his remaining buying decisions: product, price, and time-to-buy.”

“Right,” Joe said. “Now, when Action Selling says that the customer has ‘bought’ the salesperson, it means the customer is genuinely open to doing business with you. He perceives you as trustworthy, a good listener, and sincerely interested in solving his problems. Once you have agreed on his needs, you both can move ahead to his second major buying decision, which is whether to buy your company.”

Matt nodded.

“Up to this point,” Joe said, “you have done very little talking and a whole lot of listening. In Act 5, the salesperson moves to center stage. Here’s where you start to do more of the talking. You make that move easily and naturally with a simple transition question: ‘How much do you know about my company?’ After the customer answers, you say, ‘Let me cover a couple of things that I think will be important to you.'”

Matt noted the phrases on his legal pad…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).