PARTNER UP to Turn Prospects into Buyers
A prospect, like everyone else, is in some kind of pain. A distributor’s job is to both uncover that pain and understand how the right promotion will help alleviate it. My PARTNERS model is a simple acronym that will help you explain the features and benefits of your offering in such a way that your prospect will understand how accepting your offer will relieve his or her pain. Follow it, and you’ll dramatically accelerate your selling career.
P—Pain: uncover, understand and translate it. To learn how you can move your customers, you must have a strong understanding of their core issues, as this is generally where their pain starts. Rather than having a personal vision of pushing a product or service on others, have a vision of how your product or service will make your prospect’s life better.
A—Access your prospect’s real situation. To access the real, or hidden, need of your prospect, you must get him talking and you must focus on active listening. If you are trying to convert someone away from his current distributor, try asking him two questions. One is, “What do you find helpful about Company X?” Get him talking. When your prospect is relaxed and chatting about how wonderful his current distributor is, make the transition. Second, “Is there any area where Company X could improve?” If the prospect answers your second question, listen carefully—you just struck gold!
R—Relevance is a must. Too often, I have observed salespeople acting like what I call a “features
jockey,” where they spend so much time trying to impress their prospect with their product knowledge that prospects don’t have time to buy, should they want to. Don’t make the mistake of blowing your prospect over with a blast of information when he only needs and wants a little breeze. If you did well in assessing the real situation, making it relevant should be easy.
T—Translate the features you believe to be relevant into profound benefits. You cannot leave it to chance that your prospect will figure out for himself how your offer will make his life better. Do the work—take the time to be clear on how your product or service helps your customers. Ask satisfied customers and use their
stories. Force your sales manager to tell you more about how you help people or organizations. The more you learn, the more you can share.
N—Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the cutting-edge science of sales psychology. It is the study of how and through which strategies the brain learns, whether auditory, visual and/or kinesthetic. The key is to have the ability to recognize the preferred learning strategy of your prospect and mirror that strategy in your communication. If you do this, your prospect’s brain basically says, “This person is like me. I like me. I like this person.” The result will be a stunning subliminal connection.
E—Emotional connection to your prospects is essential. Never forget that
people buy based on emotion and then use logic to justify their buying decision. Think back to one of your own impulse purchases. For some
reason, you were drawn to make the purchase. That’s emotion. Then you came up with some kind of
justification for yourself. That’s logic.
R—Remove their objections. You can do this by using your NLP skills to anchor your prospect’s positive feelings toward how your offering will make his life better. This is most effective when he finally reveals his
smoke-screen objectives. Usually, an objection is simply an
indication that you attempted to close the sale before you demonstrated the
overwhelming value he will receive in doing business with you. You just need to better demonstrate how your product or service will remove the pain he is currently enduring.
S—Solve your prospect’s pain. Throughout the PARTNERS model, you are moving closer to pain extraction. Generally, if you’ve done your selling job correctly, you do not need tricky closes. The close is the
natural progression of the relationship
building you have achieved in helping your prospect. Always remember that pain extraction equals plentiful sales.
Ed Rigsbee, CSP, is the author of three business relationship books: “PartnerShift–How to Profit from the Partnering Trend,” “Developing Strategic Alliances” and “The Art of Partnering.” Rigsbee has over 1,000
articles to his credit and is a regular keynote presenter at corporate and trade
association conferences across North America. He can be reached at (800) 839-1520 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a treasure trove of information and ideas, visit his Partnering University Web site at www.rigsbee.com.