For salespeople, the end of the month raises one question: have you met your sales quota? Reaching your monthly quota can be difficult; those goals are set to challenge a salesperson to exceed what they think they’re able to achieve. And with a plethora of other responsibilities looming at the month’s conclusion, it can seem overwhelming, maybe impossible, to reach those goals each month. But we want to help you out! So we put together a quick list of some simple sales strategies that can help lead a potential buyer to purchase and end the month on a high note.
Emphasize the risk of inaction.
A big reason people drag their feet when making a purchasing decision is because humans are risk-averse beings. Research indicates that we’re more likely to avoid a loss than seek an equal-sized gain. Similarly, the endowment effect shows people place a higher value on things they own relative to something they don’t, even if it’s of similar or higher value. These biases influence our behavior and, therefore, our decision-making. So how can you, as the salesperson, help a potential buyer overcome these biases and make a purchase?
There are a ton of strategies you can utilize, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Cite the risks associated with a lack of action. Will the organization use your product or service to accomplish a specific task or even overhaul its workflow? What might happen if they don’t use your solution? Stress the actionable results your product provides that directly correlate to the buyer’s success and how those results will ward off a potential problem.
- Emphasize the time needed to implement the solution. For many buyers, the natural tendency is to assume near-instantaneous results once the purchase is complete. But in reality, training and onboarding a solution can take days, weeks, and even months, depending on the complexity of the problem. Especially if the buyer needs your solution implemented by a specific time, this could be a great motivator for them to move forward in the buying process.
- Indicate that forward movement is necessary to remain competitive. Stagnation is the killer of businesses (ask Blockbuster.) To remain viable in the modern marketplace, companies should look for ways to innovate processes and develop new approaches.
Focus on clear, concise language.
As the end of the month draws near, this is the time to use clear, accessible language free of jargon. Overly technical language not only burdens the customer, but it even undermines the trust you’ve developed throughout the relationship. Technical language is confusing, especially for those unfamiliar with the product or industry. This leads to an unwelcome sorting process to determine which components are salient and essential to the conversation. Why confuse your buyer when you could simply use straightforward language to explain what your solution has to offer?
To deliver a clear, simple message, we recommend using a three-part framework: issue, action, value. The sales professional should first describe the problem, goal, or challenge the buyer is facing. (You should know this based on past interactions and conversations with the buyer.) After describing the issue, state the solution that solves the problem (AKA your product or service.) Particularly if you have multiple solutions available, this would be a great time to emphasize why you picked this specific solution based on the buyer’s particular needs. Finally, outline the specific outcomes that can be expected using this solution. Using this three-part framework, a salesperson uses a simple approach that meets the buyer’s needs and explains the process rationally and clearly.
When in conversation with the buyer, what topics should you avoid? We’ve discussed the importance of avoiding jargon and excessive details. But just as important, ensure you only communicate topics that are relevant to the buyer. If the subject isn’t crucial to their needs or interests, ditch it. While we’re sure they’d be thrilled to hear you’ve reached your monthly quota, the conversation isn’t relevant to them and should be left behind.
Utilize reflection questions to prompt a purchase.
In the current reflection model created by Graham Gibbs, he outlined six steps that can have a significant impact on sales performance:
- Description – What happened?
- Feelings – What were your thoughts?
- Evaluation – What was good and bad about the situation?
- Analysis – What sense can you now make of the situation?
- Conclusions – What else might you have done?
- Action Plan – What would you do next time?
While his model was created for self-reflection, this same model can be applied successfully to sales. The reflection approach aims to help the buyer realize 1.) why they need a solution and 2.) why your solution is the right one for them. This cycle is effective because it avoids extraneous information and details; it keeps the conversation focused on the buyer and their business. In addition, using a reflection model helps negate bias that might influence the buyer away from a solution and outlines an apparent reason why your solution works for them.
Reaching a sales quota is not only a win for the salesperson but also a weight lifted from their shoulders. By using these three strategies: emphasizing the risk of inaction, using clear language, and utilizing reflective conversations, you’ll have buyers lining up to purchase, and you’ll hit your monthly quota in stride.