October is coming fast. Are you ready to start Q4? If you’re not sure (or want to be even more sure), take a close, hard look at your recent sales results. Is your strategy still working, or does it need to be tweaked to achieve your end-of-year (EOY) sales goals?
To be fair, fall can be a tough time to sell. Your customers may be catching up on their own responsibilities before the holiday season. However, there are still ways to drive momentum in a short amount of time — without aggressive price cutting.
Addressing Risk Clearly
It doesn’t matter what product or service you’re trying to sell: Every business decision has a risk attached. In the middle of inflation and uncertainty, many customers may be trying to stay safe by making no purchasing decisions at all. However, by making no decisions, they’re making themselves vulnerable to risks that your company can alleviate.
The answer? Address the risk upfront. Research says that people prefer to avoid a loss rather than seek an equivalent-size gain. By encouraging your customers to prevent losses, you’ll begin to see more conversions.
Leveraging The Framing Effect
The way you present your knowledge and wisdom is everything. The Journal of General Internal Medicine found that more than half of patients studied chose the medication whose benefits were presented in relative terms. In other words, patients seemed more motivated to purchase one type of medicine when doctors compared the benefits to another choice. When simply explaining the benefits in absolute, standalone terms, less than 15% found the medication appealing.
Any sales professional can leverage the framing effect by using it to emphasize value in relative terms, but comparisons can help contextualize how your service or product currently outpaces your competition, which can help close your EOY sales more quickly. Remember: The presentation of your solution is just as important as the solution itself.
Letting The Message Do The Talking
Creating a structured script — or more clearly defining your messaging — can be crucial when your sales team is short on time. Technical language and excessive detail are a burden for customers. How do you explain what you know, without explaining it as you know it? Your sales team must speak clearly to your customers. A sales rep can be the most knowledgeable person in the company, but if they’re not able to reach your customers, then they can’t sell as well as someone who can.
As researchers at Harvard Business Review put it, “the most important attribute of a customer-value proposition is its precision: how perfectly it nails the customer job to be done — and nothing else.” Start pushing your EOY sales in the right direction by deciding the most important message to deliver to your audience right now.
Encouraging Your Customers To Reflect
If the sale is losing steam, the customer might need to focus on the solution you can provide. The best thing to do is to ask reflective questions, allowing customers to think about their needs. There are five categories of thoughtful questions:
What are your thoughts on our solution? Does our approach make sense to you?
Does this solution affect your business?
How does our solution fit into your business/life?
#4 Value Vs. Risk:
What would be the greatest value of our solution to your business/life?
What might be your hesitations toward this solution?
Unless you ask these questions, you might never know if a customer believes in impossible hurdles that, in actuality, are easy to overcome. These questions give your customer a chance to air their needs and can give your sales team the final “pieces to the puzzle” to satisfy customers’ concerns and close the sale. We hope you’ll use these tried-and-true sales techniques for yourself! If you do, your EOY sales are sure to keep up the pace.