Every month, I talk to sales people who have lost a sale by making the same classic mistake: they are so excited to have a client in front of them or they think they know why their customer is meeting with them that they jump right into their spiel (presentation) and end up skipping the needs analysis. The needs analysis can NEVER be skipped because this is where you’ll find their pain. And if you don’t know your customer’s pain then you are deciding what’s most important to them instead of really selling to their need.
So find the pain – and once you’ve found the pain, use this sales ninja technique that we, at Southwestern Consulting, use to coach our clients. It’s designed to point out your customer’s pain and have them “sit in it” until they see that you are their only answer.
We call this the C.P.R. sales technique:
C – Cut open the wound
P – Pour in the salt
R – Remedy the situation
Here’s how it works:
Client: “We need to have a tracking system in every one of our delivery trucks so we can see its location and know how long each stop takes.”
Salesperson: “By not knowing your drivers’ routes and stop times at each location, how much do you think this could be affecting your bottom line?” [Cut open the wound]
Client: “With all the overtime? I’m sure it’s costing us tens of thousands a year.”
Salesperson: “Wow…” (pause) “How long do you think this has been affecting your business?” [Pour salt in the wound]
Client: “At least three years.”
Salesperson: “At tens of thousands a year? That’s a lot of lost money. John, that’s exactly why trucking companies nationwide are using our software (expand).” [Remedy the situation!]
Drag it out, make them think about it. Pain is hard to talk about; the customer will want to gloss over it – don’t let them. Point it out, spend some time there, use silence as a way to have them think about it and let them sit in it for a while.
C.P.R sales technique in action
I was talking to one of my coaching clients in the mortgage business recently and he couldn’t understand why his client (a married couple) had bailed on him. He was going to cut this couple’s mortgage from 26 years to 15 years and drop their interest rate over 2%, while only raising their monthly payment $51 per month. I asked my client where this customer’s pain was and why they were meeting with him in the first place. At first, he couldn’t say. Through asking him questions, he remembered that the reason that they wanted a 15-year loan was because that meant their home would be paid off while their daughter was in high school and then they could pay for her college with their extra money. Looking back, he couldn’t believe that he hadn’t used that information when they were trying to cancel. He just lost sight of the pain.
After we discussed their pain, my client called the couple back and reminded them of how important it was to them to pay their home off when their daughter was still at home. He poured salt in the wound by asking them how hard it was going to be to pay for college if they still had a mortgage payment – and he sold them the 15-year loan. The couple got a lower rate, they will pay off their home 11 years earlier (which will help them pay for their daughter’s college), AND my client put almost $2,000 in commission into his pocket. I love when things work out that way.
Find your customer’s pain, point it out, and let them sit it in a while. I hope you like the Southwestern Consulting C.P.R. technique. Use it – you will see the results.
Until next time – go sell some stuff!