I recently had a conversation with a business owner in the construction industry who was frustrated with the fact that he had several outstanding estimates that he had sent to prospective customers that he wanted to “close” but he felt were going nowhere.
He said that if he could close these extra sales it had the potential to turn an average year into a VERY GOOD YEAR.
I asked him to share with me his process of how he constructed estimates and presented those estimates to his customers.
It made sense.
Customers called or e-mailed him requesting a quote, he took down their information, e-mailed or mailed them a quote, and then waited to hear back from them if they wanted to proceed.
If he didn’t hear back, he would follow-up with them and the majority of the replies would be…
- “I need time to think about it.”
- “I need to talk to my business partner, significant other, etc.”
- “Can you give me another estimate but do this, and this, and this”….ignoring the fact that the first estimate was still pending”
All of these steps led to more work with very little results.
In reading this, you might be thinking that you’ve been there too. We all have!
I recently implemented a new technique in my conversation with prospects that has proved very helpful and I wanted to share it with you.
The technique is called – FRAMING.
Framing refers to how you structure your sales process and conversation with a prospect. A frame is the story that you or your sales person share to demonstrate why your solution is the best choice and in a way that outlines the problem, the potential outcomes, what happens if they don’t choose your company, and why the decision is important.
By spending a little more time upfront in the conversation you can help get to these 2 very important questions.
1. Should we talk? – “Hey (prospect), I’m glad you called, it sounds like you have a problem we can help you with. Our business does X and we help people who have similar needs just like you. It sounds like we should talk more, do you agree?”
It’s important that you get clear on whether or not you should spend time with a prospect so you can spend time on the potential customers who are most interested in getting your help and who are the best fit for your business.
2. Should we talk again? – After the first time you meet and you present your solution, it may require an additional conversation about the YES, no question. Too often in sales, we get stuck in the MAYBE or unknown category. The key is framing the conversation with your prospect so that once you identify what they need and present a solution – you can arrive at YES/NO or “do we need to talk again” and if so, when. Make sure you get that scheduled at that point in the conversation.
Most sales people aren’t very good at framing. It’s easy to let the customer frame us.
Do you create compelling frames that capture your prospects and customers? Do you pull them toward your solution with engaging stories that frame their problem and your solution in the most compelling and emotional way? You should. The frame is what wins the sale.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.