Don’t Just Tell It… Sell It!

by Andrea Wills

B2B vs B2C – the rules of success are the same
*  Qualify a lead as a prospect
*  Convert the features of your product or service into benefits for your customers
*  Ask questions that lead to a continuing dialogue
*  Close for the business that you have earned
*  Create a workable sales process for you

1. Qualifying Leads
a. Will the purchase of my product or service satisfy a need? Does the lead want to solve his or her problem? [If the answer to “a” is no, then go to the next lead]
b. Does the lead have the ability to pay? Cash or credit?
c. Does the lead have the authority to buy? Or influence the buying decision?
d. Can the lead be approached successfully? Ever?


2. Converting Features to Benefits
a. WIIFM – What’s in it for me?
*  Every customer wants to do know what the advantage is to him or her of your product or service
*  Example: “Outsourcing your bookkeeping will give you more time to do what you have a passion for…creating gift baskets, working with customers, etc.”
b. FAB – Features, Advantages, Benefits
*  Example: “Outsourcing your bookkeeping ensures that you’ll spend less time and make less mistakes, and will allow you to spend more time creating gift baskets, working with customers, etc.”
c. FEBA – Features, Evidence, Benefits, Agreement
*  Example: “Outsourcing the bookkeeping tasks of a small business has been proven to increase the owner’s productivity by x%; this will allow you to spend more time…; wouldn’t you agree that outsourcing would benefit you?”


3. Asking the Right Questions
a. Open-Ended Questions
* 5 W’s & 1 H – Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How
b. Is a “yes” or”no” question OK? – Yes, when you need to confirm a fact
* S – Situation – define the prospect’s situation with either an open-ended or closed question; Example: “You’ve mentioned before that you spend a lot of time on bookkeeping; how much time a day do you spend on that task?”
*  P – Problem – confirm that the situation is a problem; Example: “Is it a problem for you to spend x hrs/day on bookkeeping tasks?”
*  I – Implication – help the prospect see that the implication of the problem is such that the problem needs to be solved; this step may involve more than 1 question or even more than 1 sales conversation.
*  N – Needs payoff – help the prospect understand the payoff from buying into your proposed product or service.


4. Closing – If you don’t ask, you don’t get
a. You should be comfortable asking for some type of action, that is, closing, at every sales conversation; you may not “close the deal”, but you will move the sales conversation forward.
b. Use of trial closes during the sales conversation;
*  Example: “Do you agree?” or “Can you see how this could work in your business?”
c. Ask for action;
*  Example: “When can I demonstrate this to you?”
d. Ask for the next step;
*  Example: “Can I come back another time to discuss this?” or “How would you like to proceed from here?”
e. Ask for the business that you have earned!


5. Your Own Process
a. Work towards common ground between you and the customer.
b. STRENGTHEN your story with evidence, examples, demonstrations.
c. MODERATE the discussion to get more information, and don’t forget to listen!
d. REDIRECT to common ground to keep the customer focused on what can be done to solve his or her problem.


Andrea Wills is a professional with over eighteen years of sales, sales training, and marketing experience. To learn more about the sales conversation process, please call Andrea at 410 215 1141 or email her


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