You often come across a salesperson who just gives a lecture describing their company and product. They will talk non-stop about the product, its features, and delivery options, along with some information about the satisfied clients. They never really listen to the customer’s requirements.
Sadly, this has become a common way of selling. For some salespersons, this way of selling is a competition between the seller and the buyer. It seems as if the buyer is an opponent who needs to be influenced. While some salespeople believe in their product steadfastly, others are a little insecure, and delivering a monologue is their only means of conversation. However, talking too much and not listening to the buyer can affect your sales process.
Though each sales deal is unique, one thing that remains constant is that customers should get more time to speak than the salesperson. In fact, experts say that customers should speak 80% of the time and sellers should speak 20% of the time, and during the conversation. So, the salesperson needs to figure out how to use this limited time in the right way.
The Socratic approach to sales can help in this scenario. It can prove to be immensely helpful to sell socratically for the best outcome.
Let’s have a deeper look at the concept:
Socrates was the first one who developed the methods around 25 centuries ago! The philosopher taught his students to create a productive dialogue with customers by asking them a series of questions that can be answered easily. Slowly and gradually, the questions will prompt the customer to question their assumptions, consider options, and reach a logical conclusion.
When the concept is practiced, it helps the salesperson and customer to work together and come up with innovative ways of meeting customer needs. This collaboration helps in defining the selling proposition and ultimately winning the proposal. This process consists of a Q and A format during every meeting.
After greeting the customer and opening the meeting, the salesperson starts by asking a question that helps in identifying customer priorities. The salesperson can begin by mentioning that they have some ideas in their mind, but first, they would like to know what the customer has been thinking these days so that they can focus on the same.
The customer’s concerns may be different from what they had described in the past. When they get a chance to express themselves, they might describe a desired need which might become a better sales opportunity for the salesperson. It is the customer who must define the beginning of a conversation, not the salesperson. The Socratic approach assures the customers that the salesperson respects his time and needs and has the best intentions to deliver value.
Continue to Inquire
As the meeting keeps on progressing, the salesperson needs to ask open-ended questions. This will encourage the customer to think and analyze the implications of their thoughts, and they will continue offering useful information.
If the meeting is going as per Socrates’s approach, the customer will ignore the clock. The information will keep flowing, ideas will develop and get evaluated, refined, and finally accepted. The customer has the final say and the salesperson needs to assure them of the same.
Knowxbox offers excellent online courses to learn sell Socratically. The course will teach you the intricacies of the concept and help you become a better salesperson. Socrates’s approach will change how your company works and grows in the long run.
For more information on Socrates’ approach, get in touch with our team.