By Kathy Sisk
In the last two issues, we learned how to qualify our prospect in Step Five: Probing. For what happens next, there are several options to consider, depending on the type of marketing you are doing:
- If you are generating leads only, you can end after Step Five by thanking them for their time and telling them to have a great day.
- If you are generating an appointment, you will not need to follow the entire twelve steps, but you will need to proceed to get the prospect to say “yes.”
- However, most of you who are reading this will want to use the remaining steps to generate sales. Therefore, the examples given here will be to focus on how to sell.
The next step is Step Six, the restating step. Step Six is the bridge that leads to the selling step.
How It Fits In: During Step Five: Probing, your prospect is actively answering your questions. Once you have completed the probing step, most prospects don’t remember exactly what they have said. Therefore, in the restating step you summarize the prospect’s responses and emphasize the important ideas he or she gave you, reflecting them back to the prospect in a more dynamic way. This way prospects can see their own expressed wants and needs from a fresh, objective perspective. This puts your prospects on the outside looking in at their needs. Later in your presentation – during the trial close – should they respond negatively, you can redirect them back to the restating step and help them to hold themselves more accountable.
Restating the information your prospect shared with you reinforces the prospect’s own sense of what is important. Prospects will generally agree with the points you found most valuable to them. From this information, you will be able to begin determining what direction you should take during the next step (Step Seven: Features and Benefits).
Two Functions: There are two functions in Step Six. The first is to summarize what the prospect just said, but in a more positive way. The second function is to get a confirmation from your prospect. This will give you a “yes” response, which you may need later during the objection-handling process – this is when accountability comes into play.
Here are some examples of restating:
“Thank you for sharing this information with me. Based on what you’ve said, Ms. Smith, your company sees the value of XYZ product. Unfortunately, you have not been given the opportunity to conduct a competitive analysis to determine (pause) the cost-effectiveness of your current supplier. That comparison would give your company a competitive edge in the marketplace. Is that correct?”
“Thank you for sharing this information with me. I want to be sure I understand everything correctly. You’re currently working with XYZ company, and you were motivated to select that company because of its competitive rates. However, you expressed a concern that you haven’t heard from your representative for some time, and the firm’s rates are not as good as when you initially acquired their service. Customer service and quality are important to you, yet you have not made a recent comparison to determine (pause) how you can get the service you’re entitled to while still meeting your needs cost-effectively. Is that correct?”
When you begin by saying, “Thank you for sharing this information with me,” you let the prospect know that you are finished asking questions. This eases the prospect’s mind. The rest of the restatement qualifies and summarizes the information your prospect has given you during the probing step.
By restating the information, you encourage your prospect to agree with what you’ve just said. This is called indirect selling. Be careful not to over-exaggerate your restatement. It must be closely correlated to what your prospect said, but your rendition should give a more positive emphasis of the prospect’s views.
Make it a priority to become good at restating. It is a crucial part of prospecting, it allows you to remain in control, and it will prove extremely effective in handling objections. Once you have completed the restating step, you can then move into the selling step.
Kathy Sisk is CEO of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc.
[From Connection Magazine – May 2012]