THE FIVE STEPS OF PENETRATION SELLING®
STEP THREE: QUALIFYING (or “Discovering”)
Penetrating Your Prospect’s World
By Harry Frisch
Let’s take a quick look at the five steps of Penetration Selling, starting with the fifth and final step and working backwards:
The salesperson wants to “Close” the sale. But, before he can Close the prospect on the product (or service), the salesperson ordinarily needs to do a proper presentation of the product, a presentation through which the prospect comes to consider the product of at least as much value as the price he is being asked to pay for it. But before the salesperson can adequately demonstrate how his product is of sufficient value to this specific prospect, the salesperson had better learn what it is about his product that this particular prospect is going to find of special valuable.
In order for the salesperson to discover what the prospect is most likely to consider valuable about the product, the salesperson must penetrate the private world of the prospect’s emotions and thoughts, as they relate to the salesperson’s product. In Penetration Selling, this discovery step is called “Qualifying”. Until the salesperson has a clear understanding of the prospect’s feelings and thoughts related to his product, it is somewhat risky for the prospect to present his wares.
For example, it would be very useful to know that the prospect’s favorite color is blue, and that he detests forest green, before wasting a lot of the prospect’s, and his own, time trying to interest the prospect in a product that is available only in forest green.
For example, if a buying decision will require both the wife and the husband, it would be extremely useful for the salesperson to discover that factor before unrolling his very finest presentation to the wife alone.
The number one barrier that needs to be penetrated during the Qualifying step of the sale is the lack of knowledge of the key motivations a prospect has for possibly purchasing one of the salesperson’s products or services. And the key tool for penetrating this barrier is: Asking the right questions.
In Penetration Selling, when enough key questions are asked and answered before the presentation is begun, the presentation tends to be highly relevant, and the probability of closing that sale tends to rise notably.
Penetrating a prospect’s world, to discover the prospect’s key motivation for potentially acquiring the salesperson’s product, is one of the most powerful steps a salesperson can take during the sales process, and is indeed at the very heart and soul of the Penetration Selling system.