This week’s articles have all been about speaking the buying languages of your prospect.

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We conclude the series today as we discuss the language of Guidance.

As a rule, I believe that all sales processes should have structure.  It really doesn’t matter to me if you call the process a presentation, conversation, discovery period or Ralph.  What does matter to me is that you have a structured process and that you ad lib within that process.  I use the term “structured improvisation” to describe the fact that a good sales process is not scripted – however it is structured and improvised based on the interaction with your prospect.

A great sales process will usually include each of these stages:

  1. Lead identification
  2. Lead Qualification
  3. Contact
  4. Presentation/Conversation Discovery
  5. Recommendations
  6. Implementation

Speaking the buying language of Guidance, most simply stated is taking the lead in your sales process.

Sometimes that lead is by direct suggestions as to the next steps.  At other times, taking that lead is as gentle as asking, “Do you mind if I ask you some questions so that I can better understand your situation?”  Or maybe it is redirecting the conversation back to an area in which you need clarification or to make a specific observation.

Questions assist you with taking a gentle lead.  Statements assist you in taking more of a direct lead.

Be mindful of your prospect’s need to know more information.  Always give leeway to directions they want to take the meeting.  Usually, their questions and some changes in direction would be considered buying signals and would show interest on their part.  But balance that with gently taking them back in the direction you need to go in order to be able to help them in the most efficient way.

If you have been successful at speaking their language of Understanding and Knowledge, they will appreciate your guidance through the process.

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How effective is your leadership as you take your prospect through the process of becoming your customer?