Updated: Mar 20, 2020
Time for honesty. Are you feeling intimidated, maybe overwhelmed by all this sales process talk?
If not, fantastic—we’re going to keep rockin’ it!
If so, it is ok, and I encourage you to stay with me, because I’ve got some refreshing news. And an important reminder:
The sales process is NOT about manipulation. The sales process is about having authentic, transparent conversations.
I’ll keep repeating that through our blogs and the conversations I have with my clients, because it is a crucial thread that runs through each step of the sales process.
And, for the second refreshing insight:
The sales process is actually about being a MIRROR to your prospects’ needs and wants. it is not about trying to convince with manipulation.
Your job is simply to help them see what they are already saying they need, by reflecting it back to them. Think about that. If your job is to reflect back what your clients say they want and need, that is much less of a struggle than trying to persuade or convince using fancy manipulation tactics. In fact, it is quite easy and natural, once we let it be.
And, step 2 of the sales process is all about being a mirror. It is called the recap.
During the recap, our job is to affirm and clarify what we learned through the first step of the client discovery.
The recap is used to:
Establish clarity by reflecting back to your prospect what you heard them share (and asking follow up questions if anything was misunderstood).
Build trust by letting your prospects know you heard and understood them.
Guide the value presentation in a way that relates to the specific needs your prospect already shared.
Essentially, the point of a recap is to mirror and reflect the “what, why, and why now” you gathered during the discovery.
In the rest of this post, we will talk about keys for using the recap to establish clarity, build trust and guide your value presentation.
Using the Recap to Get Clear
Getting clear simply means making sure you heard and understood your potential client correctly. This is where you get to be a mirror simply by asking if what you understood is correct.
Try using questions that confirm the what, why and why now you uncovered during the client discovery. During the re-cap, you will then make statements and an affirming question like, “I hear you saying you are looking for help with xyz so that you can abc… is that correct?” (The ‘xyz’ is the pain that they need help with, and the ‘abc’ is the outcome they hope to achieve).
Here is an example of how a simple recap conversation might look:
You: “Your goals sound really exciting! So it sounds like the most important aspect of your business you’d like help with by the end of the second quarter is creating clarity in your marketing strategy so that you can effectively launch your new product offering, which will allow you to help even more customers. Did I get that right?”
Your prospect: “Yes, definitely.”
You: “Awesome. Are there any other insights or information you think might be helpful to share?“
Your prospect: “Nope. I think I shared everything.”
You: “Well, I can’t wait to share with you how we help with this. I know you’ll find it really exciting…”
If you imagine you are playing the role of sales person in the script above, notice how you use your client’s words while still keeping your statements simple and succinct. By using their words, you are using a connecting tool called entrainment.
Entrainment is an incredibly valuable part of building rapport and trust with your prospects. It helps them feel heard, affirmed and on the same page with you. It lets them know you understand their core wants and needs through the conversation. By showing your prospect you hear what is important to them, their conscious and subconscious level of trust in you grows. This increases their energetic buy-in (stay tuned for an upcoming post on energetic buy in).
So, what if your prospect answers “no” to any of your recap questions? In that case, a “no” provides a perfect opportunity for clarification and revisiting the discovery. You might choose to say, “Oh, I apologize that I didn’t understand that correctly. Could you clarify for me what it is exactly that you are wanting to achieve…?”
After you gain clarity, be sure to recap a final time.
Using the recap to build Trust
Naturally, clarifying what you heard and what your prospect just told you, builds rapport.
This helps clients feel comfortable in the conversation.
As mentioned, if something was not clear, revisit points of your discovery using clarifying questions.
The recap step also helps build trust between you and your potential client by:
Showing them you are fully engaged and listening authentically.
Helping them feel heard and understood.
Letting them know that you have their best interest in mind.
Helping them feel comfortable to share.
Finally, the recap is a key element in the transition to your value presentation.
Using the recap as a Transition to Your Value Presentation
The reasons for wanting help that your prospect shares with you during the customer discovery—and confirms during the recap—are the launchpad from which you will present your value.
When you transition from the recap to your value presentation, you will want to use phrases that connect and relate your prospect’s needs with the value you can provide. Here is how this looks in conversation:
“It sounds like you want____. This is exactly what I help clients achieve. Let me share with you…”
Since you are wanting to accomplish this by____ [a certain time frame], there are a few things we can do to help you achieve that goal…”
“You mentioned you want this because____, which is exactly why I’m excited to share with you this program, because this will be a really valuable fit…”
These are just a few types of the transitions you can use. As you practice the sales process, you will develop your own style of transition questions that feel natural to you and your potential clients.
Remember, the client discovery and recap steps in the sales process are vitally important in setting the stage for a successful sales conversation. The recap is used to:
Establish clarity by mirroring your prospect’s what, why and why now (needs, wants, goals and time frame).
Transition to your value presentation.
Remember to use comfortable, conversational language. Ask any questions if the recap revealed things that were not clear.
With a strong recap, you will be able to tailor your value presentation in a way that relates to each specific prospect’s needs.
Next time, we will talk about the third step in the sales process: the value presentation.
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