Earlier this week, I met with a marketing pro for a sales call. As we started our meeting, he talked about tough times for their telemarketing people. While they have been able to reach buyers, they're rarely able to find a pain threshold to grow interest in their product.
No doubt, our rough economy is part of the problem. I wonder too, if they don't know their prospect needs, how can they make a compelling offer?
Needs assessment is the part of the selling process in which you learn in detail what your prospect needs that your company may be able to provide. Needs assessment is a central and critical part of making the sale.
Qualifying a prospect is about identifying the pain. It uncovers details about the pain, the source of the pain, and the elements of the solution that can eliminate the pain. Many prospects have pain but do not know the source. It is also possible that they think they know the source but are wrong.
If you ask the right questions, you may be able to help your prospect find better solutions to their probems. If you do, chances increase that they will buy from you. In this case, you are no longer a salesperson but a problem-solver, a consultant, a real asset for the prospect. You are not only offering a product or a service but you are helping the prospect understand how to apply your product or service to meet the pressing need and to relieve the pain that may not have been fully understood before you came along to help.
Selling is really a painful process.