No crystal ball for 2015
No crystal ball for 2015!
Image courtesy bb_matt at Flickr.

I’ve often posted New Year branding and marketing plans, predictions, resolutions or lists:
2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 – guess I’ve been blogging for a while.

But I’m going to try something different for the 2015 post.

Most of my clients are not looking for marketing, branding or plans. I know that seems unlikely, but actually they are looking for the sales that come as a result of the planning, marketing and branding.

So today, I’m adding tips from a sales perspective that may be helpful for my branding and marketing readers.

From Julie Wassom, marketing expert specializing in Alpacas and Child Care Centers from “How Trial Closing Questions Can Help You Win the Sale”. Although she’s a marketing expert, she has very practical sales advice to share:

What type of question can help you win the sale? If you said, “asking a final closing question,” you are right. However, there is another type of question that can make it easy for you to increase conversions of prospect inquiries to farm visits and especially farm visits to sales. What is it?

This question is called a trial closing question. While a final closing question requests a commitment to visit or buy, a trial closing question merely requests the prospect’s agreement on a benefit you have just presented. The response you ideally want from the prospect is, “Yes.”

It is a good practice to ask brief trial closing questions throughout a farm visit, immediately following select benefit statements that address that prospect’s expressed needs. For instance, “With this female, you will get the bloodlines you want and your favorite color of fiber.”(This is the benefit statement) “Is this a combination you are looking for?” (That is the trial closing question.)

How can you use of trial closes make it easier for you to win the sale? Using good trial closes throughout your sale calls and visits gives YOU these four things:

Immediate feedback on whether or not the benefit you presented is an important decision factor for the prospective prospect.

“Here you can see how well our animals are cared for, and the types of herd management techniques we teach the buyers of our animals. Is this the kind of support appealing to you?” If the prospect says, “Yes,” you know you are on the right track in your benefit presentation.

Unearths objections early so you can overcome them before they impact the prospect’s decision. Sometimes, breeders just keep talking, not realizing that the prospect did not agree, and has likely stopped listening to you until their disagreement about the previous benefit is addressed. In this case, use Wassom’s Triple A Formula for Handling Objections, and change your direction to present benefit statements that more directly address what this prospect is looking for.

Engages the prospect. Most of today’s prospects prefer interaction WITH you around their alpaca buying decisions versus just an explanation FROM you. By asking trial closing questions throughout the farm visit, you keep them engaged, which means they are really listening to what you say, and your farm’s benefits are presented in shorter bites before they know you will be asking for their agreement or feedback. It keeps them alert and makes the call or visit interactive.

Makes it easier to ask the final closing question. When you have used several trial closing questions during a face-to-face prospect conversation or farm visit (and even a couple on the inquiry -to-visit conversion call), you will likely be doing what I call, “Stringing the Yeses”.

This means you will have gotten a series of “Yes” responses from prospects verbalizing their own agreement to your alpacas meeting their needs and desires. That helps THEM feel more confident in you and your farm as the right place from which to buy. It helps YOU, because it makes it so much easier to ask that prospect to buy animals or book breedings. By responding “Yes” to your trial closing questions, they have already convinced themselves that buying from you is a good decision.

Just before you ask a final closing question, as a trial closing question, such as “Do these seem like animals that would fit well into your herd?” If your prospect agrees and says, “Yes,” it will be easy for you to immediately ask a good final closing question to gain their commitment to buy them.

Practice using good trial closing questions, and watch how they make it easier for you to win the sale!

Julie – thanks for your inspiration for today’s post. I love your way of step by step teaching! Please let me know where I can link to it on the internet, as I found it only via an email.

Branding and Marketing Plans for 2015 with a Sales Focus