Close more sales

If you have listened to the radio in the last twenty-four hours, you have no doubt heard an annoying weight loss ad.  As annoying as they are, they can teach us a very critical lesson about how to be more successful closing sales.  That lesson is, communicate outcomes before processes.  Weight loss ads tell the listener right up front, “lose 10 pounds your first week”.  From then on every word, every promotion, and even the tone of voice leads to this simple outcome.  It’s brilliant.

Yet salespeople routinely get lost in explaining processes first, leaving their customer or prospect to wonder “what are you getting at” or “where is this going”?  In other words, what outcome does this lead to.  The outcome is the context, and when the outcome is established right up front and every word from then on leads to that outcome, customers can relate to that, and that relationship closes more sales.

Selling with outcomes is like thinking of feature/benefit selling in reverse; benefit/feature selling.  When a customer has the benefit of your product or service top of mind as you are sharing the feature, then they already know the outcome of how and why the feature is valuable to them.  This empowers the you as a salesperson to close more sales.  You as a salesperson unconsciously have the benefit/feature outcome in mind with the simplest of decisions like stopping in at a convenience store for a bottle of water.  You don’t think “buy a bottle of water” because that is a process.  You think “quench my thirst” as an outcome, oh and I better stop in at a convenience store to buy a bottle of water.  You already know the outcome you are wanting to achieve before you think of the process.

In addition, thinking “outcomes” is an easy mindset habit to adopt.  When a customer asks you a question, you will close more sales if you immediately respond with an “outcome” answer and not a “process” answer.  For example, salespeople frequently brag about how awesome their customer service is and that is a huge value in doing business with them.  However, customer service is a process not an outcome.  Customer initially hear your awesome customer service statement with a “so what”.  The outcome of great customer service may be that the customer maintains their income stream by meeting a production schedule, or avoids fines by staying within budget, or perhaps they increase profitability by reducing their out of stocks by 5%.  And they are able to achieve these outcomes because you have great process called customer service.

You will close more sales if you communicate outcomes before processes.  In fact, the sale often closes itself when a prospect knows without question what your process gets them as the conversation unfolds.