Translated by William Boletta
You're looking forward to your next customer appointment. Perfectly prepared you'll get ready for your presentation and for the joint development of the optimal solution for your customer. But then you fall into one of the possible pitfalls.
But no worry. After reading this post will introduced you to 13 of the most common Visual Selling® pitfalls and showed you how to master them professionally and with skill. Today you read part three of the series.
9. You create a lot of visual "eye candy" but no rapport
You have a customer with a really interesting product. You are now engaged in a sales dialogue with him and he shares his challenges with you and tells you why he needs your solution. You are excited and start visualizing.
You ask a few more questions, and your customer says something that you find absolutely captivating. A fantastic image comes to mind and you absolutely must put it down on paper or display it on your tablet. The result is a true work of art. But in the process, you have completely forgotten about your customer. At some point, your customer just looks at you with a puzzled expression. And then feels he has been left hanging in midair.
In order to avoid this, you need to concentrate on rapid visualization. Put your focus on listening and on the dialogue, but don’t forget in the meantime that, while visualization is important for dialogue, it is in the long run simply a tool. Stick with your customer and check one more time to see whether your image really fits what is being said.
To do this, you can use the Visual Selling® Discovery Punch, which you can download here. This will assist you in asking just the right questions to get all the important information.
10. There is a good sales discussion, but not everyone is involved
Several people will usually be involved in your sales dialogue. Have you found out what their personality type is by using the DISC method? Learn more about this here.
What actually happens often is that that you are having a great discussion, but only some people are involved in it. If you take a closer look, you might well discover that these people are so-called extroverted and people-related I-types (Initiative). The more task-oriented or introverted types are left out of the dialogue.
To avoid this, be sure to include everyone. You need to be careful here because there is nothing worse than forcing people to talk or coercing conversation. So, keep a close eye on your participants. Are there any people who want to talk but can’t quite get it out? Then take that into account and direct your conversation to those people by making connections with visualization. That will come off less aggressive but will still be appreciated.
Also, at certain points during the meeting it will be important to find out everybody’s opinion. Go around the room and ask if there is anyone who would like to add something or if there are any other topics that people would still like to discuss. As you go around, look closely at each of the participants for a few seconds to make sure that they are able to communicate their ideas.
In any case, take care that not just a few people take up most of the time talking or even dominate the entire meeting. Facilitate exchanges with targeted questions. Feel free to interrupt conversations that stray from the topic or that don’t make a point.
11. Your customer is not taking the marker
For even better results and a deeper mutual understanding of the topic, it is often helpful to have your customer take the marker in hand and illustrate their ideas. But many people have a real phobia of drawing and absolutely refuse to use markers.
So, in this case, start with visualization and keep trying to get your customers to play a more active role. You can ask specific questions that will get your customers to think more in depth about topics that concern them. Sooner or later, everybody will naturally take the marker in hand because at some point it will be easier for people to visualize things themselves rather than simply to talk.
And you can always hand them the marker and hope that some native reflex will prod the customer to use it. Once your customers take the marker in hand, it is highly likely that they will start visualizing. If this happens, give them some encouragement. Don’t be critical of the image and just stay on message so that you can both start talking about the topic.
Visualization will suddenly become enjoyable, and your customers will soon see how much more easily issues can be resolved rather than by just talking about them. This will give your meeting some momentum, increase productivity in your dialogue, and facilitate decisions to be made on the basis of positive emotions.
12. You have not identified a clear problem statement
You are at your Discovery Meeting and have already gone through the entire Visual Selling® Discovery Punch. But you still haven’t been able to clearly identify the problem so far.
Some customers really have a hard time identifying or naming their problem. There might be many reasons for this. Some people are simply embarrassed to talk about it. They are afraid of losing face. Other people simply don’t know how to word it correctly. It may be that they don’t even know what their problem is. Or they have so many points of departure that they can’t or don’t want to figure out what is going on.
In a situation like this, help your customers to make things clear. In order to do this, use visualizations that have already been done. Using the Punch, you were able to identify your customer’s situation clearly. Now you can both take a look at this and review it together. Are there any spots where contradictions or breaks can be seen?
If you can identify any problem areas, make them a priority together with your customers. Be sure to make the marker available for this. This way you can come up with a sequence and create a sensible plan for solving problems. The next step is to develop a strategy together with your customers. They will be excited because you have helped them to arrive at some clarity about their topics.
13. Time is up
Your meeting is in full swing. Everybody is probably in a good mood, and you are probably having a heated but substantial discussion. The visualization has been terrific. And then you look at your watch and see that: Oh no, time is up.
You know for a fact that your customer has another important appointment. If you continue with the meeting, your customer will eventually get stressed out and have negative feelings. If your customers are feeling uneasy, you won’t be able to bring things to a positive conclusion.
So now you need to wrap things up in a hurry. Let your customers know that the time is up so that they will be aware that you think schedules are important. This is the first step toward a trusting relationship.
Now put the ball in your customer’s court and ask an open question. For example, you can inquire what the best way to proceed might be. Or what the most important thing would be to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Inquire about the next steps as well.
Visualize this in such a way that the schedule is followed and everything is transparent. If everyone agrees, then you can bring things to a close. Using visualization, it will be feasible to continue on to the very last point.
These were the last five of the 13 most common Visual Selling® pitfalls.
Do you know any additional pitfalls or do you have other solution ideas? Then write in the comment!