How many times have you not felt that you did everything right in the product demonstration but still didn’t close the deal? The product customisation for the demonstration was planned into the tiniest detail, the superlatives were right on the spot, the atmosphere in the meeting was good, and still you didn’t get their business. You start to doubt your product and your ability as a sales rep, or you blame external circumstances to make yourself feel better.
Put more effort into the qualifying time
The reasons for the loss can be many, but like the watch brand Hublot’s CEO Jean-Claude Bivier, I believe more and more that the qualifying time can never be replaced by demonstration time before you have created a big enough demand. Jean-Claude Bivier never presented the watch itself during a first visit in his years as a record-selling watch sales rep.
Of course, the importance of the qualifying time varies depending on, among other things, what kind of product you are selling and the value of it. But what has worked for me is to dedicate almost the entire first meeting (or more if it’s a big case) to talking about references, issues in the industry, enlarging identified issues and their consequences. All in order to, as the next step, book a product demonstration (the value-based solution).
The solution? Raise the issues and get your customer on board for the next step!
A challenge is that most customers, and potential customers, cry for a product demonstration and happily reduce the qualifying time. As a sales rep, you have to have the guts to stick to your plan. If you can raise the issues and prove the consequences of the existing situation, you will always be able to take your customer to the next step, and you avoid burning all your cards in the first, real contact.