Just like how the eras of modern civilization can be categorized by their trademark names (such as the “Dirty Thirties”), the sales process has also gone a series of dramatic and significant changes. The evolution of the sales process has evolved from a “forced” sale to a “permissive sale”. It’s interesting how what seems natural now didn’t make sense all those years ago.
Whether you are running a home business, or are working in the field in a direct sales environment, the fact that the sales models have changed is universal and all-encompassing.
The Diagnostic Sales Approach is not a “new” concept in that it has been tried and tested for quite some time, but rather it is a “new” concept in that is gaining momentum across the board as more and more sales environments realize the effectiveness of the diagnostic process.
What is “Diagnostic Sales”?
Think of the diagnostic sales approach like visiting the doctor. When you visit your doctor you describe to them the challenges you are facing, what your symptoms are, and then your doctor will turn around and prescribe you a solution. Whether this solution is medication, physical therapy, or otherwise, it’s a solution that you immediately put faith and confidence in. Why?
Conversely, if you were to approach your doctor and receive a prescription before you mentioned a single symptom, would there still be faith and confidence in that prescription? Probably not.
Sales is not much different. While you may not be a doctor, if you are in the position of selling something you are also the position of providing a solution for whatever your customers need is.
What makes Diagnostic Sales different?
Following a diagnostic sales approach isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s arguably easier than traditional sales in that it builds trust and rapport much faster.
A typical diagnostic sales process looks like this:
- Initial conversation. Introduce yourself and establish why you’re meeting.
- Fact finding. Determine the cause of your clients needs, the problems that they are facing, and why they have sought out some kind of resolution.
- Recommendation. Taking your clients response to your fact finding into consideration, build and present a recommendation that is tailor made for their specific needs.
- Close. Feel confident in your recommendation and close the sale.
Example fact finding questions.
Here are five questions that you may find useful during your fact finding:
- What has changed over the last 12 months with your business?
- What challenges are you currently facing with XYZ product?
- Why are you looking for a new PRODUCT/SOLUTION?
- What are your expectations for your next PRODUCT/SOLUTION?
- How do you feel I am going to be able to meet your needs today?