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Consultative Sales: Gain Trust of a Commitment with a Transition Plan - Part 3
“In consultative sales, understanding where the individual is in their buying process is critical. A tool I use myself is a transition plan, an extension to the buying evaluation plan.” Here is part 3 of Dan Lemke’s story.
Each step of the buying evaluation plan is a milestone moving the prospect toward making a yes or no buying decision. As he begins working the individual steps of the plan, the buy-sell cycle is moving into evaluation, (see phase 2 diagram).
Dan points out how important it is to manage the buying evaluation plan. He trains to submit written updates to the buying committee after each step is completed. Making sure to aggressively manage the "go-no go" decision points in the plan.
Practicing what he preaches, at each go-no go decision point in the buying evaluation plan. Dan makes sure to get a yes, or a no, with his client. He firmly believes, "Bad news early is good news."
An important milestone during the evaluation phase is to develop a transition plan. Helping the customer move from where they are today, to a future state with the capabilities up and running in their business. This is more than just a startup plan. It includes any of the steps necessary for the prospect to have the new capabilities fully integrated into their business.
Let’s pick up where the story ended in part 2. The buying evaluation plan has been up and running for approximately 10 days. The client is approaching the transition plan which was a single line item in the buying evaluation plan. All of the previous steps have been completed and documented back to the buying committee.
His next objective is to meet with the 3 people responsible to roll out the new consultative sales training program across the division. As he did with the buying committee members, each person is contacted individually by Dan to discuss their needs.
After each phone call, letters are written to document the transition needs, current situation, potential capabilities and value. They are each asked to share the information with the other members and a meeting is established.
The meeting agenda included introductions, objectives of the meeting and a brief review of needs, issues, capabilities, and value that he discovered. This allows him to ask if the information in the correspondence is still representative of the current situation.
Dan covered the agenda items and confirmed there was sufficient value to proceed. At this point it was acceptable to ask, "What else would you need to know to get started with a transition?"
After writing down their request, a sample transition plan is reviewed and Dan points out any new potential items they did not bring up themselves. Some of the items are from his company. Other items are from previous projects, and when they were not done, led to difficult transitions.
His action item at the close of the meeting is to submit a “draft” transition plan. The draft is worked together to arrive at a mutually agreeable transition plan. The transition plan approved by the 3 members is submitted to the buying committee in his next written progress update.
The transition plan is wrapped within the buying evaluation plan. By doing this, it becomes a natural extension of the buying evaluation plan and matches his ABC's, Always Be Closing, for the next step.
By using a combined buying evaluation and transition plan, there was no negotiation during the final decision. The value was sufficient, all cost and services were known at the appropriate times and Dan and his client moved into a natural progression into the training program.
This 3 part story is about one of Dan’s largest customers. It allows review of using consultative sales to facilitate a committee through a buy-sell cycle from the discovery phase to the buying decision. Gaining trust and the Best Buying Experience is a series of articles being written by the Vision Group.
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About Vision Group: Our clients use consultative sales and marketing aligned with how their customers buy. Focused on the shifting concerns of how individuals make buying decisions and their compelling business needs. This leads to the Best Buying Experience, the beginning of the Best Customer Experience.
Customers tell us we help train and educate their personnel on what their best do naturally. Using behaviorally correct skills during the buy sell cycle to connect and build trust. While using the power of story with visual messaging to help new and existing customers develop a Vision of a Solution based on value.
With our continued association with Mike Bosworth we are offering training programs and consulting designed to help develop personnel to become more effective at consultative sales, marketing and prospecting.