The Top 5 Tools for Making That Sale

#1: Frame the Problem

Framing the problem means figuring out what the customer is struggling with and understanding what solutions they want to find. This starts with recognizing the moment that they’re struggling and understanding the context and solutions the customer is looking for.

  • Push Questions: What are they struggling with? Where’s their frustration? Why are they doing this now? What don’t they like about their current product or service?
  • Pull Questions: What are they hoping for? What’s going to be different once they have something new in their lives?
  • Anxiety Questions: What are they worried about? What’s their greatest concern about getting rid of the old product or service and bringing in something new?
  • Habit Questions: What are they willing to give up to get something better? What are they not willing to give up?

#2: Unpack Language

You need to understand vague words and concepts — words such as “easy,” “convenient,” or “fast.” Dig deeper with follow-up questions: “What does that mean?” “Tell me more about that.” “Can you give me an example?”

#3: Prototype to Learn

Prototyping is basically playing “let’s pretend.” Come up with contrasting solutions to the customer’s problem. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent, you want to show the customer three houses that are totally different. You might learn from looking at a ranch — something they didn’t want — that the buyer likes having the bedrooms close together.

#4: Design to Decide

To make it easier for a customer to decide on a solution, give them three possible options. People need to be able to eliminate options to decide, but they shouldn’t have too many options, or else they’ll fall victim to “analysis paralysis” and be unable to make a decision.

#5: Play it Out

Help the buyer look toward the future. Ask them questions such as, “How do you know you’ll be satisfied?” and “How will you know you made the right purchase?”

A Toolbox That Works

These concepts are a part of any effective salesperson’s tool set. By applying them, you’ll not only get to the root of their problem, but you’ll also guide them through the buying process and help them make the right decision. You’ll make the sale, and suddenly that monthly quota won’t seem so impossible.



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Bob Moesta

Bob Moesta

BOB MOESTA is a teacher, builder, entrepreneur, and co-founder at The Re-Wired Group, a design firm in Detroit, Michigan.