Tired of having your presentations derailed? In this podcast, business growth expert David Blaise reveals his simple, three-step RPR method to regain control of the sales process.
As salespeople, we all know that if we want to be effective, we need to maintain control of the sales process. We also know that generally speaking, whoever is asking the questions, controls the conversation.
But the way we do that — the way we ask questions and maintain control of the conversation and the selling process is also important. We can’t always just flip things around on our prospects and expect them to sit still for it.
Back in the early days of sales training, many people were taught to answer customer questions with questions. Some people still subscribe to that philosophy.
So if the prospect said, “Does it come in green?” you might respond, “Would you like it in green?”
If the prospect asks “How much for your mugs?” you might respond, “What’s your budget?”
To me, this is downright painful.
If you’re dealing with a thoroughly uneducated customer, you might get away with an approach like this. But uneducated customers don’t usually control large budgets. And today, in an era of highly educated consumers, responses like that are just deadly. Not to mention painful to listen to!
In most cases, ignoring prospects’ questions and just trying to flip them around does not benefit either you or them.
Naturally, as sales professionals, we don’t want our presentations to get derailed. We need to keep things focused. We need to keep things moving forward. So very often there are times when we would prefer to put off answering a prospect’s question or questions — particularly those related to price — until after we convey the major points of our presentation.
However, ignoring or disregarding our client’s questions is not the appropriate response. We can ask them to hold their questions until the end, but we can’t always make that work. We can sometimes deflect by saying we’ll get to that in a moment, but we can’t always make that work either.
For that reason, I find that in nearly every situation, when questioned, we are far better if we provide a basic response, the promise of more information, and then a quick redirect to turn the conversation back to where you need it to be.
I call it RPR: Response, Promise, Redirect
So if they ask “Does it come in green?” you could say, “I believe it does, but I’ll confirm the exact colors for you. Is this for an ongoing promotion?”
Response: “I believe it does.”
Promise: “I’ll confirm the exact colors for you.”
Redirect: “Is this for an ongoing promotion?”
When you answer using this framework — Response, Promise, Redirect — your prospects won’t feel like you’re blowing off their questions. They won’t feel like you’re ignoring them or disrespecting them. They won’t feel like you’re flipping their words around on them to make a sale, and you’ll get credit for being far more responsive.
Prospect: “How much for your mugs?”
Salesperson: “Well, the pricing depends on the style you want as well as the quantity you’re ordering. I can give you specific pricing when we’ve clarified some more of the details. Tell me, when do you need them delivered?”
Response, promise, redirect. It’s the cleanest way I’ve found to address questions when you’re not quite ready to address them.
Let’s face it, relationship marketing is about relationships. So why not shoot straight?
Respond to your client’s basic question, give them the promise of a more complete answer and redirect them back with a quick question designed to get you more of the information you need to close the sale.
Ready to Regain Control of the Sales Process?
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