As Smith wrapped up his presentation, the CFO and Head, Human Resources of ESP Inc exchanged glances. Smith was excited about this opportunity and his audience could feel it. Bravo Investment Solutions had specially assigned this 10 minute pitch to him. To Bravo, this could mean an entry into ESP, the home furnishings giant with worldwide interests. Smith, with his encyclopedic product knowledge, was an automatic choice for this call. Sharing the lead, Bravo’s inside sales team advised him: “ESP seems interested in our products. So go for it”. Smith’s presentation was a carefully crafted capsule of Bravo’s entire product range, offering a peek into all the important features and benefits. It went beyond product details and painted a vision of how Bravo could help ESP secure the financial future of its global workforce. The CFO thanked Smith and shook hands. “We will let you know during the course of this week” he promised. But Smith thought that he saw a faraway look in his eyes. Something wasn’t quite right, perhaps
After a long minute of silence, ESP’s CFO turned to his HR Head with a sigh. “That was a breathtaking pitch. One of the best I have been through. But what a wasted effort. Our urgent need now is just a plan that can cover our first set of retiring employees. Other solutions can wait. I didn’t have a chance to tell him, once he got going”
What could have Smith done to have got the deal on first try?
DAPA captures the beauty of selling
Selling is beautiful. At its heart, selling is simple as well. That, perhaps, is what makes it beautiful. Selling is an elegant process in just two steps:
- Identify/uncover a need
- Fulfill that need with your product or service for mutual benefit
To sell like a pro takes creativity. Understanding a stated Customer need is easier than uncovering an unarticulated need. Often times, sales reps end up making a sales pitch to address an assumed need. It takes a master salesperson to spot a latent requirement, bring it up and gently steer the Customer towards the solution. Such an approach elevates selling to a level of “service” which then becomes a compelling differentiator. At Mercuri we call it DAPA.
DAPA – A simple yet powerful personal selling method developed by Mercuri International, brings you the science behind successful selling.
Selling is much more than telling
As can be seen the first two steps are about firming up the need. The third and fourth steps match the need to the solution, offering the best-fit product or service that can fulfill the identified need. Here comes the interesting part.
Any guess on which of these 4 steps most salespeople use for their initial pitch in selling?
The 3rd step of course!
The fatal flaw in selling, recognized world over by sales veterans, is to start off with what you can offer. Selling, it is clear, is not just telling. It is much more. Your pitch should be able to get the Customer to open out first, help her define the situation (DA) and only then tell her what you could do for her by way of real benefits
Hard selling Vs Customer focused selling
Those who try to do their ‘selling by telling’ tend to do their ‘P’ before ‘DA’. That’s hard selling, which turns off Customers fast. Hard selling is centered on just selling without any regard for the Customer’s interests. What does not benefit the Customer cannot benefit the seller either
When you use the DAPA approach, you are Customer focused. It is his need that comes first. Customer too finds it a pleasant experience as he listens to you talk about his business, his requirements, his pain points, his benefits and how your solution can help him. DAPA makes you a creative salesperson, as its forces you to search for new ways to look at problems and solutions from the Customer’s perspective.
Little surprise that ‘Customer driven goal oriented selling’ is another name for DAPA
Goal setting for sales visits
It is common knowledge that ‘if you don’t know where you want to go, you will get nowhere’. And, if you don’t want to set goals for your efforts, you will land up making efforts to achieve someone else’s goals.
DAPA helps you set up Customer centric goals, in all sales situations. Your Customer interactions will be transformed when you start applying the DAPA approach. The secret of DAPA as veterans acknowledge, is in its ability to bring a win-win flavor to the whole conversation.
Mercuri’s Insight document on ‘DAPA – The power of Customer driven goal oriented selling’ gives you a step-by-step guide to tap the power DAPA in enhancing the effectiveness of your sales efforts.
Can you now help Smith understand how he could have got the ESP deal on first try?
About Mercuri International
With our unique combination of consulting and training expertise, we help nearly 15,000 companies per year in more than 40 countries, and in over 30 languages, to become more efficient and effective in their sales activities, and achieve necessary improvements in results.
For more information about Mercuri International, please visit ca.mercuri.net.
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