Control of a sales call is a vital element to sales success over time. As your sales career evolves, it’s imperative to critically evaluate your sales skillsets and find methods to grow. Top Down Selling will improve results through absorption, practice and proficiency.
Top Down Selling methodology describes a basic tenet of negotiation. It essentially states that the first step in recommending a solution for a customer should be a robust product/service. At times sales professionals are hesitant to offer the higher priced product/service because they fear that the customer will not be immediately receptive. This is true within all sales environments, but even more of a factor within outbound calling. People within a sales role often operate within a defined comfort zone and do not stray far from it, then ask themselves why they are not meeting their goals. Top Down Selling can open up a new perspective on capability and potential.
Top Down Selling is based on the First Price Principal. As your conversation moves from pain and desired state to BANT (budget, authority, need and timeframe), price and return on investment are considered. The First Price Principal states that the first price communicated is the price a customer will compare to all other prices within the entirety of the process. While every Sales Professional would accept a prospect agreeing to the first proposal, we often land somewhere between the best solution and the bare minimum. The question thus becomes – how do you move towards the prospect selecting the best option more often?
Being an expert in sales equates to consulting. Consulting requires that customers are not told what will work for them, rather that they have an opportunity to solve a problem in multiple ways. Starting with a proposal that more than meets what the customer needs will allow you to back down to a middle tier solution (but only if absolutely necessary). Open ended discovery questions will lead you to suggest a solution that solves multiple pains and offers a return. If objections are provided this gives you an opportunity to turn those buying signs into results based on the first price, not based on the bare minimum solution available.
Frame of reference is an important aspect of this process. A hot dog chain does not sell their food by the parts of the whole – the bun is 50 cents, the cheese is a quarter, the frank is a dollar. Rather, they package the meal with a side and a drink for an attractive price. A new car is not sold by the cost of the parts, instead the base car is made even more attractive by amenities and packages available to customize the experience. It may not be exactly what they need, but convenience is attractive especially because the majority of needs are met. Another example: a great waiter/waitress will provide off menu options that allow them to sell exclusivity and variety, all while providing choice to meet customer hunger needs and decreasing the probability that the customer will order the most basic item on the menu.
Psychologically customers will want to feel like they are getting value from the proposal and once the most robust appropriate solution is presented they will be more hesitant to strip away multiple pieces of that solution. Ultimately by offering best in category to your customer they will often end up choosing that option or the middle tier option. This results in less sales of the most basic offering available.
In summary, Top Down Selling is an efficient method to increase your average revenue per transaction, exceed sales goals, meet customer needs, increases offerings available and greatly decrease the likelihood that the most basic offerings are sold.
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