How to educate your lead (without being an unpaid consultant)?On December 1, 2021 by blog-admin
One mistake many salespeople make is talking too much while talking to the lead. In the end, he ends up being too polite.
Will he want to buy your solution if you’ve already provided almost free advice? Is your sales time not as valuable as your lead time?
Remember: selling isn’t doing a favor, it’s giving the other person the opportunity to solve a problem they have.
I’m going to talk about one of the mistakes I see most salespeople making, whether experienced or inexperienced: how to educate the lead without being an unpaid consultant?
This is one of my favorite subjects.
When I started to become a top performer salesperson, I understood that the way was not just to educate the lead too much, but to make an appointment with him.
When Vini was my manager, he always said that I was a very soft salesperson, that I was too polite, and that I needed to be a little more aggressive.
The way for me to become a better salesperson and get more commitment from the lead was:
Understand how not to be an unpaid consultant;
Know how to ask the tough questions;
Understand how to educate the lead according to its purchase journey.
I confess to you that this really changed my game in sales.
How to educate your lead?
We talk a lot about consultative selling, where you need to generate value, where the lead needs to understand your product so that he can see that value when using it.
This everyone knows. But still, consultative selling is selling! You need to generate value, but more than that, you need to get your lead’s commitment.
Your time, salesperson, is valuable time too. And, in the end, you’re not doing anyone a favor when you’re selling something.
You don’t sell, the lead buys!
A very important mindset to develop is that you don’t sell, it’s the lead that buys. What do I mean by that?
To sell something to someone is to get that person out of the status quo. It is to make that person have a change in routine, processes, in the company.
It’s a change anyway, and change is much more impactful when it comes from within.
The way you don’t sell and the lead buy is you don’t necessarily convince the lead to buy.
It’s making it easier for the lead himself to convince himself that he has a problem he needs to solve and you have the product to help him.
As much as we talk about consultative selling, it’s still sales and you need to be more aggressive, it’s the lead who buys.
The purchasing power is in his hands and you need to adapt your process to that.
The information the lead does not have
Your way to educate someone for real, convince them to change the status quo, and help them convince themselves , is to provide information they don’t have.
You don’t add value to a lead if you’re saying something that’s obvious, or if you’re saying something that that lead already knows.
Especially today, in a very strong inbound scenario, where leads are too educated before thinking about buying a solution, they are increasingly educated and have more and more information.
It’s your job as a salesperson to make sure you still have cards up your sleeve and still have value to show for it.
Actions are not solutions
Another important point in the education process is to educate about actions, not necessarily about solutions.
Respect your funnel, respect the user journey:
He needs to become aware of the problem;
You need to educate yourself about the problem;
To then make a decision.
I’ll give a very clear example: I’m talking to a lead about Blue World City and thee says his problem is to generate leads and be able to prospect more.
Instead of saying:
Great, now you need Reev.
I further educate the lead about the problem:
Do you need to generate more leads?
So you need to have a better design of your ICP , know which database you are going to use, have a business intelligence process , organize your database and templates and set up your communication.
With that, I’m educating my lead until the moment he says:
So to solve this, I need Reev.
Let the lead say that. Let the lead come to the conclusion that he needs your product.
The AIDA is a classic funnel that talks about:
But I like to see it the other way around.
For the lead to take an action he needs desire, to have desire he needs interest and to be interested he needs attention.
When educating your lead you have to be very careful to really get his attention, because it’s worth gold.
If you do a monologue, or bring information that is too complex for that lead, outside of his scenario and poorly contextualized, you won’t get his attention.
If you don’t have attention, you don’t have interest, you don’t have desire and you don’t have action.
A hack that we have developed internally, studying a little more about copywriting, is to always make the lead ask:
What do I get out of it?
Are you educating the lead? Is it generating value? Are you bringing him information? You have to show him that he really is earning something.
This mental effect on the lead is what will really make him move and follow this path of education.
Prioritization and problem layers
Know how to prioritize what you have to talk about with the lead. What issues do you want to cite?
Usually the unpaid consultant is the seller who wants to talk too much information and ends up prioritizing too little. If he prioritizes little he has little focus.
If he has little focus, therefore, the lead also has little focus and is not fluidly following the purchase journey.
You need to explore the layers of the problem.
This is a very interesting element that I learned from Pedro Couto, a Rock Content salesperson.
Problem layers are for you to understand a problem more deeply. I’ll give you an example:
Lead: I have a problem with lead generation.
Saleswoman: Why do you think this is a problem?
Lead: If I don’t have leads, I’m not passing leads to sales and I’m not generating revenue.
Generating revenue is a much bigger issue than generating leads.
If you manage to unfold the problem layer, you will naturally educate your lead more and have a greater commitment to it.
The same is true if you are identifying that the lead problem is an implication of another problem.
When I go a little deeper into the problem of this lead, I see that it has a large lead base, but it is not using that base well.
His problem isn’t lead generation, it’s that he’s not being able to engage those leads well. Knowing this is the key to educating your potential customers well.
How not to provide a free consultancy?
Just remembering that not being an unpaid consultant is a Sandler Rule.
The Sandler is a great scholar on sales and has a training system that is one of Sandler Laws.
Don’t be an unpaid consultant.
What do you have to do to not be a free consultant?
#1 Qualification & Commitment
As you qualify the lead, understanding if he has the problem you solve, in addition to interest and urgency in solving it, you will increase his commitment.
It is important for the seller to emphasize this commitment throughout the conversation.
If not, you’re just educating without moving the lead from the education step to the decision step. Take your lead’s commitment.
#2 Teaching is different from generating rapport
You often think that because you know a lot about your solution, your market and the problems you face, you ask too much about it and don’t generate genuine rapport.
You can’t connect with your lead because you’re more concerned with teaching a class than actually understanding the problem and educating them about it.
A big mistake I see salespeople making is not using lead vocabulary, wanting to go too far with their own approach.
I confess that I’ve made that mistake a lot myself, but as soon as I changed my mindset, I turned the tables and became a top performer.
#3 Ask the tough questions
This point is my favorite.
Consultative selling, after all, is about creating value and challenging the status quo. And it’s by asking the tough questions that you really make it happen.
I have separated 3 important questions for you to make this happen:
Question #1: Why is this a priority?
This question is for you to understand the depth of the lead problem.
It is for you to go back to the problem layer to understand how priority that is and how latent that pain is.
Question #2: What would happen if…?
This is an implication question. I can ask:
What would happen if you didn’t reach the goal you mentioned to me earlier? What happens if you continue the way you are?
I’m implying that pain and naturally challenging the lead status quo.
Go for me, it’s a tough question, but it’s worth asking when done well.
Question #3: On a scale of 1 to 10…?
Lastly, one of my favorite questions, a pure commitment question. You can talk:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you like our solution to be?
TO HAVE! Remember Aspira and Flipchart Friday #34, about questions every seller has to ask?
After I ask that, I can say:
What would make you reach 11?
Here I am really making a commitment and ensuring that this lead is very well aligned with expectations.
Consultative selling is still selling!
Remember: consultative selling is still selling! Generate value, challenge the status quo! This is today’s Flipchart Friday, I hope you like it. Any questions, just leave the comment below.