In my last post, I covered the first step in our three-step process for selling more services.
Click here to read Step 1 (Discovery).
In this post, I’m going to outline the second step in this process – known as the Exploratory.
First, let’s recap.
During the Discovery step, your primary objective is to excite and qualify the lead. If they aren’t qualified, they don’t move onto this step (The Exploratory Step) – because it’ll waste both your time and theirs.
If they DO qualify in the Discovery step, then it’s time to:
- Present Numbers and Packages
- Qualify (2nd Round)
- Overcome Objections
- Get A Verbal Commitment (1st “Yes”)
Given the first step has gone right, you’ve already spent 15-20 minutes with the prospect.
During the Exploratory, you’re going to spend 45-60 minutes with them.
How To Prepare For The Exploratory
This step must be handled in one of two ways:
- Over video
- In person
Both options are 10X more effective than attempting to sell your services over the phone, with no visuals, or worse – by emailing a pricing packet.
Regardless of which one you pick, it’s going to be best to have a slideshow presentation ready. (This helps with the visualization.)
If you have a Mac, you’ll likely use Keynote.
If you have a PC, you’ll likely use Powerpoint.
For Flight Media, video is the most common format we use for the Exploratory step. (Our main office is in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Ohio, and we don’t need to be in-person to sell.)
If you use video, make sure you have a solid software that’ll minimize errors and make it easy for your leads to hop on.
We use Zoom.
It’s incredibly easy to use and the quality is unparalleled. But if you’re looking for something on the free side, Google Hangouts or Skype can work!
What To Include In The Presentation
Your presentation will differ from ours, but the goal of the presentation is to explore the ideas/solutions you have for your lead, as well as your services and packages in order to accomplish those.
That said, here’s a small checklist to make sure your bases are covered:
- Cover your ideas/solutions
- Use their logo
- Include testimonials wherever possible
- Add case studies (proof)
- Ask tons of questions
- End with different pricing options (never limit them to one – I can’t count how many times people went with higher packages)
Here’s an example of what one of Flight Media’s Exploratory presentations looks like.
Grab it, steal it, tweak it!
How To Get The Verbal “Yes”
Throughout the presentation, you should be building rapport, recapping their goals and challenges from the Discovery call, and getting them to verbally tell you, “Yes! I’m in.”
In order to move from step two (Exploratory) to step 3 (Close), it’s vital that you get a verbal commitment from them.
This means that they need to confirm that the numbers you just showed them are in their ballpark and they’re ready to see a proposal.
We’ve tried a hundred different ways of finding this out, but the most effective way of getting a verbal commitment is by asking them, “So, what do you think of those numbers?” right after you discuss each package.
Typically, it ends in one of three ways.
Way #1: They’ll say, “That’s absurd! I would never pay that!” Then they’ll punch a hole in the computer and storm out. (Just kidding.) Typically, if they’ve made it to the Exploratory step, then you’ve already budget-qualified them to some degree.
Way #2: They’ll say something along the lines of, “Well, they don’t scare me. But I’d like to look things over with my leadership team/spouse before I make a decision.” (Most Common.)
Way #3: They’ll tell you what package they’d like to proceed with and ask what the next steps are.
Clearly, #3 is the most exciting, but #2 is the most common. (And that’s not a bad thing!)
If they go with Way #1, that’s a verbal “No.”
If they go with Way #2 or #3, we consider that a verbal “Yes.”
Once we’ve determined which of the three routes they’d like to take, we schedule step three: the Close.
Transitioning To Step 3 (Close)
Assuming they went with Way #2 or #3, you’ll be scheduling the third step/meeting while you’re with them.
The Close step is covered in a separate article, but this is the stage in your sales process where you run through the proposal with the prospect in-person or via video screen-sharing.
In order to do this, it’s vital that you schedule the next meeting (hopefully within the next few days from the Discovery meeting) to run through the proposal together.
Very Important Rule:
Never, under any circumstances, send a proposal to prospect without running through it with them LIVE, in real-time.
Make sure that before you get off the video call or leave their office (if in-person) that the next step is scheduled.
In the first step, you found out the five most important pieces of information you could from the lead in less than 20 minutes.
After the Exploratory step, you’ve now further qualified your lead, presented your options, overcame their objections LIVE-time, got a verbal “yes”, and scheduled the Close stage.
What steps in your sales process do you need to improve?