"Why should I buy from you? Why should I buy your product? Why should I choose your solution?"
While your prospects may not ask these questions aloud, you can bet their inside voice is bringing them up during your sales calls.
The buyer’s inside voice is ever-present -- it owns the decision to buy and as a salesperson, you need to know how to overcome these objections. The best way to do this is through framing.
Framing refers to properly positioning messages you are sending to your buyer in order to tell a story. It creates context, which in turn influences the way prospects think and buy.
There are many types of frames you can create. Price, competitive advantage, features and benefits -- these are popular ways to create a “you-should-buy-from-us-and-here’s-the-obvious-reason”, but … they suck. Why? These frames create a context in which a salesperson is talking at the prospect, which can cause that inside voice to flare up and take the defensive, losing you that deal.
Good frames make situations human – they take into account the prospect at a person and turn the context into one that is relatable and engaging, making them care about what you are selling. Here are the aspects to consider when framing during a sales call:
A good frame embraces the emotional impact of what you’re selling; it gets the prospect’s mind thinking about how good they will feel when they go with your solution. Does you frame excite them because they have a greater chance of succeeding and getting that promotion? Does it make them feel good because they will be helping others? Listening carefully to your prospect can help you decide which emotion to target.
The key to vision is to get the prospect focused on the end result, on what it is that the prospect gets in return for buying your solution. Most frames fail here. They focus on prices, features, competitive challenges etc. These frames lack vision. Good examples of end results to anchor the vision in include X additional customers, greater productivity, gaining competitive advantage, and Y% ROI. Good frames anchor prospects in the positive change from their existing situation.
This is a big one. Framing around ownership is creating a frame where the prospect feels a part of the solution; they feel as if they are part of the creation of the solution, an additional element, the implementation, or some other important aspect. Frames that elicit ownership make buyers feel part of the process. Ownership highlights what they get personally when they choose you. Unlike vision, this frame spells out the personal benefits of decision. The more ownership and participation the frame contains for the buyer, the less objections their inside voice has.
4) Final Outcome
The best frames keenly focus on the outcomes. Every element above; the emotion, the vision, the ownership must all be anchored in the outcome. Features, benefits, pricing, competitive differentiators, etc. are not outcomes; they are simply elements in achieving the outcomes. If your frame is not anchored in the outcome, don’t use it. Period!
Frames are the stories we set up for our prospects. They can be the difference between winning and losing deals – when you create that context for your prospective buyer, you can more effectively overcome objections they may be thinking and more successfully close a sale.
Jim Keenan is a sales and leadership coach with over 15 years of experience in sales leadership and leading teams to be highly productive sales organizations. You can follow him at @asalesguy and read more on his blog.
Originally published Sep 19, 2013 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017