Situational Knowledge – Your Greatest Weapon in Marketing
When I first began hiring salespeople, it seemed like the most important thing was to teach them how to close a sale. Now that I have experience in sales, what seems more important is teaching interpersonal skills and understanding situational knowledge.
Situational knowledge is the ability to be aware of what’s going on around you. To do this, you need to stay in touch with your environment and react when necessary.
The Key of Situational Knowledge
Many salespeople are too focused on their own presentation and demo to gauge the reactions of the prospect. This is especially true over the phone, where they can’t see how distracted or uninterested a prospect may be.
There is no one answer to the question of diversity, but it’s not just about “going with the flow.”
The key to a successful pitch is knowing your material inside and out. When you deliver, it should be almost like an autopilot experience for you-your mouth knows what to say while the rest of your mind focuses on their reactions.
You should have a systematized, repeatable process when it comes to sales. It will allow you to command the conversation and keep adjusting “on-the-fly” based on your prospect’s reaction.
When you’re in a sales conversation, the prospect’s buying temperature will be heightened. When engaging with them, look for their needs and desires by reading what they say to you.
How do you work at the moment?
Everything is psychological
Mental modeling is an important part of situational awareness. You need to understand that people will react in the same way depending on who they are, what you’re selling them, and what their business is.
You need to make sure you set expectations, and this is necessary in order to avoid confusing the prospect. But the point of contention here is that these practices will keep things moving forward on a call, and when you go for the close at some point it’s more like part of an organic progression as opposed to being pushy.
As you work through the conversation, adjusting to your prospect’s feedback and reactions, they begin trusting you. That trust leads them to want a business relationship with you.
Hiring someone is very similar to selling them something. To crack the buyer threshold, you have to be able to convince that person why they should buy what you are offering.
The buyer threshold is the scale by which your prospect decides whether to invest. Many sales call end with the dreaded: “let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.” We all know that means “get lost.” That response is due in part because of complacency on behalf of both parties, meaning they were not motivated enough during your presentation for them to advance in their buying process.
Close, closer, closing
Closing a deal is often referred to as “going in for the close.” It means that you’re finishing up your sales presentation with a situational knowledge. But it’s more accurate to call this “striking while the iron is hot” because closing only when your buyer wants what you have can’t be achieved without getting them excited about purchasing.
When a prospect is complacent, they are not engaged and it’s usually because you missed something in the sales pitch.
Another thing to watch out for is if your prospect doesn’t take the bait and ask a question or object. That’s not always bad, because it means they were engaged in what you have so far said.
To make a sale, you have to keep your prospect’s awareness high throughout the presentation. Once they are aware and interested in what you’re saying, then it’s time for them to buy.
If you want to close a sale, it has to be natural and genuine. If the conversation contains situational knowledge that is substantial and honest, your prospect will invest or have an open discussion about contingencies before investing.
Salespeople should focus not just on the close or bottom-line, but also on situational knowledge and awareness. This is a skill that takes time and dedication to get good at.
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