Thursday, March 20, 2014

Overcoming Software Sales Obstacles

When a prospect says "no", it doesn't mean that they don't want your product or service. It means that at this point in time, they value their money more than they value your software. So says Michael LeBoeuf in his book "How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life."

LeBoeuf urges us to listen to prospects' objections, and agree with them as much as you can. Develop trust. Explain that they need your software. Understand your competitors' products, and explain why yours are better.

"How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life" is not particularly about the software development industry. But the book offers a lot of suggestions that will strengthen your software marketing.

Minimize the risk of making a buying decision by offering a money-back guarantee. Find something additional to add to the sale for free.

LeBoeuf tells us to anticipate objections and deal with them in advance. If you're selling software on your website, you have to do exactly that.

Don't let the prospect rattle you. Or if they get under your skin, don't let it show. Take as long as required to calm down before you answer an email that makes you angry or upset.

LeBoeuf recommends using the "feel/felt/found" formula. This is one of the time-tested closing methods that you'll find in any book about closing sales. Tell the prospect that you understand how they feel. Tell them that many of your other customers felt the same way. Finally, tell them what these customers found - specifically, tell them the particular benefits that your software offers which will overcome the prospect's objection.

Sell a mix of features and benefits. After describing a feature, say something like "What this means to you is..." and deliver the corresponding benefit.

Some prospects simply won't buy, LeBoeuf reminds us. They'll answer everything you say with "Yes, but..." and raise yet another objection. Realize that you can't sell to some people. At some point, you have to end the seemingly endless stream of emails that a tiny number of prospects might send you.

LeBoeuf tells us to let the customer experience the benefits of buying. In the software industry, most mISVs do this by offering a trial version of their applications. But when you have to decide between urging prospects to download the trial version or buy the full version, you should encourage the prospect to buy.

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