Imagine you were meeting a customer or new prospect for the first time and you had the time to carefully plan your sales call. What would be the ideal sequence of communication steps that would benefit the customer and you? We call this sequence the quality-value selling call script, and it has four steps in the diagnosis phase of the meeting and five steps in the prognosis phase of the meeting. The same sequence works extremely well for important meetings that may not involve a sale but may be focused on starting a project, resolving a difficult service problem or addressing a technical challenge.

Whether it is a one-on-one sales call or a virtual meeting, it makes sense to plan how you want the meeting to go and what communications skills will be needed to achieve an optimum result. Use the sequence below during your next call or meeting and you’ll help your customer understand how your products and services deliver higher performance, quality and value.

Diagnosis phase

  • Introduction (company name first, benefit, your name)
  • Exchange of pleasantries
  • Brand promise of value (what customer value your company delivers)
  • SPIN probes (situation, problem, implication, need/payoff)

Prognosis phase

  • Product or service simple story that makes four points
    • How is it the same? – a positive association the customer understands
    • How is it different? – a positive difference that is unique to your offering
    • What is the unique benefit? – save or make money, reduce risk, etc.
    • Why are your claims are true?
  • Answer questions
  • Trial close: What do you think? What is your opinion?
  • Handle objections
  • Presumptive close: Let's get started!

Old-style transactional selling is very different than this sequence because it starts with the seller TELLING the customer what’s important. It’s more effective to ASK questions first to uncover needs and then offer a solution.

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