The Probationary Conversation
The Q2C Selling conversations allow you to build a framework throughout your sales process. Q2C Selling is a method to prepare your appointments better, master your sales cycle and sell more and faster. The probationary conversation is the third step of the qualification process.
In this article, find the probationary conversation’s definition and interest and discover how to structure it efficiently. At the end of the article, discover the cards associated with this conversation and use them to set up your deck in Sales Deck. Choose the cards that work for you and customize them to your offer and prospects.
To discover more about conversations and their successful implementation, we invite you to download an extract from our book Q2C Selling, written by Gabriel Dabi Schwebel and Nicolas Delignières.
The Probationary Conversation: What is it?
This conversation aims to establish the legitimacy of the prospect and the salesperson in the buying/selling process. This conversation is the one that is probably most influenced by the prospect’s previous journey, i.e., the source of the opportunity: recommendation, inbound lead, prospecting, RFP.
Prove the Legitimacy of the Salesperson and their Company
The discovery conversation must allow you to prove that you know what you are doing and that your company is serious. During this conversation, you will, for example, present your best references and customer cases.
Be careful: you should not always use the same arguments. Instead, try to adapt your ideas to your prospect.
Establish the Prospect’s Legitimacy Through the Evidentiary Conversation
Yes, it takes two to make a sale, and if the salesperson is qualified, you must also make sure that the prospect is capable of carrying out the process. Are they in charge of the project? Has a budget been established? Have they already had the opportunity to carry out this purchasing process?
These are all elements that will enrich your understanding of the context of this sales process, and it is also an opportunity to understand who else needs to be met to make the sale.
What information do you get from the probationary conversation?
The Project Schedule
The project schedule is also an element of legitimacy that this conversation can bring out. This issue is expected to be discussed, and the absence of a clear timing mind generally demonstrates a low purchase intention.
The Level of Maturity
During this conversation, you will be able to understand if this type of buying process is new for your prospect or not and deduce his maturity on the subject. Moreover, his previous experiences can help you identify the critical factors for a successful sale.
The Presence of Competitors
This conversation is also an excellent way to highlight the presence of a competitor who is already with your prospect or who will also be consulted during the sales process.
Secondary Decision Makers
By mentioning why they are facing you today, your prospect will naturally be able to indicate if other people will be involved later in the sales process.
Yes, the sooner you address the budget issue, the better! Proving that you are aware that your purchase involves a specific budget is undoubtedly the best mark of legitimacy. Don’t be afraid to talk about money! If your prospect is reluctant, be smart and approach the issue differently.
The Cards Associated with the Probationary Conversation
You have understood the probationary conversation’s principle and interest, but you don’t know how to apply it concretely? Here are the cards that will be very useful to structure your conversation and set up your Deck in Sales Deck. You are free to keep the cards that suit you and change the order in which you use them.
Your Prospect’s Current Project
The objective is to understand if this type of buying process is new for your prospect or not and deduce his maturity on the subject. His previous experiences can help you identify the key success factors of the sale.
The Previously Allocated Budget
This is an excellent way to get around the budget issue. By asking about the budget previously allocated for a previous solution, it gives you some leeway for your solution. If your prospect knows that his purchase involves a specific budget, this is a good sign.
Present your Decision Tree
Present your sales process as such. This technique is very effective whether it’s a simplified version of your entire decision tree. It allows you to discuss a specific document together without any double talk. This technique will enable you to bring out difficult information, such as the budget.
Discussion of the Cost of the Issue
Right from the first meeting, your prospect is likely to be surprised by such transparency. He is used to sales processes that seek to make him forget that they are. This surprise is a blessing because the feedback will not be filtered.
With this transparency, you also get clarity from your prospect. Discuss together the cost of not resolving this issue. You can address the budget issue directly and get great information while making a mark on your prospect’s mind.
The Project Start Date
The objective is to get the project schedule. The absence of precise timing in mind generally demonstrates a low purchase intention.
The objective is to highlight the presence of a competitor who may already be with your prospect or who may also be consulted during the sales process.