How To Sell Ice To An Eskimo – The Blueprint
You’ve probably heard the phrase – ‘sell ice to an eskimo’; but what does this actually mean?
And what do you need to know, and more importantly – do, to close sales both easily and consistently?
In this article, you’ll learn for the lack of a better phrase, how to sell ice to an eskimo, it’s meaning, and how to become an excellent closer.
Sell Ice To An Eskimo – What’s Its Meaning?
Firstly, what’s the meaning behind ‘sell ice to an eskimo’?
A popular phrase used in sales; the basic meaning is that you’re that good at selling, that you could practically sell anything to anybody.
Of course, in reality; you shouldn’t try to sell anything to anybody, as this isn’t a smart sales strategy.
However, if you are in sales or business, the most important skill set you could learn, is knowing how to consistently close clients and customers, because as they say – sales is the lifeblood of any business.
How To Sell Ice To An Eskimo? By Using A Process
The first thing you need to learn if you want to know how to sell ice to an eskimo, is that you should follow a step by step sales process or framework.
Many Sales Professionals and Business Owners generally do two things incorrectly.
Firstly, many ‘wing it’ with their sales conversations.
This means that one day, they’ll approach their sales conversation in one way – and another day they’ll use a completely different approach.
By using different formats or approaches, their approach and conversations are inconsistent.
This means their sales become inconsistent too.
Using a proven framework helps streamline this approach and allows them to close sales because they now have conversations in a consistent fashion.
The second mistake a lot of Sales Professionals and Business Owners use is following an outdated sales methodology.
Below is an outline of what this flawed model looks like.
The Old & Expired Way Of Selling
The old way of selling, usually fits within this framework:
- You meet with your potential client
- After building some rapport – they start prematurely presenting
- You ask the potential clients for feedback
- Ask for the sale, and then handle objections
This model is outdated, and definitely won’t help you sell ice to an eskimo.
First – by presenting up front prior to knowing what it is they’re looking to solve; we’re making assumptions as to what it is they want to actually buy.
As per our article in Entrepreneur, many Sales Professionals and Business Owners make the mistake of thinking that people buy their features and benefits.
What people are actually buying instead – is what will it mean when they own your product or service.
An important concept to learn if you truly want to learn how to sell ice to an eskimo, is that people don’t buy your product or service.
Instead – they are buying what it will mean when they own an outcome.
They buy what it will mean when they own it.
Another issue with this outdated model, is that the Sales Professional or Business Owner is prescribing a solution before knowing their potential clients pain points or desires.
People buy things to solve specific problems.
If we don’t ask questions to find pain, we’re assuming what their pain points are. It also means we’re doing all the selling, rather than helping them sell themselves.
Related article: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
How To Sell Ice To An Eskimo – The Blueprint
In the rest of this article, we’ll detail how to sell ice to an eskimo, by using a proven step by step sales system that’ll help your potential clients and customers sell themselves – rather than you doing all the selling.
Learning, implementing and following a sales process is one of the most important things you can learn in sales.
As previously mentioned, a sales process will give you consistency and a simple to use framework to not only learn how to sell ice to an eskimo, but guide your potential clients towards the sale.
The Benefits Of Using A 8 Step Sales Process
The sales process (also known as a sales formula or sales framework) is key to consistently succeeding in sales.
Some of the benefits of using the 8 step sales process outlined in this guide include:
- It creates a system; allowing you to close sales like a road map
- Certainty – for both you and your potential clients
- It allows you to control the process and conversation
By using the 8 step sales process outlined in this guide, you’ll feel a lot more confident while talking to potential clients, and you’ll successfully know how to sell ice to an eskimo, because you’ll have a clear system in which to operate your sales conversations with.
The 8 Step Sales Process
If you want to be coined with the term ‘sell ice to an eskimo’; follow the detailed breakdown of the 8 step sales process below:
#1 – Prospecting
The first part of the 8 step sales process if you want to know how to sell ice to an eskimo, is finding out who your ideal prospects are, and then targeting them using prospecting strategies.
Prospecting can generally be two-fold – inbound and outbound.
Inbound prospecting is putting together systems that drive traffic into your business.
Generally, it includes pay per click advertising, print media, SEO, and social media.
Outbound prospecting is proactively reaching out to your potential clients with social media, email, cold calling and networking events.
Related article: The Two Types Of Sales Prospecting
#2 – Selling Ice To An Eskimo Starts With Rapport
The first part of any sales conversation, and next step on your journey of how to sell ice to an eskimo, is building rapport with your potential clients.
Rapport us crucial if you wish to hold a consultative sales conversation with your potential clients.
It’s also important because people buy from people they like and trust.
By building rapport, you’ll be able to ask deep diving questions that can ultimately lead to a buying decision.
Below is an article that details how to do this.
Further reading: A Guide To Building Sales Rapport
#3 – Qualify Your Potential Clients Early
The third part of your journey to learn how to sell ice to an eskimo, is qualifying your potential clients early in the consultation or discovery call.
A lot of Sales Professionals and Business Owners make the error of speaking with people they think are potential clients – but end up not being qualified to either afford their product or service or aren’t the decision maker.
Qualifying early saves you time, energy, and money.
The qualifying framework to add to your 8 step sales process, is borrowed from an acronym called BANT.
Originally designed by IBM, it’s an easy to remember framework to remember what you need to ask to qualify your potential clients correctly.
BANT stands for:
- Time frame
Further reading: Qualifying Sales Leads – A Step By Step Guide
#4 – Setting Up Expectations
The fourth segment when learning how to sell ice to an eskimo, is what makes our sales process very different from the others out there.
We teach something called a pre-frame. When used correctly, this truly will help you close sales a lot easier, because it’ll help you set up expectations, as well as position you as the go to source for their enquiry.
The pre-frame happens prior to your deep dive sales conversation.
The deep diving sales conversation you will have with your potential client, is called the frame.
You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, and ‘frame the conversation’ in a way which will ultimately lead to a decision being made – either proceeding with a sale or deciding you may not be the right fit for one another.
The pre-frame is the conversation you have prior to the frame; in this case, it is what’s discussed prior to going into your deep dive sales conversation.
During the pre-frame, you want to cover three important things:
- Ensure all decision makers are present
- Let them know that you’ll be asking a lot of questions, to work out whether you can in fact help and serve them and their needs
- Give them comfort that at the end of the conversation, it is more than OK to say no if they’re not interested. Also let them know that many people use the “I need to think about it” as a way of covering for no. By giving them comfort, they’ll be more transparent.
The reason the pre-frame is key, is for two reasons.
Firstly, you’re removing two core sales objections up front – the I need to think about it objection, and I need to speak to objection.
Secondly – you’re getting permission to ask deep diving questions, which is the next part of our 8 step sales process.
Using a pre-frame will be a game changer for your business and overall sales process, because you’ll get to the underlying truth faster than using a traditional sales methodology.
Read the linked article below to learn how to do this in more detail.
Further reading: Positioning In Sales – How To Sell Effectively
#5 – Want To Know How To Sell Ice To an Eskimo? Ask The Right Questions..
The most important part of the 8 step sales process and learning how to sell ice to an eskimo – is the art of asking the right questions – and then diving deeper when you actively listen to their responses.
At The 5% Institute, we emphasise the importance of asking questions because we believe in using a consultative sales approach.
By asking the right questions – you’ll be able to help guide your potential client toward the sale and help them sell themselves on the need for a solution.
During your 8 step sales process, we recommend asking the following question examples:
- Finding pain
- Learning about their ideal outcome
- How they make buying decisions
- Why they’re speaking with you
- How long they’ve had their issue
We’ve written numerous articles on questioning and question categories, and recommend you read them to learn more. Check out the linked articles below to find out how.
- Sales Probing Questions
- Open Ended Sales Questions
- 10 x Questions To Ask A Potential Client
- 5 x Closing Questions To Win More Sales
Furthermore; if you’d like to learn about helping people sell themselves using questions and know how to sell ice to an eskimo – than we recommend learning about tie-down sales techniques.
Tie-down sales techniques are questions you ask that get an ‘agreed’ response.
Also known as trial closes – tie-down sales techniques help your potential clients sell themselves prior to having to ask for the sale.
Further reading: Tie-Down Sales Techniques – Your Ultimate Guide
An important note: finding pain is one of the most important ingredients for your questions and 8 step sales process.
This is because if you can’t find friction or any issues with their current situation – they won’t need to make a change.
The article below details how to do so effectively, without being pushy or breaking rapport.
Further reading: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
#6 – Discussing Money
Discussing money is another important part of the 8 step sales process, because you can use the discussion to build monetary value around what a solution for their problem and pain points will mean.
The difference between someone who’s OK at sales, and someone who truly knows how to sell ice to an eskimo; is that they discuss money during their conversation, rather than leaving it until the very end.
When you’re discussing money, you ultimately want to understand two important things:
- What is it costing them by having these issues? Learn the financial and personal impact of what the pain points mean.
- How much would they pay to fix it, and have a solution?
Discussing this here makes asking for the sale, and your closing questions a breeze.
#7 – Presenting Correctly
Once money has been clearly discussed, the next stage of learning how to sell ice to an eskimo, is presenting your solution correctly.
As mentioned in this article, many Sales Professionals handle presenting incorrectly and do something we call ‘premature presentation’.
As per our article in Entrepreneur, premature presentation is when you present your product or service prior to understanding what they need solved and hope that something you say sticks and resonates.
This spray and pray method are outdated and won’t help your closing rate.
Instead – when you’re presenting your product or service, we recommend you do so by prescribing it to their pain points and demonstrate how each of their problems will be solved with specific features and benefits you have.
Using a prescription approach as a specialist would, will align you as a trusted adviser, rather than just another salesperson trying to make a quick sale.
#8 – Handling Objections & Asking For The Sale
Finally, the last thing you’ll need to know if you want to sell ice to an eskimo, is handling their areas of concern, and asking for the sale.
Instead – we recommend using a simple and easy to remember objections framework.
The framework is:
- Listen carefully
- Repeat back the objection, and ask them to expand
- Validate the area of concern
- Re-frame the concern
- Confirm you’re on the same page
To learn how to do this in detail, read the article here to find out how.
Once you’ve handled all their areas of concern, simply ask if they’d like you to help them achieve what they intend to have solved and have them sign any agreements you may have in place.
How To Sell Ice To An Eskimo – Final Thoughts
If you truly want to know how to sell ice to an eskimo, simply learn, and more importantly take action on the 8 step sales process outlined in this article.
By following the 8 step sales process, you’ll lead your potential clients on a journey and positive sales experience, rather than position yourself as just another salesperson or commodity.
The sales process is the most fundamental, and important thing to master in sales if you wish to close consistently.
If you’d like to learn about our sales process in more detail, you can join the 7 Day Sales Challenge for free here.
Want To Close Easier?
If you’re interested in learning how to close easier – than The 5% Sales Blueprint may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Our affordable online sales training program will teach you everything you need to know from building rapport, to asking the right questions and closing with little effort.
To learn more, click on the link directly below.