How To Use The Intent Statement For Sales Success
Something we teach Sales Professionals and Business Owners that make their sales conversations a lot more successful, is an intent statement – also known as a pre-frame.
An intent statement is a game changer.
It positions you as a trusted advisor, builds trust, gets you the information you need to close the sale, and even eliminates some objections.
In this guide, you’ll learn what an intent statement is, how it’ll help you close more sales, and the three important points to cover in your intent statement.
What Is An Intent Statement?
An intent statement, or pre-frame as we teach in The 5% Sales Blueprint; is a statement that delivers your expectations for a sales conversation.
It lets your potential client know what they can expect from you, and it gently lets them know what you would like to expect from them.
By pre-framing the conversation; you position yourself as a trusted advisor – you let them know that there are boundaries and parameters around the conversation, and that it will be structured.
Doing so has multiple benefits, which we’ll explore now.
Why The Intent Statement is Critical For Sales Success?
The intent statement gives you the following benefits.
First – it lets your potential clients know that you’re not just there for a sale; but instead, eager to learn about their situation, their pain points, desires, and what they need to do to get there.
The second important area covered, is that you find out if all the decision makers are present.
By doing so, you’ll eliminate a potential sales objection which we’ll cover shortly.
Finally, you also let them know that it is OK if they don’t want to invest or buy; and that you’ll only offer them a solution if they are the right fit.
It may seem crazy reading this at first, but we’ll unpack why this is a powerful conversation piece and ingredient when delivering your intent statement.
How To Use An Intent Statement – The 3 x Key Ingredients
An intent statement is simply something you start your sales dialogue with, after you’ve built some rapport with your potential clients.
Keep it mind; this isn’t a discovery call starter or your initial qualification sales call.
This is something you do once you’re either in front of your potential client, or when you’re on the phone with them with the intent to make a sale; or disqualify them from your offer.
Instead of using a sales script; gently include the following three areas in your sales conversation.
Deep Diving Questions
The first part of your intent statement will be to let them know that you’ll be asking a lot of deep diving questions, and the reasons being are twofold.
First – you want to completely understand their situation and what issues they’re dealing with.
By letting them know this, you not only get permission to ask deep diving sales probing questions, but it also let’s them know that you truly care about the issues they’re facing.
This just expands your rapport, and empathy with your potential clients.
Secondly, you let them know the reason why you want to ask questions, is because you won’t prematurely present your offer; and will only offer them a solution if you can in fact help them.
This is for two reasons.
You should only make an offer if you can in fact help someone with what you’re selling.
Not only is this for integrity reasons, but also for the playing long game and to avoid legal ramifications.
The second reason this is so powerful, is that it gets rid of sales resistance.
When a potential client hears that you’ll only offer a solution if they’re the right fit – it takes away the sales pressure usually associated with sales conversations.
They feel they’re in the presence of a true trusted advisor, and that they’re not going to be pressured into making a buying decision.
In turn, this allows them to be more open with their responses to your sales questions.
Related article: Sales Probing Questions – 20 x To Ask
The second ingredient in your intent statement, is to clarify that all the decision makers are present.
“If they are happy with what they hear today; if you can in fact help them that is – is everyone available to say yes if they wanted too and proceed forward, or would they need to talk to someone else?”
By doing this, you’ll clarify two important things.
First, that all decision makers are present; if not, it’s important to find out who the decision makers are and get them in front of you or on the call if possible.
Secondly – if all the decision makers are present; it eliminates the potential “I need to speak to” sales objection.
If everyone who can make is decision is present – how can they lean on the I need to speak to objection later?
They can’t – and you’ve diffused the objection elegantly, and without being pushy.
Related article: Easily Handle The ‘I Need To Speak To’ Objection
It’s OK To Say No
Finally; the last and third ingredient to your intent statement is to let them know that if they feel they’re not a good fit or wouldn’t benefit from your offer, product or service – that it’s OK to say no.
This does two important things.
Firstly, it again reiterates the fact that you’re there to help them, and that they can trust you to have an open, honest conversation.
Secondly; if they feel comfortable to say no, it’ll potentially eliminate the “I need to think about it” sales objection later.
Most of the time when someone says they need to think about it; either the price is too high compared to the value they think they’ll receive, or they want to say no but don’t want to offend you.
By letting them know it’s OK to say no, and that you’ll only offer something if you think they’ll be the right fit, you remove the stigma and risk that you’re going to push a sale even if it won’t benefit them.
Related article: Overcoming The ‘I Need To Think About It’ Objection
The Intent Statement – Our Final Thoughts
Introducing an intent statement, or pre-frame into your conversation is very powerful because not only does it help position you as a trusted advisor, but also eliminates potential objections.
More importantly, it emphasises the importance of having a conversation built on honesty and truth.
Honesty and truth are the most important fundamentals to a sales conversation, because only then can you truly help or serve your potential client.
When the truth is missing – they’ll give you objections, or just ‘want more information’.
We highly recommend adding the intent statement into your sales process and dialogue for maximum sales results.
Want To Close Easier?
If you’re interested in learning exactly how to close more sales, more consistently – then you may be interested in our online sales training program – The 5% Sales Blueprint.
Our self-paced and affordable sales training course will take away the guesswork and show you exactly what steps you need to close more sales in a consultative way.
To learn more about our online sales course, read the linked link below for more details.