The Technical Sale – How To Handle It Correctly
If you’re selling complex products or services, the chances are high that you’ll be regularly involved in the technical sale.
The question to ask however, is if you keep the conversation technical – can it impact your closing rate?
In this article, we’ll explore why focusing on the inner working and details of your product or service is something you need to avoid in the technical sale, and five key tips to focus on and practice instead.
The Technical Sale – How It Can Work Against You
If you’re selling software, technology, or even interesting gadgets; chances are that you’ll be having detailed conversations with your potential clients.
Although there is a time and place for this; specifically, when you’re speaking about features and benefits, the technical sales conversation can in fact hurt your closing efforts.
The reason it can be damaging to your sales, is for two specific reasons.
Don’t Make People Feel Stupid
The first reason where the technical sale can go wrong, is when you’re speaking in great depth about your product or service, and you use acronyms that may be widely used when discussing your area of expertise.
Although this may seem completely normal and natural to you; if you’re potential client doesn’t completely understand what you’re talking about, you may make them feel silly, uninformed, or even stupid.
Many Sales Professionals and Sales Consultants make the mistake of thinking that by talking in acronyms or technical language, that their potential clients will think they’re smart, and will trust them.
The truth is, it actually works opposite to this.
By speaking in technical language, you actually risk breaking rapport with your ideal clients, because you’ll demonstrate that you both aren’t the same; especially if they aren’t on the same page as you with your discussion.
Rapport is the art of building commonality; and a must needed ingredient to close sales.
Related article: A Guide To Building Sales Relationships/ Building Rapport
They May Come Up With Their Own Meaning
One of the concepts we teach in The 5% Sales Blueprint, is that people don’t buy products or services.
In fact – people don’t even buy features and benefits.
Instead – we teach that people buy what it will mean when they own your product or service.
During the technical sale, Sales Professionals and Sales Consultants often make the mistake of making the conversation about them, their products and their services.
The conversation should always be about them – which we’ll detail in a moment.
When the conversation is technical, and your potential client doesn’t understand what you’re discussing – you risk them coming up with their own definition about what you’re saying, which’ll also mean they’ll come up with their own meaning.
If they come up with their own meaning, you risk them creating a meaning which’ll hurt your sales efforts, or a meaning that they may not benefit in a way in which you’d like them to potentially see.
For this reason, whenever you’re involved in a technical sale, you should always keep things simple.
The Technical Sale – How To Handle It Correctly
So far, we’ve covered why using acronyms, jargon, and technical language should be avoided during the technical sale.
Now we’ll explore what you should do to handle it correctly.
The Technical Sale Tip #1 – Keep It Simple
Our first tip with any technical sale, is to break things down that may seem complex, and make them simple to understand and digest.
People; including your potential clients, don’t want to hear the technical details unless they specifically ask for it.
What they want to know, is how it can help them solve their unique problems, and what it will mean when its solved.
Prior to going into a sales conversation and winging it, we recommend identifying your features and benefits, how they work, and then break each item down in simple terms.
If the only way to explain a function is by using technical analogies; then you’ll need to revisit your communication strategies and find a better way to explain it simply.
During your sales meetings, an ideal topic is to have your sales team explain how to break things down simply during the technical sale.
The more you practice, the easier it’ll become.
The Technical Sale Tip #2 – Don’t Present Too Early
As per our article in Entrepreneur; many Sales Professionals and Consultants during the technical sale, make the mistake of presenting their product, service or idea too early.
We call this ‘Premature Presentation’ – and it hurts your sales.
The way in which you position yourself in sales conversations is extremely important, and it can make the difference between working harder for the sale or making the buying decision easier for your potential client.
We recommend positioning yourself as a trusted advisor, and prescribing your product or service, rather than pitching it and hoping something sticks.
Your presentation should always be at the end, after a number of other key questions that should be handled first; in which we’ll go into more detail about now.
Related article: How To Position Yourself As A Trusted Advisor
Tip #3 – Find Pain
One of the key reasons why people buy products and services, is because you’re moving away from some kind of friction; or pain points.
During the technical sale, it’s imperative to find pain – and learn what the pain means, and why they want it solved.
There are three levels of pain you’ll need to expand on, so that you can learn why they’re engaging with you and your business in the first place.
- Their technical issues
- Impact on their business
- The personal impact on them as an individual
If you can’t find pain, and more importantly; have your potential clients expand on what pain they’re going through, it’ll be difficult to close the sale.
Read the linked article below to learn more about pain.
Further reading: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
Tip #4 – Ask Powerful Questions
One of the most powerful tools you can use during a technical sale, is your ability to ask deep diving and probing questions.
Questions uncover a person’s pain points, who the decision makers are, how they make buying decisions, and much more.
Categorically; the types of questions you ask should assist with the following:
- Learning how they buy
- Finding pain
- Handling objections
- Asking for the sale
Related article: Sales Probing Questions – 20 x To Use Daily
The Technical Sale Tip #5 – Help Them Sell Themselves
On the topic of questions, another powerful technique to help you with your technical sale, is using something called tie down sales techniques.
Also known as trial closes; tie down sales techniques are questions you ask at the end of a statement, which elicits agreement from your potential client.
Some examples of tie downs include:
- Are you with me so far?
- You would like that, wouldn’t you!?
- Yes – that’s a terrific feature, isn’t it?
- Do you see what I mean?
- You would use that, wouldn’t you?
- That sounds great, doesn’t it?
- This way would work for you, wouldn’t it?
- You love that colour, don’t you?
- It’s a big living room, would you agree?
Tie down sales techniques are powerful, because they help your potential clients sell themselves, rather than you having to do all the selling.
We recommend you learn about tie downs, and how they can help you make more sales by reading the article below.
Further reading: Tie Down Sales Techniques – Your Ultimate Guide
Final Thoughts On The Technical Sale
The technical sale is a common situation when selling complex, products, services or ideas.
However; just because something may be complex, doesn’t mean you should use complex language when communicating with your potential clients.
We recommend getting rid of acronyms or jargon unless you have to use it.
Secondly, we recommend using a consultative approach. Use the tips below and read the linked articles to put this into practice.
If you’re interested in taking your sales to the next level, register for our free 7 day sales challenge by clicking on the link here.