How to Make the Most of Positive Buyer Feedback
When you’re making a sales presentation, it’s essential that you stay aligned with the buyer. That means asking your buyer to assess how well he or she believes your offering can address their needs, and if they have any concerns about your solution and its implementation.
Such buyer feedback helps you assess the buyer’s level of receptivity to your solution, and it alerts you to potential issues.
Most sellers associate buyer feedback with objections, such as price, missing features, quality concerns or competitive comparisons. But not all feedback is negative. Sometimes buyers give you positive feedback such as “I love your product!” or “Your XYZ solution helped us organize our warehouse operations.”
Ironically, while many sellers focus on how to respond to negative feedback (objections), few sellers are prepared to manage positive feedback.
What's so important about positive feedback?
Positive feedback is an opportunity to continue selling and to uncover other selling opportunities. These can include up-selling and cross-selling. That's because positive feedback is a signal that the buyer is open to working with you, and your solution.
Here is a four-step process for managing positive feedback:
- Agree with the buyer’s reaction.
- Expand on the buyer’s reaction by stressing related benefits.
- Probe for other opportunities.
- Depending on where you're in your sales process, continue the sales call or try to gain commitment.
Let’s look at the first two steps of managing positive feedback. When you get positive feedback, first take your time. It's essential that you encourage and build on the positive feedback. That means you should agree with their reaction and stress the related benefit
Here are a few examples:
“Yes, that’s right, and you'll see the increased productivity within the first three months.”
“Exactly. This solution will help you create a better experience for your customers."
“Good point. You profit margins will increase based on lower production costs."
Obviously, agreeing with the buyer’s reaction is easy. The idea of stressing a related benefit is to increase the value of your solution. By doing this, you make it easier to expand the selling opportunity and then gain commitment.
The next step is to probe for new selling opportunities by asking questions.
For example, you could ask, “Who else is impacted by this problem?” Or, “Who else would benefit from this solution?” This is also an appropriate time to ask for referrals.
Finally, continue the call or, if appropriate, try to gain commitment.
In a sales situation, it’s easy to over-focus on the negative and ignore the positive. That’s a mistake. Remember, when a customer gives you positive feedback, use that feedback as an opportunity to expand the sales opportunity.
About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.