Today’s blog topic, the sales thermometer, is from my friend and mentor, Jim Wilson. Jim is a dynamic and accomplished champion salesperson. Watching and learning from Jim, I recognized the three qualities which made him a great salesperson. He has the courage to ask the necessary questions and the patience to wait for the answer. He believes in himself, his company and his product. And Jim has empathy for his customers and works hard to help them reach their goals.
Sales Process At A Standstill?
We’ve all been there. Our discussion with the prospect sounded like it was proceeding well but the “gut check” felt otherwise. “Sometimes the salesperson reaches an impasse and wishes he had ESP—or perhaps a magic wand—to read the prospect’s mind and find out how to adjust so the meeting is successful.” Jim told me once.
A Tool To Put The Sales Process Back On Track
One valuable sales tool Jim taught me is the “sales thermometer.” It comes in handy if you need to take your prospect’s buying temperature. The great salesperson’s thermometer question could sound something like this, “If I had a 1 to 10 thermometer…and 1 means you hate what you’ve seen so far, and 10 means you can’t wait to own it, where would you place yourself?”
When the prospect’s response is between 5 and 9, the sales professional can respond, “What has to happen to make you a 10?” If the response is lower than a 5, you’re in serious trouble! The gutsy sales professional confronts the issue: “We have a problem! Can you help me understand how to correct this?”
You Need Courage To Use This Tool
The great salesperson realizes her sales process is stuck and not moving as she hoped. By having the courage to ask the “what’s wrong here?” question she has the opportunity to get back on track. That’s the value of the “sales thermometer.” Based on the answer to “what would make this a 10?” a great salesperson can decide whether it is possible to make the sale or it is best to move on.
What You Can Do Right Now
- Practice asking the thermometer question.
- Check with your prospect along the way to make sure you are both singing from the same page
- Remember to confirm answers: “This is what I heard… Is that what you said?”
Don Crawford & Lois Carter Crawford