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Use RADAR To Develop A Sound Relationship With Your Prospect

By Mark Anthony

Salespeople are faced with many challenges - getting in the door, overcoming objections and the prospects fear of economic uncertainty. But even more frustrating is being rejected after you offer the perfect solution to the prospect’s needs and problems. That difficulty is caused by the #1 sales error of both rookies and seasoned pros.

The most frequent mistake that sales people make is that once they get in the door they are dying to tell their prospect everything there is to know about the product. They focus on selling the attributes of their product and forget to find out which aspects of their product are relevant to the prospect’s specific needs. The problem here is that you can’t sell your product unless you know what your prospect wants. To discover these needs, you have to stop talking, start asking smart questions and listening carefully.

The secret is to stop being the “salesperson” and learn to see things from the prospects viewpoint. By understanding how the prospect thinks and by having them admit that they need the benefits you offer, your closing percentages will soar.

You can accomplish that through the use of RADAR. RADAR is a method for developing a sound relationship with your prospect and for finding out what he is looking for. The letters  R-A-D-A-R stand for four sets of questions.

R is for rapport building questions

AD is for questions that ask about difficulties

A is for asking questions affirming your understanding of the difficulty.

R is asking questions that will tell you the results a person is looking for from your service. Each category of questions is essential to use if you want to achieve dynamic results.

The purpose of rapport building questions is to make the prospect feel comfortable,  relate on the same level, and establish likability. These questions help you get to know the person. You stop being strangers and start becoming associates or friends. Remember, when all things are equal, people do business with the person they like. Example of rapport building questions:

  • What made you go into this line of work?

  • That's a lovely accent, what brought you to the United States?

  • That’s a unique looking trophy, how did you earn it?

Whether you are asking your prospect about his college years, his artistic talents, or how he got started in business he will enjoy talking about himself. Each question will build a most worthwhile rapport between the two of you.

Difficulty questions give you the ammunition necessary to build the case that your product is the ideal solution to the prospects problems. These questions  teach you what is valuable to your prospect besides price. Here you have your prospect define needs and concerns. Prospects often have similar concerns, but when you take the time to have your prospect express what makes their circumstances special, you can position yourself to fill that unique void. Examples of difficulty questions:

  • Why do you feel ___________ is your greatest competition?

  • What is the biggest problem you have had with a supplier?

  • Can you tell me about your biggest difficulty in attracting new customers?

  • What is your greatest concern regarding inventory?

For your prospect to know that you do indeed have the ability to solve their problems, you have to affirm your understanding of the problems. That is what the second A stands for.

Affirmation questions demonstrate that you and the prospect are in synch. They show that you are listening and that you understand their needs. Most importantly, affirmation questions get the prospect to admit that there is a problem that needs solving. Some affirmation questions are:

  • If I understand you correctly what you’re saying is _____________?

  • The main problem you need solved is ______________, isn’t it ?

  • Isn’t what your asking for __________?

Result questions reveal the prospect’s emotional reasons for buying. They differ from difficulty questions in that the difficulty question tells you what they want and the results question tells you why they want it. If you can get a prospect to focus on why they have a need to be fulfilled and how they will benefit by your expertise, you are very close to a sale even before beginning the presentation of facts and features about your services.

If the RADAR method ever aggravates your prospect, who may be impatient to conclude his meeting with you just explain to him that you are asking these questions in order to serve him through a knowledge of his needs and problems. To further disarm him, you should also point out that you are asking these questions to see if your product is even appropriate for his needs.

To insure RADAR’s success, be sure to word your questions in open ended style -  questions that give you substantially more information than a yes or a no response. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. To build your business and long term clients, you need to communicate. Success comes when you realize your job is not selling, but fulfilling your client’s needs beyond their expectations.

The most important point to remember while conducting the RADAR method is that doing RADAR does not mean selling your product per se. Rather, it means establishing a solid partnership with your prospects where you learn the best way to serve them. That will yield the ultimate result of many successful sales calls.

Read other articles and learn more about Mark Anthony.

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