Are You Fishing In The Right Pond

by | Sep 26, 2020 | Modern Sales Training, Modern Selling, Plan.Grow.Do.

Are You Fishing In The Right Pond

Are you fishing in the right pond? you could be missing sales because you’re not.

By using a simple process we can help you catch more fish!

The handy acronym SPANCOP will help you place everyone in any stage of buying from you. 

You’ll know where they are in their buying journey and therefore what the next logical step needs to be in your sales activity.

SPANCOP stands for:

  • Suspect
  • Prospect
  • Approach
  • Negotiate
  • Close
  • Order
  • Pay

“A shark hunting in the sea doesn’t try to eat every fish in sight

Quint from Jaws 😉 🦈

They go after their target prey, the ones with enough nutrition and substance to sustain them in order to make it worth the effort.

The whole purpose of this pipeline process is to be able to identify which stage a potential customer/client is at so that you can act accordingly. 

However, if you’re trying to fit everyone down it, you will find that people rarely get to the end. You and they will become frustrated by your efforts as the fit just isn’t right.

There’s a big difference between a suspect and a prospect. It’s important you identify the difference for your business. A suspect might have once said they like the sound of what you do.

  • A prospect has a budget.
  • The authority to spend the budget.
  • They have a need and want for your product or service.

#SALESBOOM It’s fine to have conversations with suspects, but the conversation should only be about whether or not they are a prospect at this stage.

What you don’t want to be doing is wasting three hours talking to a suspect to find out they don’t have the money to buy right now.

How do I find the right fish?

“I don’t just have one ideal customer, though.” You’re right. but you have to fish in the right pond.

The likelihood is, you’re going to have more than one ideal prospect. But it’s still important to be able to categorise and characterise a few different ideal prospects.

A good way of doing this is to think about who your best existing customers are.

You’ll find more tips in this article Effective Customer Profiling

Why is this important?

If you understand what your ideal prospects look like, then when someone who fits that profile comes to you, you know exactly how to act. 

In the approach stage, you’ll be able to identify their problems and solutions a lot easier because you’ve already given it some thought. 

Focus on discussing their problems and solutions to their problems. This is not the appropriate time to discuss price, as you haven’t yet established the value of the solution to them.

The negotiate phase is where you can talk about money. The prospect is now warmed up to the idea that they need what you have, so they are less likely to haggle on the price, provided you have set it appropriately for their budget.

Closing is where you seal the deal. Be careful not to seem too eager to close, as just as you are about to close is where buyers can have their last moment of doubt about whether to buy or not.

Order and Pay have their own nuances too, but if you’ve gotten to this stage properly, those should be the most straightforward of the phases.

Don’t sell to Suspects

A few additional points to consider before you go off and sell to your way to success and to avoid a dysfunctional sales funnel!

You don’t always have to force the issue.

Give them enough time to figure out whether they are an immediate prospect. If you think they might be a future prospect, make a note to contact them again when you feel it’s appropriate. 

Don’t mention the price until you’ve established value. 

A seemingly high price initially can be justified and made to seem reasonable by giving the context of what it returns. If you’re going to charge someone £100s but help make them £1000s, £100s won’t seem like a lot. 

Be clear on what an ideal prospect looks like for you. 

If your talking to the right people they’ll want to hear what you have to say and you’ll always be sure of your next logical step.

Here’s a little more reading for you on the subject.

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