While technology has made our lives easier, it has also made our lives busier. With unlimited access to information and entertainment at our fingertips, it can be hard to know where to focus our attention.
This assault on the senses, whether good or bad, makes it more difficult for people to make decisions—and much more difficult for salespeople to cut through the noise and show these prospects how a product or service could improve their lives.
The SNAP sales methodology aims to help your sales team to understand how your customers make decisions and how to grab their attention. Learn how SNAP selling works.
What is SNAP selling?
The SNAP selling technique includes the following four basic components.
Keep it Simple
You don’t have time to go into the complexities of your product. Your sales team needs to make the message simple to persuade customers to change their habits and buy your product.
The members of your sales team must be experts to give the consumer a sense of trust and showcase the product’s value. The sales team must stand out and rise above the competition to secure the sale.
You need to remain aligned with your customers. Make sure that you understand your customer’s needs, concerns, and goals so you can show how your product will help them solve their problems. If your message shows how your product can help them to meet goals faster and more efficiently, they will be more willing to work with you.
Tap into your client’s priorities and align your product with them. Focus on your customer’s priorities so that they will see your product or service as an urgent need.
[CTA: How discovery calls impact buyer experience]
Busy people don’t like to be interrupted by information or products that they perceive to be of no use. The four basic components of SNAP selling above can help your sales team get into their clients’ heads so your customers can address questions such as:
- Is this product or service worth my time?
- Will it be hard to implement?
- Is this the best option available?
Frazzled Customer Syndrome
It’s much easier to work with calm people who have the time to listen and analyze their situation. These people take the time to determine the best option before moving on. However, these calm, rational people don’t really exist anymore, having been replaced by stressed-out and overworked professionals who are always expected to do and know more.
In her book, SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today's Frazzled Customers, Jill Konrath describes these overworked potential sales prospects as suffering from “Frazzled Customer Syndrome.” Symptoms of this condition include:
Impatience: These are very busy people who don’t have a lot of time. They don’t want the entire sales pitch. They want your short elevator pitch. If you don’t cut to the chase right away, they’ll move on immediately.
Distraction: It only takes about eight seconds for a consumer to be distracted. Even when the prospect is interested, distractions come from text messages, pop-up ads, news alerts, cute cat videos, and so on as people attempt to multitask as much as possible. Your message has to be simple to keep the prospect focused.
Forgetfulness: As people jump from task to task, a lot of what they learn from you does not get stored in long-term memory. You may need to repeat yourself and remind your customer about prior commitments they may have made.
Becoming demanding: You may be expected to bend over backwards to make your prospective customer happy, but be prepared for them to move very slowly when it is their turn to take action. In addition, the prospects’ demands are a way of testing your salespeople to ensure that they are experts with the product or service. Consumers don’t want to waste time with someone who they think is incompetent.
Analysis paralysis: Too many options, too much change, and not enough time to do research can leave prospects feeling overwhelmed. You can alleviate a lot of the pressure by simplifying data and reports to help them feel more confident.
Withdrawing from contact: Busy people tend to get focused on other immediate priorities rather than taking time to engage with your sales team. They may not have anything to report and want to avoid an awkward conversation. They may go completely silent.
How frazzled customers think
Your traditional sales strategies will not work with frazzled customers. Sales approaches that may have worked in the past may drive prospects away. They may tell you that priorities have changed or that the budget has dried up. Attempting to get these customers back on track may push them away further. They may tell you to call back next week, next month, next quarter, or next year. They’re just not that into you, and they want you to go away.
This is why it is so important to get inside your prospects’ heads so you can speak to them on their level. Apart from becoming a frazzled customer yourself, how do you understand how a frazzled customer thinks?
Konrath offers the following ideas to help you understand how your customers think.
Complexity grinds them to a screeching halt
Comedian Jim Gaffigan once said, “Want to know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning. Then someone hands you a baby.”
That is how your overwhelmed prospects feel. If they think that what you are selling will make their lives more complicated, they are done with you before you’ve finished your pitch—even if your product would have made their lives easier.
They subscribe to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy
If what they are doing now is working, busy people are reluctant to make a change. Even if their current solution is clunky, inefficient, and siphons loads of money, they won’t take the time to consider a new solution until it is urgent because it is too much work to make a change.
They think that making risky decisions is career-inhibiting
Busy people don’t like to make risky decisions that may risk their careers. If your customer perceives that your solution will take too much effort to get an approval or if they think that it will be too much work to implement, they will dismiss you and move on.
Most options seem the same
Your product may be very similar to others on the market. If you can’t differentiate and explain why your solution is better, the prospect will likely go with the one that costs less than the others.
They suffer no fools
Your customers are gauging you with every word and interaction whether you know what you are talking about. If you don’t know your stuff, you can’t fake it with frazzled customers. They don’t have the time or patience to deal with people who are not experts with the product. You have to be able to give good, solid answers that will help them see how your solution will ease some of their burdens.
3 critical decisions
While your ultimate goal is to sell your product or service, you need to understand that the decision to buy is not the only decision involved in the process. There are three decisions:
- Allowing access
- Initiating a change from the status quo
- Changing resources
Implement a SNAP-y plan
We’ve told you that it is hard to sell to today’s busy, frazzled customers. They will stay with the status quo as long as they possibly can, and they don’t want to be burdened with complexities.
But the good news is that deep down every frazzled customer knows that a day will come when they need to make a change. Use the SNAP selling technique to lead them through the decision process so they are confident in making the correct decision.
Your prospects will want to work with smart people with fresh ideas and insights. Always aim to provide them with information in short, persuasive sound bites that will show them how your solutions will achieve their business objectives. Your customers want somebody they can rely on to care and who they can trust. You need to be the person who can guide them through the decision-making process.
To implement a SNAP selling plan, keep the following in mind:
- Align your presentation talking points with the prospect’s critical business objectives. This will capture and maintain their interest and build trust in your relationship.
- Emphasize personal value and technical expertise so that you are more likely to be chosen over the competition. Perceived value from the customer’s point of view increases customer loyalty.
- Keep things simple. Offer the product in increments if possible to keep the customer from feeling overwhelmed. Be available to answer questions and to help with product implementation to build customer confidence and ensure customer success.
- Make your prospect’s priorities your priorities so you are always on the same page and delivering what is needed.
With these tips, your sales reps will be able to use SNAP selling and discover how to pitch your product or service in a way that captures prospects’ attention.
Want to see how your sales org can benefit from other sales methodologies?