The Dialogue Framework – a Primer

Last week we covered 3 ways to increase speed for the black box, but we saved one of the most important for last: the dialogue framework.  Simply put, a powerful framework that resonates with prospects speeds up the black box.  Much like a comedian that knows the set-up and punchline that will get a good laugh, a dialogue framework will deliver a targeted message to the prospect, increasing the pace of sales and providing more accuracy.

The framework is actually made of two parts, the dialogue and the rebuttals.

The Dialogue

The opening dialogue is like the first 2-minutes of any T.V. show: It’s your first opportunity to impress and intrigue the prospect before they switch the channel. If your opening sales pitch is too bland or generic, then the prospect won’t even give you the time of day. To establish a strong opening, your marketing team and your sales team must collaborate to create the most influential and concise dialogue.

The significance behind collaborating on the sales pitch is that the entire team has the same information at their disposal; this will help control outside variables that may interfere with your sales data. If everyone has the same framework, it’s much easier to discover what works and what doesn’t, showing a much clearer area for improvement.

Remember, if it sounds too salesy, then it is too salesy.

The Rebuttal

Once the opening pitch is done, you’ll likely hear the phrase “I’m all set.” This is a common defense for any prospect; like most people, they’re afraid of change and do not want to disturb the current process. The type(s) of objections you’ll be exposed to heavily depend on a few factors: the current market for your product, the prospect’s job responsibilities, the industry, and the size of the company.  To pre-empt objections, it’s crucially important that you have a solid grasp of these factors.  Your prospect may either have their own solution, a third-party solution, or not even recognize the pain point that you are trying to solve. Remember, the main driver for any product/service you’re selling is that it satisfies a demand that nothing else can. With that said, it’s important that you know the market for your solution, inside and out, but that you also have a basic knowledge of competing products. With this knowledge, you can quickly overturn many objections by pointing out the weaknesses of the competition, thus highlighting the value of your product.

The key is to be prepared for objections, but not to lose focus on read and react – understanding what the prospect is saying and speaking to their implicit needs.

Your dialogue framework should be complete with the opening sales pitch first, followed by rebuttals to possible objections; it’s important to list the most common objections, with their rebuttals, first and then list the remaining ones in descending order by frequency. Each rebuttal should be specific enough that it targets the objection, but vague enough so you can format it to fit the situation. Remember, the dialogue framework is just that: a framework. It’s important to know the framework like the back of your hand, but it’s more important to make each rebuttal natural and relevant to the situation; listen to the prospect and rebuttal appropriately to the information you’ve received. If you’ve refined your opening pitch and found a rebuttal for each common objection, then you should see a significant increase in the speed portion of the sales black box.

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