July 08, 2015

Guerrilla Selling: How Not to “Flog” Things to Your Client

The clear rule of sales is that, when working with a client, we should pose a lot of questions. However, often salespeople are so into “flogging” a product or a service that they almost forget about their client. And for no good reason. Orvel Ray Wilson, one of the top 5 global sales trainers, discusses which questions are likely to push potential clients towards purchasing.

Top performing professional sales managers are able to skillfully use the technique of “guerrilla selling” when a customer buys something as a result of your conversation, and not under pressure from an aggressive seller. If the customers are more satisfied with the deal than the seller, then they will always come back.

The Iceberg Principle

The Iceberg Principle

The fundamental law of guerrilla selling system arises from the “Iceberg Principle” concept. 90% of the factors which will determine whether or not the client is likely to buy are always hidden from the seller. These primarily include feelings, emotions and the previous experience of the buyer. Often, the seller cannot immediately work out what the buyer cares about most: the product or the service itself, the brand’s image, or what his wife thinks about it.

The price and the deal’s terms and conditions are the only visible surface of the iceberg, which the majority of sales managers have to work with. Be an unusual salesperson: identify the client’s real problems, ask correct questions and attentively listen to the answers (find out how this is done from a 15 minute business case “How to actively listen to your client to sell more”.)

Sell the solution, not the product


If you can identify the problem, then you’ll feel that the deal is half in the bag. Support your client, give him good advice and facilitate the task at hand: selling solutions to a problem is always simpler than selling a function, an advantage or benefit.

There are 3 fundamental rules of guerrilla selling system:

  1. Know how many resources (money, time, labor), the client is prepared to spend on solving the issue, and proceed from this information.
  2. Find out which alternative solutions/suggestions the client’s competitors have posed. Do not forget that amongst the options there will most likely be the “do not buy anything” suggestions, even if the client has not said so.
  3. Avoid working with the clients' “objections” and work with their “concerns”. This is quite unusual but effective tactics. You don’t need to argue and fight to persuade your client, as that is unlikely to lead to purchase. Be professional and creative. Dispel your client’s concerns, tell them how other clients have used your product or service and offer proof of its reliability.
  4. 37 main questions


    Orvel Ray Wilson, one of the top 5 global trainers in sales and a lecturer from Eduson.tv, has created a list of 37 “magic” questions for a buyer. Here are some of them:

    1. What is your main objective?

    Most of the time, the client answers something like “buying a phone” or “create a new website design” and this can be far from the truth. Dig deeper, help your client to understand and articulate their actual needs, for example, “being able to go online from anywhere” or “raising sales in the online store”. Suggest effective solutions which are specific to those problems (websites are easier to use with a mini-tablet, and various different landing sites can do the growth conversions). If you can be useful to a potential client in terms of solving their current issues, you will be their hero. They will be glad to be in long-term relationships with you and to buy from you again and again, given that these products are actually facilitating their lives and help them to attain their goals.

    2. What other problems do you experience?

    You are not always able to suggest solutions for the client’s major problems, and this is normal. Help the client to see the bigger picture; look at which related tasks they also need help with (such as choosing internet tariffs or customizing contextual advertising). Suggest solutions for these issues. It could be that in the course of the discussion the client may become aware of some additional needs, and the total price of the deal may be significantly greater.

    3. Who else makes the decision to purchase?

    It could be the case that it is not your interlocutor who has the main role in the decision, but their boss or their wife. It is those people that your client will be talking to about the advantages or disadvantages of your product or service. Clarify who they are and crystallize arguments in your favor so that the client does not have to make this extra effort.

    4. What do you currently use? What do you like about this solution? What do you not like?

    Getting answers to these questions, you'll understand which of your product's advantages to emphasize. Whichever solutions you suggest, it must at the very minimum have the same functionality as the client’s current choice. It should solve the essential issues as well as offering additional advantages.

    5. Do you have any preferences/ preconceived ideas about any of them?

    You need to know about your client’s likes or dislikes of you and your competitors. Once you’ve asked this, logically continue with the next question:

    6. How do you know? How did you come to think this way?

    Don’t try and convince your interlocutor, try and listen to them. Understand how your client has got this information and which sources they trust. Reference these sources or ones close to them in your conversation.

    7. Do you have a specific budget?

    Even if the client doesn’t have one, it will come up now. Help them to calculate the budget, working from the expected reduction in costs due to the purchase and the product’s potential benefits.

    Guerrilla Selling Course

    Orvel Ray Wilson discusses the other 30 questions in his mini course “How to fulfil your client’s needs”. Of course, you do not need to ask all 37 questions during the sale. Still, knowing about them will help you to build up correct and effective reasoning in your client discussions and increase your sales numbers.

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