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“Did you know that the #1 reason people don’t ask for a sale is not because they don’t think the product or service, they are selling is valuable?
… It’s because they are afraid their prospect doesn’t like them enough to buy.”
~ Chandell Labbozzetta
One of my early sales mentors and models used to remind the team at every single meeting that emotion and personality were just as important in Business-to-Business sales as they are in Business-to-Consumer sales – in some ways they are even more important. Closing a sale is almost never simply about features, benefits, and logic.
I often tell the story of Bob, the Photocopier man in my sales trainings – for context here’s the short version…
Some years ago, I was preparing for a conference and the department decided they needed to print some additional materials. We had a problem with our existing copier, and I had authorisation to purchase a new one. I was trying to distinguish between two copiers that looked identical from a brand that we knew and liked, and they sent their sales representative to talk to me.
Time was short and a couple of my colleagues were out sick, so I just wanted to clarify the features and order the new photocopier as quickly as possible. I explained this to Bob when he arrived, but he wasn’t listening and jumped straight to the start of his presentation. 90-minutes later I ushered him out the door without the sale and called the competing company.
When we’re talking about this situation during training people sometimes think this is an example of “Just get to the point, answer the question, and take the sale when you’re talking to a business.” It’s not – in fact, it’s the opposite.
You see, when Bob walked into our office the only thing that stood between him and a $45,000 closed sale was his ability to read the customer and answer my burning questions. He failed to do that… And he lost the sale to his competitor. In fact, he cost his company hundreds of thousands of dollars because before long all our photocopiers came from the competitor.
So, here are the 5 secrets that will get people to like you and give you the sale…
If you’re selling anything you need to know the product or service you are selling inside out. By all means, have your scripts and presentations ready and study the FAQs, but the real secret to creating trust and likely is your ability to discover what they really need to know before they buy – and to determine the questions they are not asking.
We all have one or two senses that are more highly developed than others. Identifying (and using) the language that resonates most effectively with the person you are talking to is an incredibly effective way of building trust and liking with others. It has the added benefit of demonstrating that you are really listening (See Secret #1).
Discover your own primary communication style by taking this short quiz.
In the world of advertising, you’ll often hear people say that you need to ‘enter the conversation people are already having in their own heads.’ That’s a powerful truth for increasing engagement, but it’s also a wise strategy for creating and growing the emotional connection between two people. It’s hard not to like someone who demonstrates both by their questions and their responses to your answers that they have made the effort to understand your world and to feel your pain and that opens people up to listen when you offer a solution.
Generalisations may capture the imagination and intrigue, but without details to back up the lofty promises and glorious vision they can lead to suspicion. In one-to-one conversations (in person, on the phone, or via Zoom), use the information you have gathered from applying secrets #1-3 to zero in on the details that you know will interest the other person. Save the ‘laundry list’ for large group communications and sales letters where you are speaking to a wider group.
Humans are designed to pursue that which runs away and flee from that which pursues. The needy salesperson rarely makes a sale because prospects sense their desperation and instinctively step back. Your likability index measurably increases when you give others space to explore other options while knowing that you are still there. There’s a fine, fine line between persistence and space and so it’s essential to expand your communication and people-reading skills.
We believe that this is true because sales is also a fundamental HUMAN skill – one of the few skills that doesn’t just apply to one aspect of your life, but which translates across cultures, languages, environments, and specialties.
As we run trainings in corporate environments, as well as public trainings we constantly hear back that the communication and persuasion skills our clients learn are transforming their teams, homes, marriages, parenting, and friendships (even though we don’t actually conduct marriage or parenting training). I think that it is a sad reflection on our society that it puts ‘sales’ in the icky pile (you wouldn’t believe how many people recoil from the idea of sales training) because I think that has two critical consequences (quite apart from the actual $$ value of a sale):
If you would like to learn more about LifePuzzle’s sales and communication programs and their role in business development, take a look HERE.
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