The secret of effective sales lies, like so much else, in your unconscious mind.  We have a deeply engrained response to selling and salesmen that we take along with us whenever we go out to sell to others.  If you haven’t won the battle in your mind, then you’ll have serious difficulty actually making a ‘confident close’ no matter how much your product or service is going to help another person.

Your unconscious mind is always judging your thoughts, words, and actions.  So as long as it is telling you that selling is bad, you’ll communicate that to the people you talk to.  What this means, is that you need to retrain your unconscious mind at a very deep level, and the best way to do this is to ensure that what you are selling is really going to help your prospect.

One of the things that I learned from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that you don’t really win unless everyone who is involved wins.  Shortly after I completed my training I was hired to lead a corporate sales team and in the first 6 months our business grew by 400%.  Apart from me there were no changes in the team, but because the team’s focus shifted from simply selling our product, to discovering if it was the best solution for our prospects we had enormous success.

Don’t Try To Cheat Your Unconscious Mind!

You see, you can’t cheat your unconscious mind.  No matter how deeply buried your reservations are about the product or service you are selling your unconscious mind knows about them.  If you want to be successful in your selling, then you need to teach you unconscious mind about the value of the thing you sell.

Try this exercise to help you clarify things:

  1. List all the reasons why someone would find your product/service valuable – make it as comprehensive and detailed as possible.
  2. List all the reasons why someone would be better choosing a different option -make this list as comprehensive and detailed as possible too.

Think of 2 or 3 questions you can ask a prospect to find our whether they fall into Category 1 or Category 2.

Now you have some clear guidelines to help you discover whether you are talking to someone who will benefit from your product or service or not.  If they are in Category 1 you know that it’s in their best interests to buy your product and you have the freedom to sell as persuasively as possible.  If they’re in Category 2, then you can thank them for their time, and move on – or you can suggest where they might find a more suitable solution for their needs.  Either way, you’ve got your unconscious mind working for you, and you’ve found a win-win solution.

Why Do We Really Hate Sales People?

The real reason we hate sales people is that they always seem to be trying to sell us things we neither need nor want.  That’s why walking into an Apple Store is so refreshing.  Their sales people always have plenty of time to help you and give you the advice you need, and they’re just as likely to tell you that you don’t need something as they are to upsell you.  That builds trust, and it means that when they do suggest that I need an expensive add-on I’ll usually listen to them – and in any case, they don’t just say, “Oh, you’ll also want X.  Here it is.”  They say, “You’ll probably want X because …” and give me the reasons why I should buy it.

This is the secret of power-selling – you’re not just trying to make a sale, you’re trying to solve your prospect’s problems – and your unconscious mind knows that so every part of your physiognomy, not just your words, move them towards the sale.

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