Sunday, June 28, 2015

You can't sell anybody anything

That's right, it can't be done. No one can sell you or me anything we don't want. And if they do, we will more than likely send it back or resent the fact that they persuaded us to buy it in the first place.

No, you can't sell anybody anything, but here's what you CAN do. And with this concept your life is about to get a whole lot easier. All you have to do is help people make good decisions. And the good decision will be to buy from YOU.

Ask yourself this question: Why would someone want to buy products and services from me? Once you have your complete list of "reasons why" you are ready to help a prospect make the decision to buy from you.

The next step is to approach your customer with a negative comment. For example, "This product may not be for you."

I know, I know, that is the exact opposite of how you have been taught to sell. But consider this...

Regardless of what a sales person says, a customer or prospect has a natural tendency to disagree. By making a negative statement we can actually get a positive response. On the other hand, if we make a positive statement they will respond with a negative statement.

Let me give you an example and you be the judge.

The normal approach for Army recruiting has been to try and convince someone to join by presenting all the benefits, which is the most logical approach. Here is the negative approach I am talking about:

The Army may not be for you! Why not get the facts, see if you qualify, and then make a good sound decision as to whether this would be a good career choice?

Do you see the psychology behind this approach?

The Army may not be for you.

What does that statement provoke? It makes you ask the question: Why not? Why wouldn't it be for me? It makes the prospect wonder what the facts are, what information do they have that will help me make a good decision. It doesn't insult my intelligence by assuming that they know what I want. It lowers the resistance that comes natural when someone is being presented with a sales pitch.

Why not get the facts?

This implies a "no obligation" investigation into what they have that I might be interested in. It peaks my interest without undue pressure. And it takes much of the pressure off the seller as well. Instead of having the image of a high pressure sales person, the recruiter becomes a career consultant by presenting their facts and using their comparison grid to help the prospect make a good decision.

See if you qualify.

This provokes a challenge. No one likes to be in a position of not being qualified.

Like a good lawyer, you always want to ask questions that you know how people will answer. Here are a few more examples you can use to test the concept. How would you answer these negative questions?

I have a new, high quality product, but you probably don’t want to look at it?

I have three consulting packages, but you probably don’t want to look at the most expensive one?

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Do you expect success

The common denominator of all successful professional people is the same. THEY EXPECT TO SUCCEED.

The common denominator of all unsuccessful people is the same. Deep down inside – THEY EXPECT TO FAIL.

Look at a successful surgeon. When they operate on someone they have the positive expectation of success.

A lawyer is another good example. When they are addressing the jury they have the 100% positive expectation of convincing the jury to see things from his or her point of view.

A politician must have the expectation of success. If you interview several candidates running for the same office the night before election, they would all believe they won. If they lost this expectation of winning at any point during the campaign they would immediately be out of the race.

However, there is a difference. Most professional people must go through several years of higher education before actually starting in their profession. All during these years the attitude of high expectations is slowly building day by day. Once they have invested in four to six years of education they feel they have earned the right to expect success. And they have.

Compare that to the profession of sales. If you have never sold a thing in your life, have very little formal education and are looking for a job – you can start a career in sales tomorrow! The profession will welcome you with open arms no matter what your background, experience or education may or may not be.

In sales you have not had the day-by-day, year-by-year preparation that most professions have. You may go through a short company training program that pumps up your expectations to a high level, however, once you enter the real world, alone and unprepared for what’s next, your expectations take a downward turn and things look different.

To succeed there has to be certain things in harmony. Your expectations and your goals must be equal. If your goals are too high or unrealistic you won’t expect to reach them and you will see to it that you get what you expect.

Your goals must be clearly defined, realistic, reachable and most importantly APPROACHED WITH THE POSITIVE EXPECTATION OF SUCCESS.

Without the advantage of having four years of sales training before making your first sales call, you have to take a different approach. You have to teach yourself this important principle of selling – to expect success.

Everything you read on the subject of selling and negotiating will help. Every training event you attend will add to your expectations. The more you know and understand your profession, the more you will expect success. It should be a life-long activity - learning to improve your selling skills.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Turn off the cell phone

Can you imagine being in the closing moments of a large, important purchase and just as you have one final question before you sign the deal, the sales person takes a call on his cell?

That would tick me off enough to say "take this sale and stick it!" Well, that is exactly what happened to YOU! And that is exactly what you DID!

I recently asked people on my email list to send comments about their last car purchase. What they liked or didn’t like about the sales person that sold them the car.

As I was editing and placing the comments my readers were so kind to send me there was one HUGE complaint that showed up over and over again. The biggest deal maker or deal breaker was how well the sales person listened, or did NOT listen. Without a single doubt, the most important skill a sales person can have is to listen better.

Here are just a few of the comments YOU made about this important part of the sales process:

"Great listener"

"Because the salesman listened"

"Listening to us was the key"

"Listened and keep gathering information"

"It was his listening skills that earned the sale"

"He was listening to me and my wife"

"Not listening cost him the sale"

"Asked really good questions and listened"

"He listened to what I said"

"He listened and there was no high pressure"


"He wasn’t pushy and listened"

"He listened to my wife, he asked questions"

"He listened what I was looking for"

"Politely listened to my wife"

"Asking what is important to me"

"Not listening to what was wrong"

"By listening to us he made the sale"

"He was willing to listen, really listen"

"Took the time to listen to us"

"Not listening and pre-judging needs cost him the sale"

"One thing he failed to do and that was listen"

"If they only would have listened he would have sold me"

"Asked the right questions and listened carefully"

"He reinforced the fact that he was listening to me"

"He asked questions then he shut up and LISTENED"

"Had he listened to us he would have made the sale"

"He listens, he consults, he works to get me what I want"

"My salesperson listened to what I had to say"

"He listened and offered suggestions"

"He did NOT waste my time but LISTENED"

And by listen, I mean focusing on what they are saying rather than waiting for an opening to jump in and start “selling” again!

Are you guilty of talking too much and not being a great listener? If you are guilty, I guarantee, people will cross the street so they won't have to listen to your endless, meaningless, boring stories.

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

What to ask early in the sales call

One thing about customers we all agree on - they have long memories. Ten years ago someone from your company may have made a mistake with a particular customer. It could have been anything from not receiving a credit to a phone call not being returned. There may have been something about ad delivery driver that previously upset the customer.

That is why the initial questions should always try to uncover any over riding objection the prospect or customer might have. Until you clear this objection your presentation, no matter how good or convincing it is, will fall on deaf ears. Since it is almost always necessary to make more than one call on a prospect before they are ready to buy, The initial call should always start by gaining information.

Many sales presentations are designed to go through the entire presentation before handling the objections that are sure to arise. Once again any objections your potential customer has for not giving you an order should be handled first. The reason is simple: If there is some obstacle that seems insurmountable, your prospect will not hear anything else you have to say until you deal with it.

In the back of the prospects mind, maybe not even consciously, they will be thinking that whatever you say doesn’t really count, because there is an overriding reason why they will not give you the business anyway. As long as an obstacle blocks your path, you will never get past it until you bring it out in the open and deal with it. The only way you can bring this obstacle out in to the open so you can deal with it is by asking questions early in the sales process.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The best closing technique of all

Have you ever laughed at a joke that wasn’t very funny, but everybody else laughed so you felt the obligation to laugh? Have you ever bought something based on the fact that it was the “best selling” or “fastest moving” item? Would the statement “4 out of 5 people surveyed recommend this product” influence your decision? How about “over two million copies sold” on the cover of a book? Would that make you feel more comfortable about your decision to buy it? If so, you are not alone. People are highly influenced and persuaded by what others do.

I am the first customer to go through the car wash, yet the tip jar has 10 one-dollar bills folded in the jar. I am the first one in the bar and notice the bartenders tip jar already has several dollar bills in it. I am the first one to put money in the collection basket at church, yet I notice that there are already several 5 and 10-dollar bills in plain sight.

What does all this mean? It means that this concept works and it can work for you too. Here’s how.

Everybody likes to think of himself or herself as a nonconformist – someone who does their own thing. You and I like to see ourselves as independent – until it comes time to make a decision – then we find out what everybody else is doing and what everybody else thinks – and conclude that they must be right – and make the decision that I am going to do the same thing.

Do you see the relevance to your business?

Let’s say you are a new sales person calling on a potential account. Would you say; ‘I am new and don’t have any customers yet – will you take a chance and be the first?” If you were a seasoned sales person would you go into a potential customer and say; “We have great quality and excellent service?” No, you wouldn’t want to say something like that because their response would be “so what.” You would want to take the approach that the bartender, car wash, church, evangelical preacher and concert promoter took. You want to bring on your success stories, testimonials, references, people your prospect knows and a list of happy customers who are buying from you. You would want to put a little money in your tip jar to show that others are buying and they are happy. Why? To make them feel safe about their decision to buy from you.

We find out what everybody else is doing and what everybody else thinks – and conclude that they must be right – and make the decision that I am going to do the same thing. This is the best closing technique of all.

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