Zig Ziglar, one of the greatest and most innovative salesmen, says that sales is nothing more than a transference of feeling. We have to make our prospects feel the way we feel about our offer. But in order to be able to do that we first have to get them to pay attention and then we have to get them excited.
So how do we get people to pay attention to what we are saying? How do we get them to listen to us and get excited about our offer? And most importantly, how do we get them to buy? What we need is to truly engage our prospect with our sales pitch and we need to make sure he pays attention. We need to be able to win trust, build a rapport, create excitement and take control, in that particular order. We need to communicate with our prospect in such a way that he trusts us, likes us and feels the way we do about our product.
Think about this; when you first meet someone you’ve never met before, you have to be able to trust that person before you can accept everything that person says as gospel. You probably won’t do what a complete stranger tells you to do (unless it is a person of authority like a police officer or a superior at work – we will discuss this another time) but if a close friend tells you to do something you’re much more likely to take action. This is true because of two reasons: you trust this person and a rapport exists between the two of you. Doesn’t it make great sense to try and win our prospect’s trust and build a rapport before we start talking about placing orders? Of course it does, and in order to win trust and build a rapport before we get a prospect excited, we need to have an appropriate structure in our approach.
So the first thing we do is ensure that the prospect knows he can trust us. Sales is something we do for a prospect not to a prospect and we need to make sure he understands that straight away, and that we are there to help him. You are with him, not against him.
The second thing we need to do is build a rapport. How do we build a rapport with people? How do we get someone to like us? Dale Carnegie, the grandfather of people skills, explains it better than anyone else. Show genuine interest in a person and he will respect you for it. Make someone feel important and he will love you for it. Make compliments. Forget cheap flattery because people see right through it, but give a genuine compliment and make that person’s day.
Now that we have won our prospect’s trust and built a rapport, we have to get this person to feel the way we do about our offer. Now what do you think is the best way to get someone excited about something? By being excited yourself! A dog is a man’s best friend, and he is great at building excitement. When I get home from the office and my little Jack Russell terrier hasn’t seen me for the whole day, he gets so excited he starts running up and down the hallway, he starts jumping up and down he licks my hands and he wags his tail as if it were on fire. How do you think this makes me feel? Grumpy? Of course not, I get excited too! I get excited too because excitement is highly contagious.
Have you ever been to a football stadium? Thousands of people go crazy when their team scores. They scream and shout, they start singing and dancing; they do things they would never do when they are watching home alone in front of the TV. Its because in that stadium, we get each other excited. We get each other so excited that we do things we otherwise never would have thought we’d do.
So in order to get our prospect excited about what we are selling, we have to get excited about it first. Now I know some of you may be thinking, wait a minute, I can’t get excited about my product. I sell stationary! Or maybe you sell coals or candles or what about a car insurance for just half a year. How do I get excited about that? Simple. You have to get excited about your offer as a whole. Get excited about your products USPs. Get excited about what makes your service special. Maybe your coals or candles burn a lot longer than the competition, maybe the life insurance you sell is the cheapest in the market. You know what makes your product special, so get excited about that and your prospect will too.
Ok, so know our prospect trusts us, likes us, and he likes what we are offering, but he sure as hell ain’t buying just yet. We have to close the deal first. We have to take control.
Now there are many ways to close a sale (these ways are called closing techniques by most) none of which we are going to discuss in this article (see this article for more information about closing signals in sales). The one thing that almost every single one of these closing techniques (and certainly the most successful ones) have in common is that they help you control your prospect. You have to take control of your prospect if you want to make certain he is going to buy from you.
Now some of you may say that it is immoral to take control of a prospect because you are, to some extent, taking away his decision to buy or not to buy. If you are taking control of your prospect, you are manipulating him and may make him do something he may regret! Wrong. Most of us are very indecisive by nature. We have to rely on others to help us make decisions and when it comes to buying things we have to rely on our sales representative. So when we are selling something to our prospect he is relying on us to help him make a decision; that is, after all, our job.
Morality comes in to play when it comes to the exact decision we are helping our prospect make. People buy things because they have a problem that they need to be solved. As their sales representative, it is our moral obligation to give the prospect the best possible advice to solve his problem. If our offer does not solve our prospects problem, it is immoral to sell it to them.
So to make a long story short, you are doing the right thing when you are taking control of your prospect in order to help him make the right decision. However, it has to be the right decision to buy this product and you can only sell it to him if you genuinely believe it is the right choice for him to buy.
Taking control of your prospect is not always easy. It is not something that comes natural to everyone but it is a skill that can be learned, practiced and improved. In order to take control of your prospect you have to be highly confident in yourself and in your offer. You have to assume that the prospect is going to buy. You have to assume the sale and get the customer to confirm that he wants to buy. That’s all. Easier said than done of course, but hey, if it was easy, we’d all be doing it and I would have nothing to write about.
So in order to create a positive sales conversation, you first need to win your prospect’s trust and build a rapport. The next step is to create excitement and once the client is excited about your offer, you have to take control and help your prospect make the right decision. Continuously practice and improve yourself in these areas and you will most definitely find yourself en route to success.