We humans are truly emotional beings. This really hit home when I read a blog written by Ilyce Glink, 7 tips for landing your dream home (I know someone who is actively searching for one). Selling a home can be a very emotional experience. But this isn’t much different than the decisions that we make all the time when we want to buy something. It just seems that when buying or selling a home we tend to recognize the emotional component more openly. We need to remember that emotions play a predominant role in any buying decision. Acknowledging this as we plan our sales calls can make a difference.
You sell more when you care less about the sale—and more about the customer. If you are a frequent reader of my blog or have attended any of our Delta Point training seminars, you’ve probably heard us express this in a variety of ways. We talk about being other focused, about approaching the sale from the customer’s point of view (Thinking Like a Customer) and planning your sales conversation with a mindset of pure intent. In his most recent book, To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink confirms that these tenets are not only the right thing to do but are extraordinarily effective.
Words Matter. Undoubtedly you’ve heard this thought expressed numerous times and in different ways. When we hear 2 different ways of communicating the same idea, our reaction can be very different—primarily due to the words chosen. One may really engage us, another that expresses the exact same thought could upset us. And a third way could gender thinking and make us remember what was said. In his recent book, To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink provides several examples of when words make a difference—and perhaps, more importantly, he explains why.
Selling is a thinking person’s game. If you want to sell a product to someone, you need to connect with them and make them think. I don’t know how you can do this unless you are a thinking person. And not only do you need to think but your goal in selling is to have your customer think differently about your product. Because if they don’t, they’ll just go on buying and using what they normally do.
Research has shown that you capture interest or create resistance in the first 20 seconds of your sales call. Yet it seems that many sales reps have not gotten this message. I asked physicians (who are constantly interrupted during the day by sales reps) for examples of what their sales reps typically say when they begin their sales conversation. Unfortunately, what I learned would create a list of how not to open a call.
Usually in sales when we talk about questions, we are referring to questions that sales reps ask their customers. Yet there is the other perspective to consider—questions to ask potential sales reps. Dave Dorman's blog “9 Questions to Ask Your Next Sales Hire” provides that other perspective—he highlights those characteristics and qualities that make a great representative. Even if you are not in the market for a new job, some of these questions point out things that you should be doing to help you succeed in sales.
One of my favorite quotes from Walt Disney is, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I’m a firm believer that you can do whatever you want, which brings me to another one of Jerry’s Laws of the Universe: mindset drives behavior. Basically, we achieve what we believe we can. That’s why any change to what we are currently doing actually starts with a change in our thoughts/beliefs. When we change our mindset, we will change how we act.
You’ve heard the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” Well, I’d add a corollary to that as one of Jerry’s Laws of the Universe: if you want to GET you have to ASK. This is another rule that you can live by—and it really is common sense. As humans we are wired to ignore the routine, the ordinary. And in today’s climate with so many distractions, it makes sense that if you don’t ask for the business, you won’t get it.
Oftentimes in selling we concentrate so much on what we want to say about our product and how we want to say it that we forget one of the important rules of Jerry's Laws of the Universe—first seek to understand. Yes I did borrow this from Stephen Covey. But I’ve been expressing this concept long before he stated it so eloquently.
What your customers believe to be true—about you, your product or your competition—may not be based in fact. But that doesn’t matter. Because what your customer believes is true is more important than whether or not it is.