They know they’re not so much “selling” me, as much as they are affirming and clarifying what I already want to do.
What makes the experience satisfying is their expertise and my desires meet on the common ground of what’s in our mutual best interest.
Here are some other tips true sales professionals know.
Avoid premature judgements and stereotyping.
Judgment hinders imagination. Racism, sexism and ageism are always wrong. In addition, when you treat people differently based on their gender, age, or race, you are also hurting your ability to sell. Same goes for guessing a person’s net worth and treating them differently based on that guess. It is impossible for you to determine a person’s wealth in an initial meeting.
I was consulting with a charity when they received a $35,000 gift from a first time donor. Conventional wisdom says, if they could give that much at one time, they could give ten times that much over several years. I called the person and discovered their mother had died and left them life insurance money. This amount is what they wanted to donate. Their day job was driving a garbage truck not a yacht.
Likewise don’t be fooled by ostentatious displays of wealth. They may be wearing the right clothes, driving the right car, and wearing the right watch, and be deep in debt for all of it.
If you’re speaking to a couple, don’t assume you know who the decision maker is and focus all your attention on them.
If you sold to a particular demographic before, and encounter a similar demographic tomorrow, don’t assume their interests are the same. Just because they’re the same age, gender and race doesn’t mean they all have the same interests. “I see you’re a senior citizen, so you must be interested in the same thing as the senior citizen I helped yesterday.” Amateur hour.
Speak with confidence.
There are patterns of language that will cause your conversation to be perceived as more confident and thus, more trustworthy.
Use unambiguous words. People are more persuaded when communicators seem more certain about what they are saying. “This mattress ‘might’ work for you, versus “This mattress will ‘definitely’ work for you. “I think you ‘could’ be happy with that choice”, versus “I know you ‘absolutely’ will be happy with that choice.”
Don’t hesitate. It’s an all too common verbal tic when we’re collecting our thoughts to blurt out “uh, um, er, you know, I mean, so,” and any other filler sound you can think of. You can break that habit. And, you need to if you’re going to be perceived as someone who speaks with confidence. Hesitating by using filler sounds suggests you don’t know what you’re talking about. That you’re not really an expert. Why should I buy from a novice?
Speak in the present tense. Past tense suggests something was true at a particular point in time. “This mattress ‘was’ voted best in its category.” This suggests that at some point in time it was best, but may not be now. Present tense suggests confidence. “This mattress ‘is’ best in its category.” “My spouse ‘loved’ this mattress”,versus “My spouse ‘loves’ this mattress.” Speaking in the present tense will make others more likely to listen to what you have to say.
3. End with an agreed upon follow up action.
What is the purpose for your next contact? When should it be? What is the preferred communication method?
Is a week good? Do you prefer email, phone, text or social media?
It is important once you discuss all the options, that the customer gives you permission for the follow up. Nobody is surprised or uncomfortable.
Get out there sales professionals – and make us all proud – and happy.
I’m looking forward to buying something from you.
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