Advanced Selling Strategies–Business 500 Level Book Summary
Most sales success comes from the mind. Performance is a function of attitude, skills and action. By accepting complete responsibility, we undertake our own creative force and end up making things happen. The intensity to produce results creates results, which feeds the desire to create more results. There are seven mental laws of selling. The Great Law, or of cause and effect;
Compensation, or of sowing and reaping; Control, which affects feelings; Belief, and with emotion creates reality; Concentration, with which what is dwelled upon grows and expands in the mind; Attraction, where you attract similar minded people; Correspondence, where your outer mind is a mirror of the inner mind.
There are seven exercises to achieve mental fitness. These are positive: self talk, self imaging, mental food, people, training and development, health habits, and positive actions. Salespeople should always perform an analysis of there strengths and weaknesses and at the same time ensure their mission statements match their values and beliefs.
The biggest fear of selling is the fear of rejection. Conversely, the biggest fear of buying is the fear of failure – people don’t like to be criticised or question by their friends. Everyone wants to be a Mr. or Mrs. Jones, so why look different, save the embarrassment. And everyone who has a negative buying experience files the experience away to further fuel more anger and resentment the next time. Which is why there are so many buyer reactions, but most of them could be categorized into specific sets.
The critical factor in selling today is to help people reduce their perceived exposure to risk. Risk increases with the size of the sale and becomes directly apparent to a buyer in direct proportion to their unfamiliarity with the sales person. Therefore successful salespeople position their products as the low risk product, but before they do this, they build trust with buyers. Salespeople need to ‘relieve the tension’. So, rather than the old dog style of selling, today 40% of the sales process is building trust, 30% diagnosis, 30% presenting and closing (or closing while presenting).
Listening is everything. God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could use them in that proportion in order to help us to learn how to trust each other. Listening develops character, and is a self discipline which must be practiced. Listening means listening attentively, and practicing how to shut up (especially when asking for the sale) and learning to pause before replying.
Seven steps towards relationship building include: never criticising, never complain, never condemn, always approve, accept and appreciate with admiration the beliefs and opinions of clients. And, give them the attention and agreement they need from you.
Building MEGA CREDIBILITY means everything counts. Every piece of evidence that proves a clients delight with the company or sales person must be recorded as precisely, concisely and clearly as possible. Photos, highlighted letters, testimonials etc, must be maintained in a presentation format for future customers to absorb before the sales person even starts talking about his/her product.
When it comes to people buying from you, there seems to be a Law of Duality, of primary and secondary, of reasons that sound good and the real more subtle hidden reasons. Find the secondary reasons then you’ve found the green ‘hot’ button to trigger the client to buy from you.
A salesperson should think like a doctor and ask, “Where does it hurt”? The goal is to take the pain away, do the deeds that solve the most pressing needs. This means discovering the both the primary positive motivators, and really working on that one big green button on his chest.
We must remember our clients make most of their judgments about us within the first four seconds of meeting us. It’s almost as if their final judgments of us are made in those four seconds. And they certainly confirm those judgments as soon as we open our mouths. So leave nothing to chance – dress, smile, smell, appear, time, stand perfectly before the client.
Prospecting is the filling of the sales pipeline. One good way to fill the pipeline is to examine past clients: what do they all have in common that made them buy from you in the first place? What are they all attempting to avoid or achieve?
When phone prospecting, the first objective is simply to sell an appointment (to get ten minutes of time to meet face to face). A well formulated opening statement such as the idea, benefit or result of what is being sold must be developed, such as, “would you be interested in a 100% written guarantee that your property will be sold for the highest possible price – and without costing you absolutely any money in the process?”. Never tell over the phone how this is done, simply ask for the time to show how it’s done.
Presenting in sales is made easier by examining and diagnosing the client first. But the sale is made in the presentation too, which means although the presentation makes only a fraction of the effort required to win the sale, the effort to win in the presentation is made easier by the understanding the green hot button needs of the client first. It means simply “Gap Analysis” – be the detective that finds the problem, then let’s the client feel how wide that gap is, and how you’re going to bridge that gap with a solution.
The most important element of presenting is simply this: never say a thing if you can ask it. Telling is not selling. A salesperson telling may not be wrong; it’s just that it’s coming from the wrong person (the salesperson). The client should discover the solution for themselves. Use open ended questions to open up conversation, use closed ended questions to narrow the conversation to a concluding close.
It’s important to listen to the customer’s unspoken words. Why should I listen to you? What is it? What’s in it for me? So what? Who says so? Who else has done it? The key is mega credibility, such as photos of delighted clients sticking sold stickers on their For Sale boards with their agency’s team.
Closing is likened to golf, you ‘drive for show, but you putt for dough’. And objections from the customer are not a bad sign. Objections are good, they indicate interest and you should be excited to receive them. Objections should be received with an acknowledgement and respect of the customers’ feelings and opinions. All objections could be categorised into six groups: price, performance, follow-up service, competition, support, warranties and assurances. Answers to these groups should be bullet proof.
Early objections must be found and answered immediately, preferably before the launch of a presentation. It’s no good having these objections rattling around in the minds of prospects during the presentation. Always handle objections diplomatically, such as, “obviously you have a good reason for saying that. Do you mind if I ask what it is?” Objections are the rungs on the ladder of success.
As prospects hesitate or procrastinate the question needs to be asked, “There seems to be some question in your mind that’s causing you to hesitate about getting started with us today. Do you mind if I ask what it is?” These type of questions need to asked until the client has exhausted all his/her objections. Then it could be said, “With us now understanding all the facts, would you be ready to go ahead now”? And where people have to refer the decision to a higher authority, “rather than waste your time tomorrow, let’s makes that a condition of providing our service to you. We’ll write than up exactly as you want to, subject to you speaking with xxx, and at least that way, when won’t be wasting each others time having to go over every all over again another day, you wouldn’t want to have to do that would you?”
Sometimes the client simply feel (or thinks) he/she cannot reveal the reasons to not going ahead. So that’s where we use reverse psychology. We get up and leave. We leave them, just get up and say thanks for your time, and say, “It would really help me with my other customer if I know exactly where I went wrong in my presentation to you.”
Some good closes for the how much question include, “that’s the best part, if we’re not exactly right for you at anytime, then there is no charge”! Keeping in mind that to some clients price is the major factor, so, “Is price your only concern”, and “Are you going to make a decision in this areas solely on the basis of price’? Also ask, “How much too much does it cost?” Followed by, “isn’t it true you probably get what you paid for”? And “did you ever get anything cheap that turned out to be good”? Then close with, would you let us handle everything from here” AND remain silent, shut up, locks eyes with the client and remain zipped for easily over five minutes is you have too.
Some errors when closing include: arguing, personal opinions, knocking the competition, overselling and assuming too much authority. Some obstacles include: negative expectations, lack of sincerity, being on completely different wavelengths or just simply a personality clash. Buying signals include the client asking for more technical or for finer details about service. The customer’s body language may change to the tea kettle position (that’s a new one) and chin rubbing. Perhaps the client will start calculating numbers or suddenly become friendly. What ever the indications, these are ‘yes’ statements, so they need to be seized upon, that is what the client is asking for.
And that basically covers what I found most compelling from chapters one to ten. Finally, “What’s past is prologue” (Shakespeare).