How much would you pay to be able to read your prospect’s minds? To know what they are thinking, sense how your sales pitch is being perceived, have an insight into their buying signals and full access to their TRUE objections. We may not have the technology yet, but we can get close… REAL close to getting this insight, with a little practice. Here’s the kicker… practice being the CUSTOMER.
Every day we are bombarded with sales. Selling happens all the time, every minute of every day. Deciding with a buddy where to go for lunch? You’re selling your preference, or even selling them on the idea of making the decision, and they’re selling you right back! Even simple conversations are riddled with micro-sales. Two people start to talk at the same time, one of them is about to win the sale and go first.
Exercise #1: Stop and think for a moment about your last conversation, write it down if you can. List each micro- sale, decide whether you sold them, they sold you, you allowed yourself to be sold or you fought for the sale and won or lost.
Once you have that figured out, dissect what it was that sold you or vice versa. What tactic did they use? What did they say, more importantly, how did the say it? Did it work? Paying attention to this will help you realize that EVERY TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS, they’re selling.
Here’s where it gets fun. Simply reading this article will activate a background program in your brain, keep it running. Now, GO BE THE CUSTOMER.
Exercise #2: Go to a sit-down restaurant and ask the server for a recommendation, give them a reason to sell you the most expensive dish, or bottle of wine; open up the door to driving up your total, which in turn will lead to a bigger tip. (Tip well; you’re getting free sales training and role play.)
Did they take the bait and recognize your buying signal? Did they capitalize on it? What tactics are they using? Did they build some trust with a well– educated response? Did they respond with a question? Are they digging a little deeper to give you a calculated answer? Did they win or did you sell them on “no”? Did the server stop there or did they pursue other opportunities to upsell? Finally, toss up an objection or ask for a special change to your dish and see how they react.
Exercise #3: You’ll have to be on your toes for this one. Engage your “background program” during your next conflict. Friend, employee, boss and for you adrenaline junkies… your spouse. All offer great opportunities during an argument to step back and see what that person is trying to sell.
This is sales in its purest form, when everything is on the table and the stakes are high. This is the arena where the most extreme and subtle tactics are used. Slow down, pay attention and not only will you gain valuable insight into why and how people buy and sell, but you’ll have a better chance to resolve the conflict with mutual agreement and understanding on both sides. This is a great way to improve your persuasion skills.
One more thing, take your “No Solicitors” sign and attitude down and replace it with Solicitors Welcome! A man, Jake, selling Dodgers baseball tickets came in our door, asked who the Dodgers fan was, offered two free tickets for a correct answer to a trivia question… and left with $150 of my money. (And a free trial of course…) This 15 minute encounter reminded me to seek out the hot leads and don’t waste time and resources on people who aren’t interested.
In another situation, an insurance agent came in the door to follow–up on a call and left his card with a bag of peanuts stapled to it. Written on the card was, “Hope my persistence isn’t driving you “nuts!” Carlos is now my insurance agent and has demonstrated his persistence by finding enough discounts to lower my rate by $180 a year.
Engage the world’s sales force, listen to telemarketers and watch commercials. Open yourself up to opportunity, free practice and training. And of course, most importantly… let yourself be sold.[Ed. Note. Elias Scarr is the membership director at Results–Fitness in Newhall, California. Results Fitness, owned by Rachel and Alwyn Cosgrove, was voted one of the top gyms in America by Men’s Health magazine three years in a row and is one of the most profitable gyms (per square foot) as well. Elias is also part of the ResultsFitnessUniversity.com team that coaches fitness facility owners from all over the world to greater profits and a better lifestyle.]