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The Sales Rule Most Entrepreneurs Break

August 12, 2013
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/227774

Have you ever been in a situation where you are the buyer and the sales experience is uneasy, maybe even aggressive or confrontational? We all have.

Here's a common scenario: A customer says: "I'm looking for quotes on life insurance, but I'm not ready to buy just yet."

The salesperson responds: "Great. I will be glad to help, " and goes right into product details, but fails to take the time to use the power of agreement.

When the customer said they weren't buying today, a smart response from the salesperson would have been: "I understand, Most people come to me in the beginning stages, just shopping for information. It would be my pleasure to get you all the information you need so that when you are prepared to make a decision, you will consider me."

Always agree with your customer first. In fact, always, always, always agree with the customer before doing anything else as a salesperson.

Agreement is the single most important and the most commonly overlooked rule in all of selling. It takes discipline to be agreeable, especially when the need to be right is such an impulse for most people.

If you want agreement from the customer, you've got to be agreeable with them first. This vital rule of Always Agree, is not to be confused with the old saying: "The customer is always right." The customer is not always right, but you should still agree with their view of the situation.

We are attracted to products, ideas and people that represent the things we're in agreement with. This is a universal fact. In selling, people buy when they agree. Make the other party right, and then figure out how to sell your product and close a deal.

This all seems so simple, but trust me, it's not until you drill it over and over. Take the next 24 hours to agree with everyone you come into contact with. It's incredibly hard. Most of us are so practiced at giving our opinion, that we miss moments to agree with others. Try it today and when you find yourself not agreeing with the other party, start over.

Take your team at work, for example. They want you to postpone a major presentation so they can better prepare and not have to work past 8pm every night for a week. Agree. "I understand where you're coming from, I don't want to be here late every night for a week either. Let's just rally and win this piece of business." They may mumble some choice words under their breath, but they'll feel validated, understood and ultimately will get to work.

Here's another example. You're trying to get your eight-year-old to school. "I don't want to go to school," he insists. Agree with him. Your instinct, because you are already late and stressed, is to be right and make your kid feel wrong. Don't do it. Instead, agree. "I understand my little man. You don't want to go to school. When I was your age, I didn't want to go to school either. Now put your shoes on and let's roll."

Agreement in this instance makes the kid feel understood and when people feel understood they normally move their position and to do what you want. Don't confuse agreement with manipulation. When you truly agree with someone, you are agreeing with where they are right now in this moment.

Here are some agreeable phrases I use with others that will make you a master at causing people to want to buy from you:

Consider this exchange over price:

"Your price is too high."

"I agree. I have often thought the exact same thing and even wondered why people would consider this product knowing it was so expensive. It's crazy, isn't it? Why did you come to look at it today?"

See what I did here? Very little except agree.

The power of agreement can be applied in many aspects of life. Try it. Agree with your clients, co-workers, spouse or significant other, your kids, your animals and especially those you have a disagreement with.

Agreeing allows the chance to determine your customers' needs, find the right product, and close the deal.