The Most Overlooked Sales Technique in the World

Use the "swim move" to transform your technique and crush your goals.

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The Most Overlooked Sales Technique in the World
Image credit: Tom Merton | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Sales Strategist and Author
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you knew there was one easy technique that could completely transform your selling approach, would you want to learn all about it? The answer is yes, assuming you like making sales­ and quickly increasing your profits.

There is a simple, transformative technique that actually does exists. And it’s overlooked by more salespeople than any other sales approach in the world. The vast majority of salespeople are stuck selling the same way, and they’re consistently missing out on some of the most critical sales techniques out there, including this one. All of these salespeople lose tons of money in missed sales as a result.

Related: 4 Ways to Sell Like Rock Star Entrepreneurs

So what’s the most overlooked technique in the world? It’s called “the swim move,” and it starts by understanding the intent behind your prospects’ questions, carefully preparing your reaction to those questions, then implementing this enormously underused sales technique.

Follow the next three steps to start transforming your sales approach, and immediately start crushing your sales goals.

1. Understand why the question was asked.

Salespeople field numerous questions from prospects throughout the course of a sales pitch. For example, a prospect might ask, “Do you come on site for the initial installation?” Salespeople often feel compelled to answer “yes” to every question they’re asked -- but fail to find out why the question was asked in the first place.

This is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make. The solution is to discover the intent behind every question you field, and it's the critical first step to this sales technique.

In our example, you might enthusiastically respond, “Yes, of course I’ll be on site for the initial installation!” But what if your prospect asked this question not because he wants you to come on site, but rather because he has a lot going on at the office right now. Perhaps the company is moving offices, there’s construction going on, and the prospect doesn’t actually want you on site at all for the initial installation. If that’s the case, your quick response of yes could have ended your sale right there.

So, no matter how typical a prospect’s question might seem, you should never jump to answer it without first understanding why the question was asked. 

Related Book: 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

2. Prepare your “swim move” response.

Once you’ve established why your prospect is asking certain questions, it’s time to prepare your reaction. This is called your “swim move,” which gets its name from a method for breaking through the offensive line in football.

In football, an offensive player and a defensive player face off with one another. The defensive player’s goal is to break through the line and get past the offensive player, but the offensive lineman is often much larger than the defensive lineman. The defensive lineman has two options. He can either try to bust right through the offensive lineman, or he can let the lineman come at him, and then use the lineman’s force to his own advantage.

When the defensive lineman lets the offensive lineman use forward force, and then comes around the side, he can break right through the line -- literally “swimming” through. The same is true for sales. By understanding the direction your prospect is moving in with any given question, you can come around the side and use that knowledge to your advantage.

3. Implement the swim move.

There are two simple steps to implementing the swim move in your sales meeting. First, compliment the prospect on their question. Second, ask the prospect why he asked you that question. To continue the example from above, when a prospect asks if you’ll be on site for the installation, respond by saying, “You know, that’s a great question. Why do you ask?”

Related: Do You Sell With Purpose? Here's Why (And How) You Should.

This simple response will lead the prospect to reveal their intent for asking any question, allowing you to respond accordingly. This isn’t about being conniving or manipulative. In most cases, the answer could go either way -- if the prospect wants you on site, you’ll be there, but if not, that’s fine, too. Understanding why a prospect asks you a question will allow you to take control of the situation, respond in a way that meets their needs, and ultimately close the sale.

Have you been overlooking this simple technique for closing more sales? What happens when you answer a prospect’s question too quickly? If you found this swim move helpful, check out this 9-day sales intensive for more powerful techniques to transform your sales.

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