As entrepreneurs, speakers, trainers and consultants, journalists and bloggers, we speak to a new audience, who loves buying but hates being sold to, no matter what it is. We want to influence and to inspire an audience who is longing for success in all fields of life but hates being put in the situation of making an investment under peer pressure and limited offers. So the question is, “How in the world do we manage to build our business and increase our sales?”
This one change in the way you sell will make all the differenSce: Stop rushing!
Nobody ever gave you that advice before when it comes to selling. Most of the time, we inherit a way of doing things, or we learn it from our colleagues, mentors, previous managers of a department; we think it’s the best or only way and never question too much about it.
Sales is the same since the beginning of time: there is a demand for which you create a supply. Present it in a nicer way then your competitor and the sale is yours. But is sales really the same as it was ten years ago? For sure, since some companies advertise as if we were living ten years ago.
Nowadays people do not buy products or services. They buy experiences. And this is what you should be offering: an experience.
How do you offer an experience? You take the time to listen to your prospect. Don’t rush into making the sale just because you’ve been working on your product or service in the smallest details and it’s perfect for you.
Don’t rush just because you know it has the best price in the market and it’s perfect for your prospect - not even because you’re the only one in the market. Just don’t rush.
Take the time to listen. Understand where your prospect is coming from: what’s in his mind, what does he want, what does he need, and what are the obstacles you could be helping him overcome. And most importantly, take time to understand WHY does he do what he does and how can you serve him best. This is your gift to your prospect.
You can’t fake this. Real interest is easily felt and this is how you start the experience. The sale is already half made and all you’ve done was to listen. We love buying because that’s when sellers pay attention to us and allow us to talk, ask questions, and discuss our needs.
The science behind this is explained by Dr Robert Cialdini in his book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be More Persuasive. He talks about one of the most powerful principles of persuasion: reciprocation. Reciprocation recognizes that people feel indebted to those who do something for them or give them a gift.
Social scientist Randy Garner published a 2005 experiment that tested whether sticky notes could persuade people to respond to a marketing survey. He sent one-third of the surveys with a hand-written sticky note requesting completion, one-third with a blank sticky note, and one-third without a sticky note.
- Hand-written note: 69% response rate
- Blank sticky note: 43% response rate
- No sticky note: 34% response rate
“[The principle of reciprocation] was born out in the fact that not only did those who received the hand-written note have twice as much compliance, [but] the quality of the answers they gave was significantly better,” said Cialdini.
Of course, taking time to listen and then going into the routine sales pitch won’t work. It will create a huge disconnect in a relationship that is just getting started. What works wonders after you’ve listened is customising your pitch to their needs, using the words that best resonate with them and explaining the implementation in a way they understand. Sometimes, you may have to create a whole new product or service to help your prospect. And there will be times when you yourself will be advising your prospect to contact a different supplier, which will elevate you to a whole new level of authority in his eyes.
One thing is for sure: when you stop rushing, you start gaining. And you close more sales instantly.
What also happens when you stop rushing, and everybody hating sales will love this: fear goes away. If you were ever in the position of procrastinating your sales talks, then you know what I’m talking about.
The fear of being rejected that has been paralysing you, making you “busy with anything else but sales,” will go away as you’re not a salesman anymore. You’re an awesome experience creator! Scott Stratten and Alison Kramer, the authors of an amazing book called Unselling: The New Customer Experience would say that you became your customer’s most trusted advisor.
Every experience is unique and every experience offers you the opportunity to help, so there cannot be any rejection. Hence, freedom from fear! With procrastination out of the picture, you will be closing even more sales.
As entrepreneurs, speakers, trainers and consultants, journalists and bloggers, we fulfill our mission in this world by creating and selling what we create. No matter how it used to be in the past, it’s up to us to make it an amazing journey for us and for our customers. Otherwise, why do we do what we do? Stop rushing.