Without This, Nothing Would Get SoldJanuary 5, 2023
In the world of Sales, there are 2 inevitable outcomes – Yes or No. You either make the sale or you don’t. Now I may give my manager several reasons why someone didn’t purchase from me, but in the end, my livelihood depends on the Yeses. So why are they so few and far between?
Selling is similar to battle, in that the more skills you have in your arsenal, the better you will perform. Knowing how to tip a decision into the yes column when it’s been on the fence the entire time is a skill we can use for all areas of life. Sales is convincing yourself and then convincing the customer.
Small Talk Comes Before The Big Talk
Let me ask you this question. If you were purchasing an expensive product and had a choice of paying full retail or buying it on sale, what would you do? We generally like saving money when we can. It’s human nature.
Similar question. If you were purchasing a product and could choose to buy it from someone you like or someone you don’t like, what would you do? All things being equal, you’d definitely buy it from the person you like. That’s also human nature. But it took me a while to realize that people are finicky, an old word meaning they’re picky and make decisions based on the seemingly insignificant.
That’s where small talk and building rapport come into play. Knowing that people would rather purchase from someone they like, it’s your job to become that someone. What do you have in common with the customer? What details do you notice from the way they’re dressed, how they speak, or how they interact with others? Are they parents? If you have the privilege of selling to them in their home, you should be able to deduce all kinds of clues.
Small talk does not have to be forced. As a matter of fact, as an adult you have dozens of interactions with people involving small talk every week. You may do it without thinking, and that’s the art behind it all. It’s basically your inner voice saying what you’re thinking. It’s your friendly curiosity about the customer and if done right, they will ask questions in return, turning small talk into rapport.
The Missing Ingredient
Those who experience the most success in sales have something others don’t. They genuinely believe their products or services will solve the customers’ problems. And just as important, they ensure the customers believe the same. You’re the one who has to decide to make a change if you don’t believe in it. Or change your approach if you can do better.
Belief has played a large role in my life and in my success. It is the major catalyst for getting up off my butt and just doing. When I was in prison, all I had was belief. It was the beginning of all that followed, and it allowed me to make a plan that had no choice but to succeed. It just had to.
The customer needs to see that belief in your eyes. They need to be compelled to solve their problem with what you have to offer. It is your job to turn the excitement of the moment and the conviction of your words into a yes.
Famous Last Words
But what if, despite your best efforts, you get a no? You’ll need to be able to live with a no, as the facts bear that it may be a constant companion, even if it’s no fault of your own. The bigger kick in the rear is hearing, “I don’t know.” It’s basically the same as, “I’ll think about it” or “Not right now.” Those are the answers that don’t drive you forward one way or another. A no that you’re unable to overcome moves you on to the next customer. A yes moves you forward to your goal. I’ll address turning indecisions into yeses in a future article.
If you are lucky enough to be face to face with your customer, count your blessings and make sure you are prepared. These are only a couple of skills you’ll need to succeed, so keep sharpening your sword. And remember:
- Your company’s reputation will get you in the door.
- Your rapport will get you to the customer’s table.
- Your belief will sell the product or service for you.
- Your manager… will be happy.