The New 4 Letter Word in Sales = DEAL

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of noise around the word “Deal”. I have no idea why some sales experts are designating this word as bad-dealsomething to avoid, but i whole heartily disagree. I am happy to look someone in the eyes and ask them if we have a Deal. I’m happy to let someone know that this is a great Deal. As long as I am genuine and I really believe that I’ve put together a great Deal then I’m 100% good with this word.

The problem arises because some sales reps will talk about getting or giving “Deals” that aren’t really a good value. The customer can feel when something doesn’t feel right and that “Deal” suddenly turns into a Lemon. Customer’s still want a Deal, but the Deal has to mean Value. Every customer I’ve ever worked with wants to feel like they got the better end of the bargain. They want to feel like they negotiated and received a better Value because of their interaction and ability. The passive people believe they will get a good Deal because they are good people or because they are easier to work with. The friendly, outgoing people believe that only friends give friends the good Deals, so they want to make friends with you. The super busy executives want to get a great Deal from you because they are quick and to the point and save you time. My friends with the excel spread sheets that analyze the numbers from every aspect want to believe that their acute attention to the numbers has garnered them some magical leverage that enables them to get a better Deal.

Everyone wants a Deal, they just don’t want to feel slimy about it. They don’t want to be told that it’s a Deal, they want to judge it to be a good Value themselves. Go ahead and use the word, just back it up with Value, however the customer defines that Value. Some people value expediency, other want you to take your time. Some customers want you to be very personable, others want you to respect their privacy. The word isn’t the problem, it’s that sometimes the Deal isn’t really a Value. It’s up to sales people to find out what the customer finds valuable and then to tailor the program, purchase or service in the best way possible. Let’s put away the pitch forks and put the halo over Deal.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 14 – Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer

I’m traveling this week, which gives me lots of down time to read and or listen to my Audio Books. Gitomer has long been one of my favorite Sales Inspirations. HLittleRedBooke’s energetic, direct and his tips are quick hitting with meaning. He always leaves you with very specific takeaways and has a great mindset. I don’t think this book reads particularly well cover to cover, but I did it anyway.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 14 – Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer

 

 

First, if you haven’t read Gitomer you need to go check it out right now. Every sales professional on the planet should know Jeffrey Gitomer’s stuff. He puts out an amazing amount of content and I’ve thought about his Certified program which gives guidance on all of it and allows you to teach his material to others. There is a mountain of material to get through.

Somehow each individual piece that Gitomer does seems like it’s in little bite sized pieces. This book doesn’t look intimidating and so it’s easy for someone to pick it up and flip to any particular page and read a cartoon and some bright bold font to pick up a hint. You can actually use that hint that same day, these aren’t complicated work tracks to remember or odd studies on facial expressions to get some insight. Gitomer teaches mindset and closing techniques, and he keeps it simple.

I had probably read 60% of the book via the flip to any page and pull out a tip method, but reading it cover to cover gave me more of a sense for how he teaches and his thought pattern. Sales is all about the inspiration, perspiration and preparation not necessarily in that order and reading the Little Red Book should be in any Sales 101 curriculum. It’s entertaining, helpful and whether you are on day 2 or day 10,002 of your career you can find something helpful in this book.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 9 – Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. This book is a nice spin for the classic Hard Work Beats Talent when Talent doesn’t Work Hard. There is a giant fear of failure in most sales repsGoForNO and it limits the amount of risk that they will take. This is a classic mind flip that creates the scenario where NO is Good.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 9 – Go for No! Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz

 

I’m a strong believer in the SweatAbility factor (Effort X Skill = Success) and typically in my own experience the hustlers are the ones that put in the strong effort. They work harder, longer and have strong visions of what they are working towards. Those guys are the ones that often get the trophy’s at the end of the month, but sometimes it’s someone who just has to struggle to stay at par. I try to take those guys and increase their skill level, I work on their closing skills, listening skills, mirroring skills and general sales I.Q. I stand by that assessment, if someone’s work ethic is already a 9 out 10 and I double their sales skill, they will double their income.

This book focuses more on the Effort piece of the puzzle, which is something the 10X Rule by Grant Cardone does as well, but I think this book might be more dangerous in some industries than in others. There is a message in the book that encourages massive prospecting, which I am on board with, but the book initially also seems to reward a low conversion ratio or at least it could be interpreted that way. The surface message would seem to just take massive leads and get through them and you’ll probably find a few “lay down” deals and out perform your competition by just sifting through your leads faster.

The hidden message is in the last chapter. The No’s that you get don’t all get thrown away. The same leads can and should be reused and in fact most customers will say No 5 times before saying Yes. That means that by prospecting more often and calling on your own sales leads multiple times you’ll increase the number of times you are told No, but eventually your conversion ratio of sales calls to confirmed clients will actually improve. Let’s face it, everyone you talk to buys from someone right? If you are persistent enough that person can be you.

Talk to more prospects. Get to the point. Don’t burn bridges. Follow up relentlessly. Ask for the business so you always know where you stand. You will both outwork AND out smart your competition by following these rules. The Author’s might disagree, but I think a salesman’s favorite word is still Yes, but I’ll concede that the second favorite word is No. Look for the No in every sales call and you won’t be running away from prospects with fear of rejection, you’ll wear it like a badge of honor on your way to the bank.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 6 – It’s Called WORK For A Reason! – by Larry Winget

There are few times when I don’t appreciate a good wake up call and Larry delivers them like no one else. This is the 3rd book of his that I’ve read and they all haveItsCalledWorkforAReason the same no nonsense style that I’ve come to enjoy. He’s brash and he makes no apologies so if you are easily offended or too “high brow” to get down and dirty then you probably wont want to read this book.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 6 – It’s Called WORK For A Reason! – by Larry Winget

 

Larry is the ultimate in self reliance and self accountability. It can come off a little over the top sometimes but he’s still authentic and so he pulls it off. He really is just over the top and that’s probably a good thing. It’s what makes him special, he does and says things in a way that normal people wouldn’t. He’s unconventional, but he also gets to make unconventional money too I suspect.

His language is plain and his stories are easy to relate to. He’s an every man’s, man. Larry has had trials and tribulations that you can tell are for real, which makes his stories and recommendations all the more convincing. This dude has been bankrupt, he’s been broke, he’s been where a lot of people have been in the last decade and he’s come out of it smelling like roses.

A lot of these self help or inspirational books have similar messages, you just need to choose the voice that resonates with you. Larry is a dude that a lot of people would want to sit down and grab a beer with, his books feel fresh and entertaining even if the ideas aren’t new, the stories are.

Do you need a wake up call? Do you play the victim too much? Is it never your fault? Is the man holding you down? Do you need the swift kick in the pants to get motivated? If the answer is yes, then pick up this book. Laugh a little at the stories but look for the truth in them.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #1 “Selling 101″ – Zig Ziglar

As part of my New Years Promises this year I promised that I’d read at least a book a week for the entire year. To help me keepSelling101ZigZiglarCover that promise I’ll post a quick review of each book here on this SalesFu Blog. I’m don’t have one of those fancy Amazon affiliate accounts, but I should probably look into that and see if i can link it up.

The first book we are going to talk about this year is short and sweet- Zig Ziglar’s Selling 101.

To be honest I had no idea what I was buying. I didn’t realize that this was more of a Pocket Version than a full fledged book on it’s own, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You should be aware that this book is indeed small, it fits into my inside jacket pocket and into my Levi’s back pocket. That being said, it’s like the Mighty Mouse of sales books, it packs a decent sized punch and can save the day if you give it a chance, plus it’s kind of nostalgic.

I’m in my 40’s and I’ve been reading Ziglar’s stuff for my entire adult life and it still rings true. This book will do 1 of 2 things for you, it will either remind you of all the basics that you already knew or it will open your eyes to how much more there is to this business than just offering a product. I’m OK with either outcome actually. The principals that Zig outlines in this book are just the tip of the ice berg, it’s like the CliffsNotes version of all of his other works. The title says it all actually, this is indeed Selling 101, a basic foundation to build upon.

There are many people in the Sales Industry that got there by accident. These are the people that just lucked out, maybe weren’t the best students and maybe haven’t read a book in years. This is a good little book because it’s not intimidating, you can get through it in a couple of lunch hours and pull some useful info out of it. The best part is that even though Zig passed away a few years ago, he is still selling. This book is designed to Motivate you to better yourself, and with that desire you’ll want to go further on the journey with Zig. Luckily his legacy is carried on by his family and you can buy all of his other books, his certifications and classes online. This book makes me want to buy more from him, and it’s a win-win.

In the mean time I’m going to listen more, sell with integrity and proceed with a couple of simple plans.

 

4.5 Steps to know- When to ask for the Business.

Last week I was asked by an up and coming salesperson, “So, when would I know what Closing technique to use?”.  I dug a little deeper on this question and he wasn’t really wondering which close to use and how, he was really asking a much more fundamental question- “When do I Close?”.103764377_400x400_pad

 “The Buying Sign Close”

It seems that many of us are info/benefit dumping until we hear this line from the customer- “OK, so what do we do next?” and then we get the credit card or signed purchase agreement. Now lets be honest, the products or services we are presenting aren’t exactly new right? You probably have some competitor though it pains you to admit it and that competitor at least has a product or service in your same category. The customer isn’t giving you that massive buying sign because you didn’t ask them to. In answer to the salesperson’s question above I said, “I close when the conversation gets to the natural end. I prep customers and let them know that if I find a (product or service) that fits their needs I’ll ask for their business. In addition I also close whenever I hear the 3rd buying sign”. I realized we hadn’t covered the Buying Sign close or talked about when identifying when you’ve EARNED the right to close, so read below and Close more deals!

 

STEP #1 Listen and Identify Buying Signs. Buying Signs to me are any type of questions from a customer, even objections are buying signs to me. If someone is asking me questions about my product/service it usually means that they intend to BUY, even if it’s not from me. IF the customer didn’t want to do anything they wouldn’t prolong the conversation with questions. They’d try to get off the phone, elevator or whatever meeting I pinned them down to as quickly as possible, sometimes they don’t want to be rude but they still just want to get out of the room. Typical Buying Signs- So do you guys service your own product? Do you use local providers? How long have you been doing this? Can I fax you documents or do I need to mail them? How can I do business with a company or person I’ve never done business with before?

 

STEP #2 – Track the Buying Signs. I usually keep an internal count of the buying signs I’ve heard and depending on how strong they are I typically jump straight to this close after the 3rd buying sign. If the customer asks 3 serious questions about the service or product it’s time to ask for the business.

 

STEP #3 – Close. “I think it’s obvious we are going to do something here for you here today. While we are figuring out what fits your needs let’s agree to something. I’ve got to jump through a few hoops to get you the best (product or service), we’ve got to ask some Formality Questions, Put a Credit Card (or billing dept contact) on file and then confirm some more of your information while we tailor this order for you. What’s the card number or billing address? (Bridge Close works well here the key is the first 20 words which transitions to a close of choice).

 

STEP #4 Finalize App Details.  After I get the deposit I verify a few items like contact info and fill out any other details I may have missed earlier. THEN we go back to the structure of the product or service and I typically make a STRONG recommendation.  “So Mr Customer, no matter what we do today we are going to get something better than your current situation. In my professional opinion I recommend the XYZ for you, it has the better features, more for your time, money, ROI or offers peace of mind. I think that’s what you were looking for right?” Or “I’ve done enough files of this nature to be considered an expert here so I’m confident that we should move forward. I would like to wait to determine the exact amount of service you need until we have the appraised the situation. We typically start with  ABC  but let’s be conservative and say we’ll start with X amount of service. Can we start with this amount of service and then adjust it up or down after the test period?”

When I work a Buying Sign Close I frame the initial trial as a joint production with lots of feedback from the customer. The least amount of  service and the possible need for much for allows us to adjust things, typically for the better. Since we are happy with the worst case scenario that means we’ll be giving good news through the process and you’ve started the buying relationship.

 

STEP #4.5 ** BONUS TIP. The Strong Recommendation. I first learned this technique many years ago while working at a restaurant in Hawaii. Tourists would come in and they’d often ask about what Wine to order with a particular food. I was 21 and really had no palate or experience with wine but I asked a lot of questions of the bartender and people more familiar than I was. I made friends with a Sommelier and asked him how he handles this question. He said he makes a recommendation, backs it up with a few good reasons and sticks with it like it was the obvious choice. Pretty soon I was expertly recommending the Pacific Rim Riesling because the Sweet Flavor offset the Spicy Asian Fusion, the body was light and didn’t weigh down the experience and the acid cleansed the palate for the next bite of flavor. I soon found that no matter what I recommended, as long as I had a few good reasons for making the recommendation my customers went with my recommendation 90% of the time. The point here is that when we make a strong recommendation and back it up with a few good reasons our customers will listen to us, 90% of the time. Sometimes this is called the Law of Authority in Psychology circles, it’s scientifically proven to work!

 

Happy Selling and if you have any questions about this feel free to reach out to me!

SalesFu – Character and Integrity

Character and IntegrityKicktras

 

       Who are you when no one is looking?  What do you do?  I’ve met people of questionable moral fiber; unfortunately some of them have had immense wealth and success.  I’m just not sure how they sleep at night.  I find that it’s much easier to be authentic and treat others how I’d want to be treated, or at least how they would want to be treated.

My wife just asked me about one of my morning routines.  Every morning I write 4 words on the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker – Write, Right, Health and Wealth.  These 4 words have driven me for the past year but she asked me specifically about the word, “Right” and why I feel the need to actually include it here.  She’s wondering if I really need to remind myself to do the right things, shouldn’t people just do the right things all the time?

Well, yes we should do the right things all the time.  It’s not always easy though.  I think that the people with strong Character and Integrity face the same challenges as everyone else; they just make the decisions that may not be as popular or easy but have the better long term outcome. Should I read to my children when I get home from work or should I turn on the television and zone out with them in the same room?  I think that the right thing to do is to make sure I spend time reading to them and showing the discipline to finish a longer chapter book and to help them create strong positive habits.  Sometimes I still turn on the TV though.

I believe that having good Character and Integrity is integral to being a great salesperson.  True professionals help their customers and feel good about it.  If your customer gets off the phone with you and instantly thinks that they just got “Sold”, then you are doing something wrong.  The customer believes that you are the swindler, the charlatan, the guy that says whatever is needed to get them to open up their pocket book, you aren’t authentic and your customers believe you are peddling snake oil.

Human beings aren’t great lie detectors, but we know when something just doesn’t feel right.  You know it.  I’ve heard salesmen say things over the phone that were blatantly false to try to earn rapport.  Movies like Boiler Room and The Wolf of Wall Street make it seem like it is common practice to deceive a customer over the phone and say whatever it takes to earn a deal.  I have watched both of these and I love some of the dialogue, it still gets me pumped up and excited to be a salesman today, but I know that I can only sell something I actually believe in.

If you want to impose your will on the world, then ultimately you need to be responsible for what you are asking for and how you accomplish your goals.  Be honest with yourself, those around you and your customers.  Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and take responsibility for them.  When you are right, don’t gloat.  Just keep moving on.  You don’t have time for games; you’ve got a mission to accomplish.

 

        Don’t lie.  Don’t steal.  Don’t cheat.

Fess up when wrong and don’t rub it in when you’re right.

Defusing vs Overcoming Objections

Defusing vs Overcoming Objections

Defuse the Objection

Defuse the Objection

“Closing” sometimes has a negative connotation, primarily because no one likes to be “Sold” except for sales people. The rest of us don’t want to be “Sold” something, we just want to “Buy” a product or service worth having. Sales professionals who consistently find themselves having to use Hard Sell techniques and aggressive closing tactics often have to do so because they have missed the subtle art of building a relationship and actually finding out what would be the best option for this customer. Customers only say “No” when we haven’t given them enough reasons to say “Yes.”  Luckily, it’s actually fairly easy to avoid objections when it comes time to ask for the business. I’ve heard this general practice called Objection Mining, Objection Avoidance, I like Objection Defusing, but mostly it’s just called Good Service and actually getting to know someone. It’s called Being Helpful and here is how you do it-

 

#1 Accept Responsibility

  • Why do good sales people always appear to have the lay down deals? – Hint, It’s probably because they are good and make it look easy!!
  • Great sales people defuse the situation, everyone else loses control and places blame. – In 20 years of sales I’ve heard all the excuses. The product is bad, the price is off, the leads are horrible, the time shift or region is terrible, my assistant ate my homework, by dog booked the appointments after lunch, you name it. What I’ve never heard is a Salesperson who said, “You know what, that customer wants to wait and it’s 100% my fault.”  I get it, it’s a defense mechanism, as people we want to deflect failure and pretend that it’s outside of our control. It’s easier that way. No one said Sales was an easy profession though, it’s like living off the land, we only eat what we kill. Accept that you and your family need and rely on you to make a good living and that you alone are in control of your success.
  • I read a book about 5 years ago that really nailed this reality and opened my eyes – Larry Winget’s “Success is Your Own Damn Fault” , check it out.

#2 Setup for Success

  • Ask Questions to uncover the objections before they happen. – Ask about the decision making process, ask about how they have made decisions in the past, ask what criteria is important, ask why, ask, ask ask and uncover the “Why”. There is an Art to asking questions, the first answer to a “Sales” type question is always the social nicety or what they think they should say, something like “I’m fine, just looking. I don’t need any help.” The second question is typically answered with what they think they should be shopping for, something about a budget, rate, cost, or some feature. The problem is that now we’ve asked a couple of questions and have absolutely no idea what this customer wants or needs, the third question typically needs to find out why these features would help. The best way to understand the “Why” is to check out the Golden Circle Ted Talk by Simon Sinek. Just search for it, it’s a great way to spend 20 minutes.
  • Listen More – Ask your questions and then shut up. The problem with sales people is that we love the sound of our voice. Who wouldn’t? We have great things to say and we are very persuasive right? The problem is that we aren’t comfortable with silence and we tend to dominate the conversations instead of letting our customers get comfortable in the conversation. Listen twice as much as talking and you customers will  like you twice as much as long as you are asking the right questions.
  • Non-Business Relationships – NBR – CLICK with your Customers, use personality types to bond, read about How to Win Friends and Influence People, study social graces. I don’t know a successful sales person that isn’t likable, but I do know a couple of arrogant sales people who are diligent $30,000aires. You know the type, the sales guy or gal that has no business driving that car or wearing that watch. I’m all for looking the part and those things represent success for many in our business, but if you aren’t humble and likable, it will always be a show. Those guys lease the car, you want to own it free and clear.
  • Uncover Need – Throughout your conversation keep notes of what the “Need” is. This person doesn’t need to save money, this person needs you to change their life in some way. How can you help?
  • Gather up Benefits – As you are gathering up the information you’ll have an idea of what the objections will be to making a purchase now. Make note and stack up reasons why they should move forward anyway. Those reasons are called Benefits.

#3 Defuse the objection

  • Don’t be caught off guard. – If you get surprised with an objection you failed in the first part of the call.
  • Anticipate the Objection and Frame your Benefit statements to address it. – If you anticipate a Cost Objection heavily outline the recoup cost and the cost of doing nothing if that’s applicable. Talk about the savings. Talk about the long term savings, talk about the value of time.
  • Use “The Agreement” – Confirm that your solution addressed the concern in question. “That solves the problem of paying for the program right?”
  • Do this properly and you wont have to overcome objections, the customer will overcome the objections themselves and choose to move forward.

 

2 BONUS TIPS –

 

                BONUS TIP #1  – Defusing and Uncovering Objections is NOT the same thing as CREATING Objections. If you suspect that you are going to get a Spousal Objection, don’t say “Hey, so earlier in our conversation you mentioned your spouse wasn’t here to help with the decision, maybe you should go home and talk to them and come back next week. I wouldn’t want to make a decision  like this without my spouse”. Defusing the Objection is about addressing this concern so that the customer CAN move forward today. Remind the customer that there is a guarantee or that they would be accomplishing exactly what their spouse asked them to.

BONUS TIP #2 – We still overcome objections.  Don’t kid yourself, even if we do a good job of addressing the issues and framing the benefits, sometimes we still need to ask for the business multiple times. Don’t use this technique as a way to opt out of asking for the business a couple of times if that’s the right thing to do. Sometimes we have to make it so uncomfortable for a customer to say NO, that they say YES. Often those customers are the ones that call me back and thank me for forcing them to make a decision, they were just too scared for their own good.

 

What is SalesFu? – Capturing the Energy

vintage morse telegraph key with white background

Practice the MORSE Code of Success

What is SalesFu?

Sales Fu = The Art of Identifying & Capturing Customer Energy and using it to Persuade & Influence a purchase decision.

We’ve found that there are different personality types and we have an idea of how those personality types impact our communication. Now what? Now we talk about Capturing Customer Energy via Sales Momentum, Control and the MORSE Code to success.

 

SALES MOMENTUM

All too often I hear salespeople getting ready to do “Battle”, getting set to “Take another one down” or getting into a “Verbal Jousting Match”. All of these terms create the image of an adversarial approach to sales. We are one side of the war, and the customer is on the other. Is this how we really see our jobs and is this a healthy approach? I believe that at it’s highest level, Great Salesmanship is the same as Great Customer Service. We ask our customers to move forward because we strongly believe that it’s the right thing to do, we will meet and exceed their goals and have the right product at the right time for the right price. Instead of thinking of this transaction as a boxing match in which we beat our opponent into submission, let’s think of this as a chance to work together and move in the same direction. Some quick tips to make this a habit and make your sales calls continually move closer to the point of sale.

#1  DISARM – Never tell the customer that they are wrong or become confrontational. Instead, when a customer has a false assumption or becomes confrontational themselves, disarm them with moving phrases – “Great, I believe I can clarify this point so that we can move forward”, “Ah, I see the misunderstanding. I think that moving forward you will be happy to learn that…”, “Yes, we should be able to overcome this obstacle by,,,”. These phrases start with a positive sounding word, (Great, Yes, Ah) and then create a vision of motion actually moving forward.

#2  IDENTIFY THE DIRECTION – Based on the personality type already observed use language that will connect with the customer. If the customer has just given us an objection take the objection and turn it into a buying sign. If the customer objects to the Cost of your product/service then confirm their intent to buy once this issue is cleared. “Great, I’m glad you are giving this some thought before jumping ahead (or diving in) because that means you are serious about this transaction. So if I’m understanding this correctly, I think we just need to make sure we have enough value here before moving forward right?

#3  RE-CLOSE – We’ve successfully transitioned an objection back into a buying sign and the customer is still focused on moving forward somehow instead of how to get you out of the office or off the phone. We’ve kept the momentum of the call moving forward and can now ask for the business. Perhaps through this process we’ve realized that the goals we had outlined for the customer were wrong, or that product will need to be modified somehow. Instead of stalling the process we’ve shifted gears on the fly with feedback from the customer and kept the flow of the call moving towards a sale. Once we have redetermined the goals it’s time to Re-Close. Mention the customers buying sign and guide them to the point where they are comfortable saying Yes. “So I know that Cost is a major determining factor for you, so you’ll be pleased with this because…(insert benefits), which makes this all worthwhile. It’s safe to say we can get the process started now right?

 

CONTROL FROM THE TOP

Sales Momentum is key, but a measure of control must already be in place to work a conversation in this manner. Control is easier to maintain than you think. Visualize control in a conversation as a Baton that gets passed back and forth through the dialog. Every time a customer asks an unprompted question, gets sidetracked on a long story or tells you they have to go, you have lost control. Start with asking basic SLOT CLOSE questions, THIS or THAT type questions to narrow in on the product or service type needed. Then move on the POSITIVE AFFIRMATION questions, repeat goals back to the customer and ask for approval. “This is what you want, RIGHT?” , “It’s safe to say you need this ISN’T IT?”. “ISN’T IT safe to say we’ve met or exceeded all your goals?” , “Help me understand this, we need to offer you X,Y and Z, CORRECT?”. These phrases all maintain control of the conversation. Last but not least ask open ended questions, this will give the customer the sense of being in control, the more they talk the more they like you and at the same time you’ve still maintained control of the Baton. You gave them direction for this part of the conversation. I’ve even heard the phrase “Now this is the part of the conversation where we talk about…. ” this clarity gives a customer comfort. When a customer knows what their role is in the conversation and what comes next they will be at ease. It’s easier for them to let their guard down when you provide clear direction during the conversation. Give time limits, “This will only take another 10- 15 minutes. I have another appointment after this one.” This sets the customer at ease because they know they won’t have to beg you to get off the phone, you have defined the conversational limit. You have the control.

 

MORSE Code to Success

We have captured the energy, controlled it and funneled it into a positive experience for both parties. Energy like this becomes more powerful the more focused it is, so if we can direct that focus onto 1 or at most 3 objectives that we know we can satisfy we can earn the business and help that customer. Sometimes we need to help identify that focus though, we need to help define the problem so that we can create the solution. I call this the MORSE Code of success.

M.anufacture

O.pportunity.

R.ealize it.

S.hare it.

E.xecute

 

Very often our potential customer comes into contact with us without a firm goal in mind, or at least not with one they are sure about. We can use the tools of control to uncover a need, to Manufacture an Opportunity that the customer didn’t even know was there. Once we have identified the opportunity we need to help the customer Realize the need. You will know that your customer recognizes the need when they Share that need back to you, often prompted by us. Then, it’s just time to take action and Execute.

Imagine this scenario- The customer calls in and thinks you can help save them money somehow, they already pay for this service or product but perhaps you can provide it for less money. It turns out that you can’t really save them that much money on a monthly basis, but you can save them a lot of money in the long run, your product pays for itself faster or has a shorter payment plan. The customer wanted to save money, but was probably thinking it would come in the form of monthly savings. Instead, you Manufacture the Opportunity to save money in the long run. You plant the seed with a  control question- “So what I’m hearing is that you can afford your currently monthly payments without any problems, but you think you can save a significant amount of money over the life of this product with an upgrade right?” Then a little later in the conversation ask for the customer to Share this opportunity back with you, “So can you imagine what you’ll do with your extra money once you’ve paid this off? What will you do with the extra money then?” The customer starts to Share their plan for the additional funds that will come in the long run, this creates ownership of the decision in their mind. This goal is now theirs and luckily you can provide the solution. All that’s left to do now is to Execute a little more control and get to the point where you can ask for the business.

 

Next post we will talk about SalesFu Persuasion!

 

The Inertia Close (Feel, Felt, Found)

The Inertia Close (Feel, Felt, Found)fff

 

The Feel, Felt, Found technique has been around since my Grandfather was peddling Encyclopedia’s door to door. I have used it with great success when faced with the “WAIT”, “I’m just fine where I am”, or “That’s not enough savings to make it worthwhile to go through the process” type objections. Basically, I’ll use this whenever a customer says that it’s easier to STAY at REST than to go into motion. I first ran into it while selling MLM products about 20 years ago myself, the problem with using it today is that anyone who’s had any experience in sales will surely recognize the technique so we need to dress it up a little and change the vocabulary. Otherwise, the same system still works today. It’s “Old Reliable” in your SalesFu tool belt.

STEP #1 Empathize with the customer (Understand how they FEEL). First Empathize with the customer but do NOT use the word “FEEL.” Examples-

I understand why you might have strong loyalty towards your local/current agent…

I can see why you would lean that way…

I get why you would have a tendency to stay put…

 

STEP #2 Tell them about someone else who was in the same situation (It’s OK, some other people FELT the same way). This is basically a Bandwagon type closing technique. Examples-

…and I’ve seen 100’s of customers in your situation with similar hesitations…

…and many of my clients don’t take action initially because they are scared of making the wrong decision…

…and tons of my current and past customers expressed similar concerns at first…

 

STEP #3  Explain the solution the other person came up with (The solution they FOUND). What was the resolution. Examples-

…and what we did was find the best program (revisit Benefits)…

…and invariably once we made the leap of faith everyone breathes a sigh of relief…

…and then we reviewed the warranty protection program and realized that this was the safest course of action…

 

STEP #4 CLOSE.   This technique, like all others only works when you circle back to the CLOSE and ask for the Business again. Example-

So it’s safe to say that we met all of your goals right?

My mother used to tell me to Trust people, but to Verify the details. The documents will verify these for you. What credit card do you want to appear on the documents?

So wouldn’t you agree the we’ve now exceeded your expectations?

 

A couple of Tricks-

Do not say “BUT” it sounds argumentative, instead say “AND”.

A common mistake is talking too much about the Benefits during the “FOUND” response. Make it short, sweet and to the point. Long rambling responses are hard to follow over the phone. KISS. Keep it Simple Stupid.

Practice. If you are using the technique or any sales tool for that matter, don’t wing it. Practice this so that it sounds natural.

 

Happy Selling and if you have any questions about this feel free to reach out to me!

  Follow me @salesfumaster