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.
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.
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!