Finish First In Sales

Recently I listened to one of my CEO clients give a sales meeting pep talk. His theme was the psychology of the sale–perhaps the most important factor in moving toward the close. Unfortunately, many salespeople overlook the psychology behind the sale and instead repeat the same mistakes and get the same result: no sale.

1. Expertise in the factors that determine the impact of your sales message:

• Body language — 55% 
• Voice quality — 38% 
• Words — 7%

Start with the external, physical presentation. Is your body language open? Does it express your confidence in your product or service?

Your voice quality comes in a close second to your body language, and is particularly important to those of you who sell over the phone. Do you remain sitting when you make calls, or do you stand up? Standing up projects your voice.

You can also increase your effectiveness by proper pitch, pace, and articulation. If you make most of your sales through calling, the quality of your presentation is all in your voice.

Words have little influence on the impact of your message, yet salespeople continue to use words without support from the two most important elements in presentation: body language and voice quality. Make sure those elements are most effective to make sure you sell.

2. Recognize and focus on the four personality styles of your customers:

Every day, every salesperson encounters people with these styles, yet rather than adjust the presentation to the client, the salesperson sells the way he or she wants to be sold. You may be already familiar with Meyers-Briggs, DISC, or McQuaig, yet do you know how to recognize the client’s personality style and then present to that style? Probably not.

You need to start: you can increase your profits at least 10% simply by closing clients using this technique.

Once you learn the styles, you can customize your presentation to the client. For instance, some clients want bullet points, some want to talk about their family first, some want a team environment, and some want only logic. Imagine the advantage you have when you recognize their style, then present to that style to access their needs or wants.

3. Use of first, second, or third-party platforms to increase your credibility:

Most salespeople live in the first-party world: they tell their clients about the product or service from a first-person point of view, such as “tell the client and then tell them what you told them.” Pitching this way will rarely move you toward the close. Storytelling salespeople use a second-party platform–a more effective, indirect approach that makes points with clients

The third-party platform is more effective because it offers credible evidence from another reliable source. Using specific testimonials, a sales tool with graphics, or even a website written from a third-party point of view increases your clients’ confidence in your product or service.

Check out these examples:

First Party: My product can clean carpets better than anything else on the market today!

Customer Response: Yeah. Right. First Party: No, really! I use it myself, and it does the job better than that stuff my wife bought last week.

Customer Response: Sure. Prove it.

First Party: Certainly! See? Right here on my label it says “Sudso cleans carpets better than anything else on the market. I wouldn’t lie to you.

Second Party: Our new puppy made quite a mess on our carpets. Fortunately, I work for Sudso, and with only one application all the stains and scent came right out. Do you have a dog?

Customer Response: Yes, but she’s housebroken already.

Second Party: Good for her! Allow me to show you the before-and-after pictures of our living room rug after Mugsy made her mess and then after my wife cleaned it up with Sudso.

Customer Response: How do I know it’s the same rug? Besides, pictures can be altered, can’t they?

Third Party: Consumer Reports’ study on carpet cleaners proved Sudso outperformed the others by 25%.

Customer Response: Consumer Reports, huh? Are they really independent of manufacturers’ influence? They don’t have any connection to manufacturers?

Third Party: Absolutely. They have no connection to manufacturers. If you want more information, you can visit their website and see the results of their product tests. And I’ll be happy to show you test results from other independent laboratories.

Customer Response: Wow! Let me look at those pictures and I’ll go to the website later. What was that web address again? Never mind–this is good enough. Let me have the economy size. I have a BIG dog.

Words have minimal impact, but when you add the third-party telling the story, backed up by photos and a website, the story becomes real and the credibility increases.

4. Knowledge of the prospective clients/customers’ rating process of your product in their decision-making process:

The four things prospects/clients consider and score consistently before making a purchase are company, product, price, and salesperson.

In each sales event, the person with whom you are speaking evaluates your every action and every word. The customer considers the salesperson the most important element of the sales. Clients buy the salesperson first, then the company, product, and price.

Unfortunately, companies spend millions of dollars on the image, quality, and value of their product or service without considering the element that determines the sale: the person doing the selling.

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