How to increase openness with your prospective buyer

How to increase openness with your prospective buyer

Correctly reading your prospective buyer’s body language, hand signals, and vocal cues can make the difference between a successful pitch and one that falls flat. Buyer behaviors can be grouped into three categories: red, yellow, and green. Red behaviors indicate that your buyer is not open to you, yellow indicates that your buyer is somewhat open, and green means your buyer is open and willing to hear what you have to say. Examples of red behaviors are severe crossed arms, bored expression, using negative words like “don’t” and “not” frequently, and only halfway listening. Yellow behaviors include relaxed crossed arms, blank expressions, and what appears to be a faked interest. Green behaviors are typically indicated by open gestures, smiles, and asking questions. The goal of your sales process is to move your buyer into the green category by using green behaviors yourself. This, coupled with the following sales techniques, provides a simple method to positive sales experiences and successes. 1.    Give fewer options: It’s hard for a buyer to make a decision with 20 products/services on the table. Make it simpler by grouping like items together into product or service categories. 2.    Cater to their needs: Buyers like to know that you’ve done your homework and know what their needs are. Make your offer specific to your buyer and discuss how your products or services will benefit their particular business. 3.    Being likable: People like buying from people they like; so smile and be genuine. 4.    Connect emotionally: People like to think that they’re rational human beings, but really the decision-making part of the brain is nestled in with...

Selling ASAP Thoughtware: When Salespeople Act Like a “Cookie Cutter?

Salespeople have an affinity to be trendy.  Yes, they must follow trends and infuse trends into sales strategies if the trends are judged to be relevant.  Unfortunately, and too often trends are “spotted” after it is too late to do much about them.  We have witnessed trends grounded in “trivia,” “yuppies,” “do-it-yourself,” dot.coms.  Some capitalized, but most were too late to reap the real benefits as they appeared like the last cookie to come through the cookie cutter – no different than any of the other cookies.  So, what can salespeople do to avoid “cookie cutter” strategies? Swallow pride – wonderful ideas may not be so wonderful.  Don’t let egos become so large they become impenetrable and incapable of thought. Caution — over-reaction here – salespeople must respond to changes, but which ones?  Imitative, “seat-of-the-pants” reactions rarely are effective.  Ask this question: “How can a strategy that simply imitates be viewed by customers as new and exciting”? Do homework – ask questions like “How does a trend really impact the market, my products, how I do my job?” to tailor strategies that customers will find new and exciting. Avoid complacency – be willing to make change if the homework tells you do to so.  New ideas must be continually developed to keep customers interested. Do Practice – when salespeople make changes, they should test them against how well grounded they are with respect to customers’ needs, wants, and preferences. Do not Act Like Hungry Mungry – Hungry Mungry was a boy whose appetite was so insatiable that he ate everything in sight.  He finally ate himself.  Salespeople and sales...

Selling ASAP Thoughtware: Connections

A Sales professional’s first and most important priority is to ensure clients are well-served by the advice offered and received.  Personal connections can be as important as the product or service information salespeople offer customers – if salespeople want get the most out of relationships for their customers and themselves, personal connections need attention too.  Here is some Selling ASP Thoughtware to ponder concerning connections. “Me too.”  We tend to put ourselves on pedestals as if we are the only ones who have experienced something.  If this was true, there could be no empathy. We all have “I’ve been there” moments. We choose to stay connected.  It is a conscious decision made by salespeople, not just something that happens.  Salespeople must work at it. Ecclesiastes 4:9.  Two can accomplish more than twice as much as one, for the results can be much better.” Connections happen when we are transparent. Connections unify unlikely people. Connections give meaning and purpose. Avoid arrogance…associate with people who you can help and who can help you…they come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Don’t convert the selling situation into a format that prevents connections beyond the superficial. The art of listening is fundamental to connections.  “He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame (Proverbs 18:13). “He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Mathew 11:15). It is important to listen to words, but the speaker’s valuable message is rooted in why someone is saying what they are saying.  The why part of listening tells us about what the other person holds important. Words are triggered by emotions, judgments, needs, wants...

Selling ASAP Thoughtware: Introduction

Thoughtware is derived from technologies which are composed of three components: hardware, software, and thoughtware.  The analogy between thoughtware and software is intentional because just as software is critical in the performance of computers and must continually be upgraded, it is also true of salesperson’s thoughtware. All components must be present and operating in order for salespeople to succeed.  The thoughtware component is the array of techniques, attitudes, conceptual frameworks, and methods of approach that salespeople learn and ultimately bring to bear in their daily work activities.  It’s what makes the other stuff work. Selling ASAP Thoughtware is a program that encourages salespeople to think about the ways in which they approach, organize and apply skills on behalf of a business and its supporting systems and assets. Thought is the ancestor of all action. Salesperson thinking is the basis for everything they do and all behavior is rooted in thought. The sum of a salesperson’s thinking and their subsequent collective interaction is the mastermind of performance. Change the thoughtware to one of a relationship focus and the salesperson will change him/herself and create an unmatched capability to handle the future – whatever it is.  Thoughtware transcends change and creates a new context in which any and all strategic and tactical efforts have the optimum opportunity for success. With new thoughtware salespeople can build a customer relationship platform on which management process and change grow and renew as a naturally corollary of their thinking and interaction. Selling ASAP Thoughtware for the salesperson is the catalytic converter of information into knowledge. It doesn’t promote just another new management concept like reengineering...

Telephone 5

Give your best contacts your cell and home numbers. Here’s a balance point. This says your “best” contacts, not your 100 best contacts. A handful of my clients have my cell and home phones (although my home phone is listed), but I try to keep that to a very short list. My wife deserves my undivided attention, too. Give your clients your direct line if you have one. This is our practice at Blanchard Walker, and I think it is a good one. You’d be amazed at the pleasant surprise that many clients get when their lawyer answers his or her own phone. You can send all calls to voicemail if you’re in conference (my practice) or you can screen calls with caller identification without being obvious (and, therefore, possibly rude). If the switchboard operator or assistant respond, have him or her offer to take a message or put callers to voicemail. I personally appreciate it when folks give me that choice, and I suspect others do, too. Good...

Adapt to a Customer’s Style

Building Stronger Relations Not all business customers are the same. Therefore, salespeople must learn to adapt their communication and behavior to buyers’ personalities and preferred styles of doing business. Agile salespeople practice adaptive selling, which means they are able to quickly and skillfully alter their behavior when changes occur in a selling situation. In adaptive selling, salespeople adapt their style to be more like the prospect’s style. Knowledge of a prospect’s social style is a key ingredient in effectively capturing the prospect’s attention. People with different social styles (i.e., analytical, amiable, expressive, and drivers) have different and preferred ways of communicating. Salespeople who recognize and adjust to these behavior patterns develop stronger relationships with customers. Watch the...