Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The secret to selling is to not sell

"Relationship building is the new selling"
Today no one wants to sell and no one wants to be sold!   So don't do that.   We have such a strong resistance to being sold anything that as soon as we feel we are being sold we head for the hills.   And yet product and services need to sold, so what is the answer?
First, we need to get past a clients resistance.   The quickest and most enjoyable way (for both of us) is to build a good relationship.   Because....
"All things being equal we chose to do business with those we like and all things being unequal we still chose to do business with those we like"

I am not advocating that you do more schmoozing.   I am advising that you build a mutually beneficial relationship with your clients.   The relationship has to be seen by both parties as a win/win.  

Of course an inferior product or service will not get you any lasting business.  However, assuming your product or service is competitive with the others on the market then the difference is the level of trust you have built up and that takes relationship building. 

The purpose of relationship building is to remove any resistance your client has to you so that you can tell your story and show how you can solve their problems or create an opportunity. 

"Closing the sale tactics become a thing of the past but rather a natural outcome of a mutually beneficial relationship"

Assuming you've commenced doing business with a client and you've delivered on your promises, then remember this and please read it over very carefully....

Monday, October 21, 2013

Should you trust your brain or your gut?

And the answer is neither. At least not all of the time. Research has shown that their are times when it is best to trust your gut (intuition) and times when you would be better off trusting your head (logical).

Trust your gut (intuition) or some might also say your heart, when you are upbeat, happy or feeling positive. Your gut feeling is really the answer that comes to you from the collective wisdom of your subconscious. However be forewarned their are times when your intuition will lead you astray and may cause you to make a bad decision?

"Just because something feels right doesn't mean it is"

Trust you head (logical thinking) when you are experiencing a negative emotion. When you are sad, mad, depressed and upset, trusting your heart or gut can cause you to make a very bad decision. When in these negative states is the time to think logically. We've probably all made bad decisions at times when we are upset that we later regretted?

"and just because it seems logical doesn't mean it is either"

So make a decision but remember this....if it isn't followed by some action then you haven't really made a decision. It's just a consideration not a decision.

Pssst....if you know someone going through tough times it just might a good idea to pass this article on to them. That would be a logical decision that also would feel right?

"In my house I'm the boss! My wife is just the decision maker" (Woody Allan)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WARNING....Touch it and you'll buy it

"When you touch an item you are more likely to buy it and pay more for it"

Every successful marketer and beach vendor in Mexico know that if they can put something in your hands the odds of a sale happening go up! This is why they say...go ahead try it before you buy or take it for a test drive. Once the item and your brain make a connection they want to bond. The longer you are in possession of something the harder it is to put it back.

Touch plays more roles in decision making. For instance how something feels; soft vs hard, warm vs cold and rough vs soft affects how you perceive others. So if you go to someone's office or business and they put you in a warm, soft and comfy chair and feed you a nice hot coffee....lock up your wallet or purse. Your resistance will begin to melt like an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

Even weight can influence you. In one study human resources folks rated job applicants as superior to their competitors if they studied the resume on a heavy clipboard. The heavy clipboards made participants rate public isssues such as the environment more deserving of funding. Subconsiously we rate heavy as more serious.

Making your client feel safe, warm, comfortable and secure is what I call 'preparing to persuade. This is similar to an idea I wrote of earlier about selling on sunny days. The objective is make the client feel good or as one brilliant writer said...seduce them. (Ok that was no brilliant writer that was me). Of course if your product or service is crap no amount of priming will help. You can't prime a dry well!

It always amazes me to discover that by being kind, generous and considerate to others leads to more success. I think I should have called this article.....'Priming Profits By Pampering' Now go out and touch someone (ok in a respectable way).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The remarkable power of a hand written note

"The more gatitude you show the more good fortune you recieve"

Some forms of gratitude are more powerful than others. Here is my list from least powerful to most powerful expressions of gratitude:

Silent gratitude is the least powerful of course.
Facebook and twitter
Text messages
Handwritten letters, thank you cards and notes

These days its hard to ignore the efficiency of some form of an electronic message. It's fast and easy to do. And that's why you shouldn't do it....because its what everyone else is doing and so you won't stand out or be remembered.

It takes your personal time to hand write a message. It is memorable, remarkable and it sustains. Electronic type messages are soon deleted and forgotten in the avalanche of daily communications we receive.

Here is how to make your messages memorable...

Write clearly and neatly.

Awhile back I received a thank you card from a Westjet Vice President thanking me for the ideas I had submitted and that they had employed. That was nice except for one thing.....his writing was so damn sloppy it was nearly impossible to read it. No point in scanning it and using it as a reference or even showing it to my buddies. A total waste!

Make it personal.

"Thanks you did a great job" is not near as powerful as something like this..."Hey Eduardo you did a remarkable job on the Westjet file. Your ideas made a huge difference and I absolutely loved your humor and willingness to share your insights. Thanks a ton" Which note would you like to get?

Be sincere.

Flattery is phoney but a sincere compliment is a gift that keeps on giving.

It can be a gift.

Many times I've seen others showing off a note or card they received that was complimentary. So to that person its like a gift.

Don't limit it to thank you's.

Sometimes a handwritten letter or note of encouragement goes a long way to motivate others. I've used handwritten notes to solve differences with others. The real secret of a handwritten note is that it forces the other person to hear you out. In a conversation its our nature to be thinking about what we are going to say while the other person is talking and thus not be fully focused on what they are saying. And the recipient can re-read it later.

Thursday, October 17, 2013 you want to know what others really think about you?

"To find out another persons real opinion ask them what they believe everyone else thinks"

Humans are mostly delusional!

In a research study done in 1997 a thousand people were asked this question...who do you think is most likely to get into heaven? Here are some of the results..

52% said Bill Clinton
79% said Mother Teresa
87% said themselves

In some ways it is an advantage to be a little delusional but the evidence is clear, if you want to know the truth you can't always trust your own judgement. So is asking others the best way to get a true response?

When you ask someone for their personal opinion you many times get a guarded to distorted response. The reasons may vary; they may want to protect your feelings or they may not want you to know their true feelings about something.

For instance imagine that you ask someone what they think about your public speaking abilities? The truth might well be that they think you suck at it and should keep your day job. Instead they may something like....well, you're new at it but I can see some promise if you work on it. Their answer is trying to go easy on you and it doesn't reflect their true belief.

Now imagine asking them.....what do you believe others think about my public speaking? Now, they are free to be more critical because its not what they believe, it is opinion of others. Except it's not! It is actually what they believe.

No matter the question you will get a more honest answer if you ask them what they believe others think?

"There is nothing you can learn from a compliment but much that can be learned from constructive criticism"

What are some benefits of using this technique..

* Understand the true objections to a sale
* Know how you are being perceived
* Find out where you are in the sales process
* Get to the truth quickly and easily

Just remember...don't ask if you don't want to hear the truth!

So what do you believe others will think about this idea?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to make your proposal 20% more effective?

Mimic their body language

Research has proven that just adding mimicry made the sales pitch 20 percent more effective. The trick is to delay a few seconds before mimicing another persons body movements. There's plenty of research on mimicry's power:

Research has shown the two things a salesperson must have are:
1) empathy
2) ego drive.

Mimicry is a potent nonverbal form of empathy. It may be the key to sales.
Mimicry makes you a better negotiator. The first words you should say in a negotiation are anything very similar to what the person on the other side of the table just said. A good way to do this is to what you are saying is (and then repeat back what they said)
Out and out mimicking people (but not obviously) causes them to like you more and to act more kind. On dates, when women mimic men the guys are more interested.

Mimicing makes people feel that you are like them and given the opportunity we prefer to do business with those we like and feel comfortable with.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 words that will make you more persuasive

In order become a powerfully persuasive person you need to understand how to get past a persons resistance. 

Reistance is our defence mechanism to shield us from being sold on a product, service or a person.   No one wants to be sold anything.   Oh sure, sometimes we want to buy but we don't like to be sold.  Being sold is to feel pressure to buy and our resistance rises as soon as we detect that is happening.

So here's how to slip by the resistance...

What if....

Imagine that you are asking someone out on a date.   Typically you might say something like....Would you like to go for dinner and a movie on Friday night?  

The person being asked has to make a snap decision.   The pressure and stress builds as the recipient of the request ponders your question.   And if the answer is no, the door has just slammed shut on you and resistance to you is building.

Each no you get builds more resistance.   So if I keep asking and keep hearing no, I am getting further away from a sucessful response. 

At the time of rejection you will both want to retreat and try forget the experience.

What if, instead I tried this on a lady......What if I were to ask you to go for dinner and a movie on Friday night, how would you feel about that?

Remember, I only asked her what if?   I didn't really ask her out.   So there is little or no pressure because I was just asking her thoughts on my speculative request.   So if her answer is no I don't think that would work  Nothing is lost we can carry on as usual.  

However, if she says she would like that, then I could take it as a yes and wahoo...we have a date.

Plus, I just might flush out the reason  for her objection.     Her objection just  might be something I can overcome.

Imagine using this in a business transaction? 

P.S.  you can replace 'what if' with 'imagine' if that works better for you!


Research has proven that when you make a request and follow up with a 'because' it becomes more persuasive.  Although the research didn't explain why 'because' works so well, I speculate it is because it is complimentary to the other person.   When someone takes the time to explain why they are making a request it causes us to feel appreciated.    When someone makes a request without an explanation it's feels like we are not worthy of an explanation.      

So in my example I could say something like this....What if I were to ask you out for a dinner and movie on Friday night because I think we would both enjoy seeing that movie and I think you would like the menu at that restaurant?

Imagine trying out this technique the next time you are asking someone to do business with you because it really works!

Bonus #1

It is really important to use their name at the front of your request.   Using their first name makes it more personal and friendly.   It seems simple and it is but it brings results because it lowers their resistance to you. 

Bonus #2

The real power in persuasion is to string several techniques together as I just did by using....what if, because and their first name.   I call this the String theory of Persuasion.  

As I write more articles on persuasion I will continue to string together multiple techniques because that's when it is most powerfully persuasive.   And being able to say I developed a String Theory  makes me sound brighter than I actually am.....haha

Hmm.....what if I knew these techniques when I was a young man?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Quit trying to make a sale! (because it's hurting your chances of success)

"No one wants to be sold anything and no one really wants to be a salesperson"

Oh I know what you are does that stupid guy think I can grow my business without making  sales?  Glad you asked...

First, lets examine why trying to make a sale is bad for business?   Trying to make a sale creates resistance.   Resistance to your product or service and resistance to the person trying to make the sale.  The reason is that the traditional sales process creates stress and who likes stress?   Right, no one!

I remember many moons ago when I started out in my career I was taught this mantra....always be closing.    The idea was that at every opportunity we were to be asking for the sale.   If you don't ask you won't get the sale.   Bullcrap!

Everytime a client says no he or she builds resistance to you and your proposal.   Each no pushes you further away from a successful outcome.   Given enough no's they never want to see your high pressure sorry ass again.

So what's a girl to do?

Introducing.......The Secrets of Persuasion!

The first question I get asked at my talks on this subject is...what is the difference between making a sale and persuasion?  The simple answer is intent!

In the sales process the objective is to make the sale.   That implies that the benefit goes to the seller and if the client gains a benefit that is great but not necessary.   The sale itself is of  first importance.  So the tactics used (as long as the are legal)  are acceptable and considered necessary.

In the persuasion process the first objective is not to make a sale!   The first objective is to establish a relationship.   To gain trust, respect and likeability between both parties.   The end result must be of mutal benefit.   The ultimate objective is a long and prosperous relationship.   As a young marketing representative at my last talk that's kind of like leading my client to a result he should eventually get to himself. Isn't that beautiful?

The persuasion secrets that will be the basis of my next book and my current talks are fun and easy to learn and work like magic.  

It's like having an unfair advantage over your competition.  

What if, you were powerfully persuasive?   How much fun could you have if you never had to ask for a sale and instead they asked you for the priviledge to do business with you?

What if, your employees were all powerfully persuasive?   How would that affect your companies growth and future plans?

Yeah, I know this sounds like one of those late night infomercials?   However, what if it's not?   What if, this is based on real and honest research that is proven to be effective?   Because, guess what?   It is!

So stay tuned as I will be using this blog to explain ...The Secrets of Persuasion