How to get people to listen to you when you sell

January 06 0 Comments Category: Expert Advice - Sales

Expert AdviceLike many in sales I am sure you have an excellent service offering or product. Like quite a few sales people I have heard from recently, you may also be experiencing tougher times at the moment. This makes the sales job harder for some for a multitude of reasons that I will not go through now – apart from one: With this market place there are more sales people chasing less business (allegedly). That means that prospect clients are receiving more sales calls than ever making it ever harder to engage with them and get them to listen.

With all of the activities we conduct as recruitment professionals (and I also would say, as people) we are constantly involved in conversations with others. Throughout the day we will talk to candidates, clients, colleagues and managers. During many of these interactions we may have a desire to influence a particular outcome or decision. To be truly effective at this we need to inspire the other person to take action or make a decision. Naturally, as you are all aware, this takes sales skills and effective communication. To get really good at this takes forethought (planning) and sensory acuity (specifically the ability to pick up on non verbal feedback).

What exactly am I talking about? Let’s take a situation many of us will have been in recently – talking to a potential client on the phone for the first time with whom we would like to do business with. How are you going to convince them to use you?

Step 1 – Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, now “If I were a client, how would I want to feel, to consider using a (new) agency?

One of the things you will have started to notice as you ask yourself this question is that you come up with “emotional states” that describe how you would want to feel. These could include, confident, comfortable, inspired and /or reassured.

Step 2 – Now we have set a goal emotional state we would wish to take the client to we can set a strategy. Again, ask yourself “What would someone have to do or say on the phone that would make me feel confident (or any other desired emotional state)?

Once again you may start to recognise that as you develop true empathy with your client you may come up with a different list of things that you would need to do or say than you currently do on the phone and this is a good thing if your results have been less than you wanted them to be.

Step 3 – Begin your interaction with a new frame of reference – to change someone’s emotional state to one that creates a buying state of mind! Allow yourself to relax and be flexible enough to change your approach by calibrating the responses you get from the other person. Even on the phone we have plenty of cues that will tell us how we are doing in changing someone’s state:

Changes in: Pitch, pace, volume and tone of voice, breathing pattern, verbal listening tags (yes, um, ah-ha etc), intonation of questions and responses.

Step 4 – Recognise when you have arrived where you wanted to be and make sure you utilise the change in state – close them!

This is portable to many different situations and easy to implement. So if you wish to influence someone else to go for an interview, take your CVs, meet with you, give up smoking, feel confident presenting, stop being scared of spiders, or just like you then use this model!

Like many things in life that work really well this is a very simple model. Thinking about how you want someone to feel and then taking them there is a great way to make closing them on your suggestions so much easier.

Consider this: If you’re a salesperson and you’re not making your revenue targets, would you be curious to know how someone else has solved this challenge? Keep your answer in mind and more importantly the feeling it generated. When you try to create interest with a potential customer, focus on creating curiosity first on finding out more (not necessarily on the immediate action you want them to take).

Too many times sales people create tension by pitching too early without getting the prospect curious about the proposition. Now you and I know that no sales person sets out to create a feeling of irritation or tension. Yet because they don’t consider how they want someone to feel, it happens by accident. So if in Step 1 of the above model we want to create curiosity or interest, we need to create introductions to clients and reasons for the call that will create this.

How powerful is your reason for calling your prospect clients to them?

How well does it inspire curiosity or interest?

Take some time out today and think of how you could inspire some prospect clients or new candidates to feel curious about talking to you today.

Related Articles:

Real Closing Techniques

Influence and Persuasion – How to get people to happily do what you want

The 7 Deadly Sins of Recruiters


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