What’s really interesting about we humans is the fact that, even though we don’t like to admit it, we are judgmental beings.
Often we don’t view ourselves as being judgmental; we consider ourselves to be realists. A situation occurs and we decide whether it is right or wrong, good or bad, black or white. Where do those ideas come from? From our programming and conditioning, that’s where.
We are conditioned to identify what we consider to be right based on our experiences, our values, our standards and our rules. Every other person on the planet has had different experiences from you, and so will have different values, different beliefs and, hence, different judgments.
For instance, when you say, “You shouldn’t do that!” you are coming from your own judgments and rationale. You’re weighing up the situation, determining what you would do in a similar spot and then balance up whether what is done instead lives up to your standards or rules.
It’s natural. It’s human. It’s ‘us’ being ‘us’.
So, are there some things that salespeople should never say? Isn’t that being judgmental just asking the question?
Well, in a way, yes. However, when you see the ideas below, you will probably agree these are things that shouldn’t be said because clients and prospects will probably judge us negatively if we did. And that’s the main reason. Not because we consider them to be right, but because the majority of our clients would say they are wrong.
Let’s face it, all clients use judgment to determine if the like you, believe you, have confidence in you and trust you. What you need to do is to lower the resistance by shying away from phrases or words that will cause judgments to rise up in the first place.
Take a look at some of the things salespeople should never find coming out of their mouths:
– “Trust me!” Really? Do you need to tell me that? Your words are worthless if you don’t prove trustworthy. It’s pointless asking someone to trust you if you haven’t given them reasons to do so. Demonstrate you are trustworthy; don’t tell them!
– “How are you today?” after opening a cold call. Please! Leave that to the slimy, smarmy toothy-grinned salespeople of yester-year, who thought that it built rapport with a stranger. These days it screams out the message “I AM GOING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING!!!”
– “What will it take to earn your business?” Err…give me a free sample? This antiquated question lost it’s power when the first transaction took place in Antique-Land. It puts so much pressure on the prospect because it’s asking them to do all the work. They have to think about what ‘deal’ they would take. Instead you should be building the value so that the prospect sees that accepting your offer is the best thing to do for them and/or their business.
– “This is a limited offer” yeah right! This smacks of all those furniture store closing-down offers, only to spring back, phoenix-like, from the ashes of despair, making customers feel cheated. If it really is a limited offer, build value first before you discuss price. Limited offers come and go…they don’t have the impact they may have had in the 20th century (such a looong time ago!).
- “I give you my word” Hah! The cheese monster rises from his lair again. Another is “My word is my bond”. If you have to say these sentences, you are thinking words have a greater affect on people than deeds. Prospects want to know WHY they should trust you. Just saying it doesn’t make it right or true.
– “What do you think?” Eh? Surely there’s nothing wrong with this one? After all, isn’t asking for the opinion of the prospect a good way of discovering their needs and wants. Yes, of course, but this isn’t the way to do it. The question creates logical triggers. It’s better to ask how the person feels about the situation. Thinking is rational, left-brained in its drivers. ‘How do you feel about this?’ gets the person to go deeper into their thought patterns, and connects to the emotional decision-making process.
– “Let me be honest with you!” What? You mean you weren’t being honest before? I know that seems far-fetched, but the subliminal message that gets through is that everything I’ve said up to now is questionable…I am going to be honest with you from now on!
Successful people don’t say these phrases because they don’t want to give the other person even a glimmer of a reason to doubt them or question their professionalism. Think things through before you say things that might cause you to regret it afterwards.
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(Image by Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Have you ever bought someone a Birthday or Christmas present and then found that they had taken it back to the shop for an exchange?
Or have you ever described a haircut style that you wanted and the hairdresser styled it in such a way that you didn’t want to be seen in public for a month?
Have you ever suggested a solution to a prospect, only to find that that they said that’s exactly what they’re NOT looking for?
All these examples show how hard it can be at times to create a ‘future picture’ of events that everyone can agree on. A sale can only be made when there is agreement on what the solution looks like. In other words, a sale takes place when the prospect and salesperson share a common ‘future picture’ of what the solution will look like, and your product or service helps them to achieve that ‘future picture’.
One way you can determine what that picture looks like is by painting the picture as it is now and identifying the changes that have to be made in order to paint the picture as it needs to be in the future.
The best way to do this is by asking quality questions. Imagine you’re selling cars and the prospect says, ‘I’m just looking around, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to buy another car yet.’
Some salespeople would immediately start showing some of the stock they have and presenting solutions, maybe to problems that don’t exist in the prospect’s mind.
The best way to approach this is to create a need for that change in the prospect’s mind. Questions like, ‘What is prompting you to look around? What would make you actually think about changing your car? If you were to change, what kind of things would you want on the new car that you don’t enjoy now? How would you know that you’ve made the right decision when you changed?’
All these questions look at the current situation, and drive (excuse the pun!) the prospect to think about a future position they may see themselves in.
Only when you have created enough pain associated with the current picture will they want to move away from that pain towards a different future picture.
On the other hand, a prospect might not be experience pain with the current situation. It’s only when the future picture is painted in such a way that they see rewards or opportunities that they can’t obtain with the current picture that they will make the necessary steps to change. In other words, they now associate pain with their current comfortable position, pain that didn’t exist before they saw the new possible bright future picture!
By helping your client paint that future picture for themselves, you open the way for your products and services helping them to realise that future and draw them towards it.
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