Some time ago, Johnny Carson was interviewing a guest on The Tonight Show in the USA. The guest was billed as one of the greatest salespeople who has ever lived.
Now, with a billing like that, it certainly attracts attention. When you make that sort of claim, you have to be prepared to be sifted, sorted and challenged.
Johnny did exactly that. “So, you’re the greatest salesman in the world…sell me something!” Johnny said.
The man asked, “OK, what do you want me to sell?”
Johnny replied, “Oh, how about this ashtray on my desk?”. Johnny expected the man to go into a sales pitch. Instead, the salesman asked, “What do you like about this ashtray?”
Johnny spoke about its unusual shape, its colour and how it matches other things on his desk. The guest asked how much Johnny would be willing to spend on an ashtray of that colour, that shape and matching the other items.
Johnny replied, “Oh, maybe $10?”
“Sold!!” said the salesman.
Uncovering the customer’s needs is the main pre-requisite to getting to the close. You need to persuade the customer to state their own needs and get them to experience either pain in not solving their problems, or reward in solving them. By getting your customer to convince himself of the need, they figuratively own the product in their mind before you even have to use any closing ‘techniques’, and this produces buying signals. The gaining of commitment to agree to using your product or service should be a natural progression in the conversation. No tricks, no bluffs, just good old acceptance of the need to have what you’ve got.
When you’ve got the customer to persuade themselves, it’s a no-brainer for the customer to say they want it.And that can only be good for business!
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