A Great Sales Technique: Be Aware of Sales Myth #5
A myth can best be described as somebody or something whose existence is or was widely believed in, but is in reality fictitious. Based on this description I have created a series of articles entitled: Sales Myths. Here is one of them.
Sales Myth: People with the greatest "gift of gab" make the greatest salespeople.
Belief: Our ability to talk clearly and present powerfully is the most important factor in getting people to buy.
Problem: You're a good, or maybe a great presenter. Qualified prospects seem to be impressed with your presentation, but are not moved to buy.
Solution: Stop telling your prospects the reasons they should buy your product.
People do things, buy things and believe in things for their reasons, not yours.
When you're telling, you're not really selling at all.
Give up the need to tell, give up the NEED to sell (notice, I didn't say give up the commitment to sell) and give up the need to convince and influence.
When you give up the need to tell, sell and talk you can focus on uncovering the issues, needs, problems and desired outcomes of the prospect.
The results of a communications study conducted at UCLA in 1967 showed that words as a communications device may be the least effective of all influencing tools.
The statistical breakdown of the study indicated that words make up only seven percent of an effective communication. Tone, posture, gestures and other aspects of our physiology make up the ninety-three percent that adds the emphasis needed to convince and influence.
In other words, how you say something may be more important than what you say.
Whether you agree with the premise of the study or not, one thing is perfectly clear from the results: Listening is not on the list of effective communication tools, and I think it should be.
I believe that listening is the most important communications tool of all.
By no means is this meant to suggest that you should give up talking or presenting entirely.
However, the idea that you can enter a sales situation with a canned presentation and a high "glibness" quotient and expect to come out with a signed contract is outdated and needs to be modified.
Most of us have been trained that to be a good sales person you have to be ready to give your prospect a lot of information that you think they need to know from your point of view or your company's point of view.
I believe that you must only give your prospect information that they think they need to know - from their point of view.
How do you accomplish this? How do you discover what your prospect really wants to know?
The answer to those questions is contained in one of the main ingredients in my formula for selling success: Ask powerful Open-Ended Questions.
You will enhance your selling effectiveness and close more sales by simply asking powerful open-ended questions and listening carefully to the response.
Once you get that information from your prospect you can customize your reply. You'll be ready to deliver information that focuses clearly on the prospect's specific needs instead of your "best guess" perception of those needs.
This calls for a dramatic shift from "Days Gone By".
This is an entirely different day.
To be a truly successful salesperson you need to communicate through the information filter provided by your prospect. The best way to identify this filter is to ask open-ended questions and then listen carefully to the answers.
Today's advice: Focus less on "smooth" talking and more on "hard" listening.
© 2005 Ian Krieger
Ike Krieger is the founder of BusinessSuccessBuilder. com. He is a nationally known business language expert, mentor, speaker, radio and TV talk show host, educator and author. He is a former communications instructor at Ohio State University.
He has served as business makeover specialist for the LA Times and writes for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He is the current Chairman of the Board of the North San Fernando Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. Ike's business success builder programs have helped thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, salespeople, consultants and professionals get an even bettershot at networking, selling and business success.
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