People act on emotion and justify the decision with logic in hindsight.
Most sales people begin the sales process from a position of logic and gradually shift toward emotion. In contrast, buyers tend to begin the buying process at the emotional level and over time shift towards logic.
People buy for their reasons, not yours.
Pretend every single person you meet has a sign around their neck that says “make me feel important”.
Four types of Intelligence
IQ – How innately smart you are
AQ – How much you know
TQ – How fast you assimilate and leverage technology for low-value tasks.
EQ – How you relate, respond to, influence and persuade humans.
5 Techniques Ultra High Performers Deploy
They have the luxury of spending their limited time on the most qualified deals with the highest win probabilities.
Qualify with discipline
They have the courage to walk away or detach emotionally from low-probability prospects, because they have a full pipeline and emotional discipline.
Buyers, Amplifiers, Seekers, Influencers and Coaches (BASIC). They understand the role of potential stakeholders in the buying process.
Align 3 processes of sales
They align Sales, Buying and Decision process.
Develop sales-specific EQ
They never forget they’re dealing with fallible, irrational and emotional human beings. They work hard to gain a deep understanding of the motivations, desires, needs, wants, fears, aspirations and problems of each stakeholder.
How do you know someone is empathetic?
- Situational attribution: A person is angry. You interpret this to mean he is having a bad day.
- Dispositional attribution: A person is angry. You believe that he is a jerk.
People who interpret human heavier based on situational attribution tend to be more empathetic.
6 Keys to Develop Self-Awareness
- Psychometric assessments (such as DISC or Myer-Briggs)
- Coaching or mentoring
- Direct feedback
- Writing down my goals
- 360-degree review
- Self-reflection (sit in silence, think, listen to your inner voice, heed your intuition, take stock of where you’re and where you’re going, become aware of what’s holding you back)
Regaining your composure and control of the conversation
Simply pause before you speak. When you feel emotions taking over, slow your breathing and count to five. This simple pause allows time for adrenaline to dissipate and your rational brain to catch up.
Same effect as pause, it gives your rational brain the magic quarter second to catch up. Instead of stumbling through a nonsensical answer, coming off as defensive and weak. Say
- That’s interesting – can you tell me why this is important to you?
- How so?
- Would you tell me more?
- Just to be sure I understand your question, could you elaborate a little more?
Qualifying Prospects using BANT
Budget – Does the prospect have the budget?
Authority – Does the prospect have an authority to make a decision?
Need – Does the prospect have a need for my product?
Timeline – Does the prospect have an urgent need?
Qualifying prospects using PACT
Pain – Does the prospect have a level of pain to ease that pain?
Authority – Does the prospect have the authority to decide?
Consequence – Does the prospect know the consequence for not action on the pain?
Target profile – Does the prospect fit my IQP profile?
Qualifying prospects using 9-Frame Qualification Matrix
|Qualifiers||Technical Qualifiers||Stakeholder Qualifiers||Fit Qualifiers|
|High Potential Prospect|
|Mid Potential Prospect|
|Low Potential Prospect|
- TQ – quantifiable facts and figures
- SQ – engagement of stakeholders
- FQ – product-customer fit
Use both factual evidence and your intuition when accessing the viability of the deal.
Never ever leave a conversation without micro-commitments.
You should consistently ask for micro-commitments and the next steps. Always test the stakeholder engagement.
3 words you should never use in sales
Just checking in. It adds no value fails to engage stakeholders. It’s a passive way to follow up.
Ask yourself Questions to see through their eyes.
- What are their motivations?
- What’s the risk to them personally for choosing us?
- What’s the risk of not choosing us?
- Why would they advocate for us?
- Why would they disrupt us?
- What are their emotional hot buttons?
- How can I speak so it makes them feel like one? their language?
- What makes them feel important?
- What do they fear?
Instead of asking “Are you the decision maker?”
- Tell me about your buying policies?
- Could you walk me through the buying process?
- How does you company typically make decisions about bringing in new vendors like us?
- How did you make the decision on this service the last time you signed a contract?
Your Sales Call Agenda
Thank you for meeting with me. I know how valuable your time is and appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to learn more about you. Just to confirm, I have us down for thirty minutes. Is that good for you?
(If he says quick…)
Five minutes is not nearly enough time for me to learn about you and your company. Pitching my product without understanding your issues would be a disservice to you and waste your time. You deserve better than that. Why don’t we reschedule for Wednesday afternoon at 2PM?
(notice the assumptive ask- always offer a time)
2. Call Objective
What I’d like to accomplish today is to learn more about you and your organization, in particular, how you currently manage compliance reporting. While I don’t know whether it makes sense for our companies to work together, I thought that might be the best place to start. Then if we find common ground we can reschedule a meeting with your IT team to take a closer look at your current data management system.
3. Check your Stakeholder’s Agenda
Before we get started, is there anything else you want to be sure we cover
(mostly they’ll say “I’m good”)
4. Frame the Conversation
If it’s okay with you, why don’t we start off with a few questions that’ll help me learn about your unique situation? Then we can talk a little bit about our service. From there we can decide together if it makes sense to move to the next step.
4 Principles of Effective Sales Conversations
- People respond in kind.
- People communicate in stories.
- Questions control the conversation flow.
- Listening builds deep emotional connections.
Leading people into Self-disclosure loop
- Begin with easy open question
- Reward him for talking through listening and interest
- Avoid interrupting
- Pause 3-5 seconds before speaking (allow him to fill in silence)
- Once the loop is running, center your follow-up questions on his disclosures to unearth his real pain
Breaking Ice Simply
How long have you been working here?
(He says 20)
Congratulations that’s quite an achievement. I bet you’ve seen a lot of changes around here.
(He says 6 months)
What made you decide to work here?
We’ve been having a hard time with …
Don’t pounce and start pitching the solution.
Make note of this potential opportunity and based on your call objective, follow the path and ask deeper follow-up questions to get full story of the issue (for a future meeting).
SPIN Selling – 4 Questions to Ask In Order
- Situation – gather and qualify facts
- Problem – uncover prospect problems
- Implication – uncover the pain the problem is causing
- Need-payoff – uncover the benefit of solving the problem
Keep asking yourself So What?
Always tailor the benefits to stakeholder unique situations.
Our customer satisfaction rate is 96.7 percent. So, What?
Our implementation process is seamless and hassle-free. So, What?
Our product will save you up to 30 percent over what you’re spending now. So, What?
Start with pain points to open the gate of Amygdala
Amygdala holds key to the cognitive gate. If it refuses to open the gate, it doesn’t matter how well you crafted your message, you’re not getting in.
Activate your stakeholder’s brain and pull their attention towards you first by engaging amygdala. Amygdala is hardwired to person to threats and pains. So, begin with a problem of pain.
Two words to position yourself as an expert – “I Recommend”
Don’t dilute your authority with more passive phrases like my company offers or we provide.
Turning Around Objections
- Relate (acknowledge and relate to objection)
- Clarify (ask questions to isolate real objection)
- Minimize (remind the stakeholder of their problems and yeses I’ve collected)
- Ask (ask again and assume the yes)
- Fall back (offer alternative commitment)
Your prices are high compared to your competitors.
I get how you might feel that way. They sometimes do seem a little higher than our competitors, and no one wants to pay more than they should.
I’m just curious. When you say our prices are too high, from your standpoint what does that mean?
It’s the monthly rate. You are 10 percent higher than what we’re paying now.
Okay got it. Other than that, is anything else bothering you about our proposal?
That’s it. I’m going to have a hard time justifying the increase in monthly relate to my boss. I also heard from our current vendor that we’re facing a significant cost to make a change. Your cost is already too much and I’m not sure I can justify to my boss a change is worth it.
When I do that math, you’re losing $63,600 a year by stick with your current vendor. Of course, you’re right working with us does mean you need to build a little bit more into your monthly budget. However,
Based on these numbers, it doesn’t make sense to wait, so why don’t we go ahead and get this started
I agree. What are our next steps?
It sounds good, I think we’re almost there. But I need to go over the math one more time before we make this big of a commitment. Give me a week or so and I’ll get back to you.
I’m going to be back ore this way next Thursday. Why don’t we get together at 11AM and make a thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision then?