The phrase “buyer interview” may not be one you’ve heard, but it’s one I strongly recommend you understand. Conducting an effective buyer interview is similar to what a good journalist does when interviewing someone for an article. You ask questions that get them talking about their situations, their needs, their desires, their concerns. In other words, you get them to tell you what they want to own. It will also help you realize those situations where what the buyer is telling you they want may not be what they truly need. [Read more...]
Think for a moment about what the greatest enemy is to the process of helping people come to a decision that’s truly good for them. What is it that jumps in and brings presentations that were previously sailing smoothly along to a screeching halt? You may think it’s the financial aspects of your offering. Perhaps you think it’s the prospective client’s inability to make a decision.
Well, if you think any of those things, you are right. But, with selling being what it is — a bottom line business — let’s dig deeper and find the bottom line of what lies between you and your ‘future client’ coming to an agreement.
If you look at all the enemies to the sale that you and your associates can come up with, you’ll find they have a common denominator. That common denominator is a thing called FEAR. Fear is the greatest enemy you’ll ever encounter as a financial services professional. This includes your fear, the potential client’s fear, market and trend fears and so on. [Read more...]
1. Like you;
2. Trust you; and
3. Want to listen to you.
Those three elements are absolutely necessary in order for them to make a buying decision based on the information you share with them.
If they came in after calling and speaking with you, it’s likely you said the right things on the phone to get them to at least come in and see what you have available in both vehicles and terms. You’re starting out on the right foot here. They’ll be curious to learn more. That means they’ll be listening to you. [Read more...]
Smooth transitions are critical to sales success. As the orchestrator of your time with clients, you need to be prepared to move away from the niceties of the previous steps into the sales presentation without creating any fear in the mind of the potential client.
I suggest incorporating a gentle transition phrase or paragraph into your presentation to get down to business. Here is one that I teach at nearly all of my live events: “John and Mary, let me begin by thanking you for the time we’ll share. I hope we can consider this meeting somewhat exploratory, meaning my job today as a (name your industry) professional is to show you our dynamic company and how we are helping the people we serve here in the community.”
That works well with consumers.
If you were talking with a purchasing agent or decision-maker in the B to B arena, you might alter it like this:
“Bill, let me begin by thanking you for the time we’ll share. I hope we can consider this meeting somewhat exploratory, meaning my job today as a (name your company) representative is to show you our dynamic company and how we are helping other companies like yours.”
By using the phrase “somewhat exploratory” you are relieving any perceived pressure that you’ll be pushing them to buy something today. You see, just because you have the title salesperson or sales consultant or representative in your title, a certain amount of fear or resistance will be created in the mind of the potential client. They don’t want to get sold anything. But, if they’ve agreed to meet with you, they are curious about what your product can do for them. So, with the proper words, you will gently lead them down the path of the presentation you have prepared for them…helping them to gain the knowledge they need to have in order to make a decision that is good for them.
If you have a nervous or stilted manner when trying to establish rapport with clients, instead of relaxing them, you’ll put them on edge. If you’re nervous, they’ll get nervous and start raising their walls of sales resistance. They’ll question your reasons for wanting to talk with them. They’ll become suspect of your every move.
In selling situations, many of your clients will respond to your demeanor in kind. What that means is that if you come across friendly and non-threatening, they’ll feel friendly and not threatened by you. In other words, you get what you give. That’s why it’s so important to be well-prepared before meeting with your clients. [Read more...]
Step #7 in the Rapport Setting process is to give a sincere compliment to your potential clients. This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Something simple is fine as long as it’s sincere. That means it must be honest. You would never compliment someone on their “lovely home” if it was a disaster. Likewise, you wouldn’t say you like anything that you don’t honestly like.
Rule of thumb: If you don’t like something, say nothing about it. Instead, look for something else that you do like or can honestly compliment them about [Read more...]
While it’s always a good idea to be dressed professionally, being overdressed can make your potential clients feel inferior. This raises their defenses about wanting to buy anything from you. On the other hand, showing up drastically under-dressed for your potential client’s environment may cause them to dismiss you as not being serious about your career.
Champion salespeople are flexible. They keep clothing alternatives close at hand — either in their cars or in their offices. They not only consider the type of client they’ll be approaching but that client’s environment.
My best advice with regard to attire is to dress like the people your potential clients go to for advice. After all, that’s the role you want to portray with them–that of a professional advisor. [Read more...]
In the rapport setting stage of selling, your #1 goal, as stated in other blog posts on this site, is to help people to like you, trust you and want to listen to you. If you think about selling situations you’ve been in yourself, you’ll have to admit you have the same preference. The sale just seems to flow more smoothly when you learn that you have something in common with the salesperson. So, part of your job in this stage of the sale is to learn something about your buyers that you have in common and talk about it briefly to demonstrate that commonality.
Here are some areas to consider in consumer sales (B-to-C):
- Are they married?
- Do they have kids? If so, how many? What ages? Are the kids involved in sports, music or other activities?
- Are these people sports fans? What sports? What teams? (Take note if they’re wearing a local team’s jacket, shirt or baseball cap.)
- What part of town do they live in?
- Have they always lived in this city? If not, what area of the country did they move from? If you moved to the area from elsewhere you can briefly talk about first impressions of the area or what they enjoy most about living there. [Read more...]
From the old Western movies of my childhood the phrase “fast-talkin’ city slicker” comes to mind when teaching this topic. It was a term used to describe the outsider, someone not to be trusted. And, building trust is critical to the forward progression of every sales situation.
Since people tend to feel comfortable buying from someone who is like them, it’s important that you pay attention to the little nuances of communication that help them feel (consciously or subconsciously) comfortable with you. How much attention you need to give this nuance will depend upon the demographic of your potential clients and the territory you work within. [Read more...]