We are well and truly deep into the digital age. We have become so reliant on our technology, from the smartphones we have with us at all times, to our social media platforms, that we can now easily achieve a lot within our day before we even have to interact directly with another person.
Through this however, we seem to be losing the art of the classic face to face conversation. But when it comes to your business, face to face conversations are still one of the most crucial and effective selling strategies, and in turn, one of the most important skills you can have. Here I have outlined for you 5 tips that will help you recapture the art of face to face selling.
1. “It’s all about you”
Ask 100 people who is the most important person in any sale or communication and the majority of the world will tell you it’s the customer or the person you are communicating with. I’m going to disagree, and let me explain why.
Have you ever met somebody that when you are around them, it’s like they are sucking the marrow of life out of you?
You say to yourself, “do we really have to go and hang with them?” or “how can I end this conversation?” On the other hand, have ever been in a situation with a person or a group of people, where time just flies? Where you always leave in a better mood than when you got there?
Why does this phenomena occur, where one person can make you feel so down, and another can make you feel so alive, invigorated and charged to power on? Is it because one is more negative than the other? Maybe. Is it because one always talks about themselves? Maybe. Is it because one always harps on what’s wrong in their life or in the world? Maybe.
I think what it really shows is that as human beings, we have the ability to affect and influence someone both positively and negatively. You have the ability to dictate how someone will feel and you dictate how people will perceive you. You are the most important person!
And which one are you in the above scenario? It’s time to take ownership of how people treat you, you are in control. It’s your job to focus on how you can blend your style to communicate with people the way they need to be communicated with.
Let me give you an example.
Do you know the type of person/prospect that is quite direct, dominant and straight to the point? The “don’t like a lot of fluff, give me the bottom line first” type of person? Well, this person won’t react well to small talk and stereotypical rapport building strategies.
In fact, not building rapport with this person is actually building rapport. Get straight down to why you are there and the W.I.I.F.M (What’s In It For Me) and this person will be thinking “I like this person, there’s no B.S.” (this is rapport building for them).
They are the ones that will likely seem difficult up front, but once they are a customer, become great to deal with. Understanding your natural communication style and then adapting will make all the difference in the world. Let’s break this down to finger painting and mixing colours…
You are red. You love red. When you see, hear or feel something in red you just get it. When you explain things to people you do it in red. When you teach something you do it in red. Red is good!
You are dealing with someone who is Pink. They love pink. When they see, hear or feel something in pink they just get it. When they have things explained to them they love it in pink. When they want to be taught, they want it in pink, it just makes sense. Recall is easier when it’s pink. Pink is good!
So You = Red
Them = Pink
What do you have to add to Red to get Pink? That’s right…WHITE! So if we look at this we have to…
1. Know who we are.
2. Know who they are.
3. Understand how to add/subtract or blend the way we communicate to deliver information the way they need it
2. “Where’s the fire?”
Why are most sales people in such a hurry. A hurry to win you over. A hurry to show you their product. A hurry to tell you what they do or how great their product is. A hurry to close the sale today, now!
I feel one of the biggest mistakes we make is that we are too busy trying increase or create massive buyer’s acceptance and we forget that initially, most people have a high level of buyer’s resistance. Look at it this way. Have you ever been retail shopping? What’s one of the first things a sales person will say? “Can I help you?” What do you say in reply 9 times out of 10? “No thanks, I’m just looking” or “no thanks, I’m just browsing.”
Why? Because you don’t want to feel like you’re being pushed into anything, you don’t want to be sold to!
This is called Buyer’s Resistance.
The key here is to ask yourself, “how can I lower buyer’s resistance before trying increase Buyer’s Acceptance?”. Imagine you are sitting in your car and you have your left foot on the foot brake. The hand brake up and the car in park. Now hover your foot over the accelerator.
When I count to 3, you’re going to floor it while still having your foot on the foot brake, hand brake up and car in park (Buyer’s Resistance) and make the noise the car would make.
Ready, 1, 2, 3
Did everyone in the office or cafe just look at your really weird…? That’s ok, just give ‘em a thumbs up. Now what happened? Did the car go anywhere? Of course not! Did the engine rev? Of course it did! And eventually you’d blow the engine. We blow so many sales because we haven’t taken our foot off the foot brake, lowered the hand brake and put the car in drive before we hit the accelerator (Buyer’s Acceptance).
3. “Care Factor”
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. Every business should have a clear cut Vision. An outward centric goal or target, the peak of the mountain you wish to reach, the effect which will impact others in the world.
e.g. The Entourage’s Vision is, “to push civilisation forward by enabling people to live a life on purpose”
And every business should have a clear cut Mission. The the inward goal or target, the path to the top of the mountain, the WHO your company have to become to achieve your Vision.
e.g. The Entourage Mission is, “ to become the world’s number one education institution for entrepreneurs”.
Once we become the world’s number one education institution for entrepreneurs, we will be pushing civilisation forward by enabling people to live on purpose. This must come out in your spirit, your language and be the basis for how you treat each person you touch who needs your product or service. Your product or service is really irrelevant compared to having the mindset that you are only here to serve and move closer towards your Vision and Mission.
When you move forward with this in your veins, your potential customer will feel it in theirs and you will feel like an instant fit for them. And if you’re not, then that’s ok too. You only want people that are a fit for you. There are so many backend ramifications if you are trying to be everything to everybody and this will challenge your company’s growth down the line.
Care more about how you can help them get what they want and you will always achieve what you want – a new customer.
4. “Pain is pressure”
For years, the idea that if “they cry they buy” has been common in sales and marketing. Find their pain. Uncover it. Dig for it. Amplify it. People will move away from pain quicker than they will move towards a pleasure. Here’s my issue with this:
We are wired to act with pain and pleasure stimulus.
And to help a human make a decision they are comfortable with and feel in control of, we need to touch on both. There are two motivators to human decision making. Movement away from pain and movement towards pleasure. So please discuss both. Ask questions that uncover both. Achieving this will ensure your prospect feels like you understand them, genuinely care, and have their best interests at heart.
5. “Detach yourself from the outcome”
As entrepreneurs, when we are in Launch phase, we are initially doing our best to keep our head above water. Often spending 80% of our time on income generating activities. We need to.
In Growth or Build phase businesses, we are are always raising targets and growing our team, so sales are just as important at this stage. In fact the pressure to make sales, never really feels like it disappears.
Because of this, it is almost easy to see why we become so attached to the sale. Almost desperate. And our customers will feel it if we do. It might be easier said than done, however, the biggest gift I ever gave myself, was to detach myself from the outcome of making the sale. Instead I turned this energy into one of how can I best serve. Place your focus not on how can you change the action of your customer, to want to buy my product, service or idea, but to how can I affect how they are thinking?
This in turn will affect how they will feel. How they feel will then dictate the actions taken and therefore your results.
Thoughts create feelings. Feelings create actions. Actions create results. So if you want to change your sales results, change the way you are making your customer think and feel.
Even if you are writing copy, or choosing an image or writing a sales script (I have written about my thoughts on scripts previously), your mindset should be one of “how will this make them think and how will this make them feel?”.
This alone will change the whole perspective of your sales process. I often receive feedback from students that now love sales as they are no longer focussing on trying to convince people to buy and they no longer feel the pressure of having to close, so in turn, prospective members now feel apart of this inclusive process.
A feeling of “we” and “us” as opposed to “you” and “me.”
What a great place to live.