One of the biggest mistakes I see many newbie salespeople make is to assume that every customer buys something for the same reason. As a result, they wonder why they are always struggling to make a sale each time.
Now, let me ask you a question. Does every one buy an insurance policy out of the emotional “fear”? Of course not! Could someone buy an insurance policy because they value “love” more? That should anything untoward happen to them, at least their family would be compensated and insured for a certain sum of money? Sure thing :)
But if an insurance agent fails to understand this, and operates from the mindset that, “People buy policies only because they are afraid their livelihood will be affected if anything bad happens”… do you think he will have much success selling to someone who values “love for family” more? Not a chance.
And that’s why it’s absolutely important for us to fully understand what makes someone tick, before we can persuade them. But how do we find out what they value more?
Ask Questions & REALLY Listen
Have you ever had the experience where a salesperson just went on and on and on… and the more they talked, the less interested you felt? On the other hand, have you also had the experience where you sat down with a salesperson and all they did was to ask you simple questions… you did all the talking… and before you knew it, you’ve already signed on the dotted line?
You see, there’s a saying that the more you listen, the better you sell. This is true no matter if you’re dealing with your family members, your children or your clients. What they really want to know is if you care about them. Period.
Asking questions and really listening gives us the information we need to persuade them even more:
(1) Frustrations and Desire -Why are they really looking for in your product/service/idea?What do they really want?
(2) Goals -What are the goals they hope to achieve?
(3) Values -What emotions do they value more? How can you motivate them?
For example, in one of my friends “After School Tutor” kids program, he knows that one of the biggest frustrations most parents face is that their children are simply unmotivated. And no matter what they do, their children just cannot get good grades in school. So when he pitches his program to parents, does he mention their frustrations? Um, you bet!
And whenever he mentions the fact that “not all children are naturally motivated to study”, you can almost see every parent nodding in agreement! So the question is, how does he know “children with low motivation” is one of their biggest frustrations in the first place? Well, you guessed it! Obviously, he interviewed numerous parents and asked them questions or knew from firsthand experience.
Now, of course I’m not suggesting you to ask them the questions like, “What’s your frustration as a parent” because that’s going to be really weird.
Instead, use “softeners” and rephrasing, so the questions sound less interrogative.
Examples of “softeners”:
Just out of curiosity…
To understand your needs better, is it okay if I ask you questions?
If I were a car salesman, here’s how I would use a softener to understand my client’s frustrations and desire:
“Mr Client, just out of curiosity, may I know what made you choose your previous car?”
And if the client says, “I chose my previous car because I really like its sleek interior design and leather seats”, how would I craft my pitch to sell the car? I would concentrate on the interior design of the car, of course.
So, what are other questions you can also ask?
To elicit their Goals:
-What are you looking for your new car?
-What is the first thing you would like to do with your new car?
To elicit their Values:
-What is really important to you when you’re getting a car?
-Now, usually up to this point, most people will ask, “So how do you know when it’s finally the time to sell?”
And the answer is when they start asking you questions.