BECOMING THE OPTIMAL SALESPERSON®
By Dan Caramanico
SELL YOURSELF FIRST
Your beliefs make all of the difference on a sales call. Generally, when people bring up this topic they are talking about believing in your product. I take belief in your product as a given. If you don’t believe in the product or service you are selling, there is no way you will be able to convince a prospect to buy it. I am not talking about belief in your product here. What I mean is that your mindset has to be properly aligned with what you are trying to accomplish on the sales call if you are to be successful.
Let’s take a first call for an example. Usually on the first call the goal is to qualify the prospect to see if it makes any sense for us to pursue this prospect. Let us assume that our sales process demands that we discuss money after we determine that they have a problem we can solve. In that case, we must make sure that before we go on the call that we are convinced that we have an absolute right to ask how much the prospect wants to spend and we must expect to get some indication of the size of the project in monetary terms. The reason our mindset is important is that 93% of what we communicate is non-verbal and comes through our tonality and body language. Our belief and our question must be in alignment or we will not get the answer we are looking for and that we deserve.
Let’s just say that we have a weak salesperson that goes on the sales call and knows he must ask the money question. However, he doesn’t believe the prospect will tell him. After all, when he is the buyer he never divulges how much he was planning to spend. But since his boss wants him to ask, he asks. “So, Mr. Prospect about how much do you plan to invest in this project?” I can’t convey the tonality with the written word but if his belief is that they won’t tell him his words may say “tell me” but his body language and tonality will say “there is no way you are going to tell me.” the words are worth 7% and the non-verbal part of the communication is worth 93%. What do you think happens? That’s right the prospect says “I’m sorry I can’t tell you.” or “Gee, we really haven’t thought about it in detail yet.” Both statements are half truths at best. The weak salesperson says to himself. “See I knew he wouldn’t tell me. Those sales techniques never work.” And he has another data point to reinforce the belief he went into the call.
The optimal Salesperson® believes he has a right to know how much the prospect is thinking of spending so that he can be sure they are on the same page. if he is at first rebuffed when he asks he has other moves he can make and won’t leave until he gets a number. The actual words are not as important as the belief that the prospect will tell him. When you are totally congruent (meaning that your question and your beliefs align) the prospect will answer the question. So if you are not getting the answers yo want to the questions you ask maybe its your beliefs that are the problem. Your first task is to sell yourself on the idea that you have a right to know the answer.
Dan Caramanico is a salesforce development expert and he is the author of The Optimal Salesperson® One of Selling power’s top ten books for 2010. Get his weekly 1-minute video sales tips and some free sales training at: http://www.optimalsalesperson.