005: How Experts Sell Without Feeling Sleazy

I think that there are two different types of thinkers in this world, folks. I think there are performers and I think that there are actually teachers. Teachers can perform but they can also really see what's going on with other people—and selling is really becoming a fabulous decision teacher.

In sales, we talk about all kinds of ridiculous concepts—that almost always make the sales professional focus on their own performance. This is a total catastrophe and it is absolutely the wrong way to think. So I'm going to give you a little recipe today that helps you to grasp how real geniuses focus on sales.

Real sales geniuses are extremely compulsive about being focused on other people. They are problem solvers for other people. 

Extreme curiosity about your customer

Step one in their formula of behavior, and their awareness, and focus is to watch and hear what other people need or what other people want. They are watching or hearing where an individual is suffering, where an individual could have an easier or better way of doing things, where product would make the life of the customer better.

They’re extremely curious as they watch people and they might guess at and check their assumptions, and watch or hear that client. They're incredibly curious people about other people.

Empathize with what your customer is feeling

As they watch that individual they begin to empathize. They use extreme empathy that is brief and that extreme empathy allows them to feel what that customer is currently feeling.

Imagine and plan what your customer needs to feel in order to make a positive buying decision

They then sort of step out and imagine what they need to feel next.

Now we’re going to talk briefly today about the conversation that that sales professional would have but I want you to keep in mind that every salesperson who is world-class is so relaxed about their own performance that they truly are curious about the other person.

This includes someone selling on the web, someone selling through video, an individual whose writing fantastic sales letters—because the first thing that they know is how that customer is currently feeling about the problems or discomfort that they're going through. They fully know that that customer is going to make an emotional decision and justify that decision later through rationalizing.

Understand that all decisions are made by emotion and rationalized later

A great sales professional knows that all human decisions are made based on emotion and justified secondarily by rationalizing. You need to accept that fact so that you avoid the biggest sales trap which is becoming a boring, boring informer. So to avoid that we do want to remember that we want to be curious. We want to emotionally understand that other person. Sometimes it's understanding the archetypes of an entire group of people like what people are going through when they need mobility in having a mobile scooter, or what an individual needs if they are currently needing to become fit or lose weight, why someone would like a car or a van that has automatic opening doors.

Everything that sells, sells because it helps for a convenience, or an emotional reason, or is exclusive. So a great salesperson knows to play to those. Does it save them time, does it save money, does it improve their appearance, does it perhaps help them to save money or make money?

Understand the real benefits

A great sales professional simply knows the real benefits the client gets—not in a manipulative way but rather in a way that is truly helping the client to make a comfortable decision.

So after we've gone through that curiosity about the group of people you sell to or the individual that you're talking to, the watching or hearing what they want or need, and of course they’ll know what they want, they may not know what they need—that might be a kind of less conscious process—that you have empathized and kind of can feel the way they feel, that you also can imagine what they need to see or feel to know that they made a good buying decision, and then you are willing and able to communicate by first asking questions that help to clarify the pain or discomfort with the problem. So your questions explore the needs of the client and can help to clarify why they need the product or the service.

You don't talk about the product or service. You talk about their current condition, their current situation, and you ask questions and intensify the clarity of that discomfort.

Introduce what you’re selling as the solution

Then you introduce what you are currently handling or selling: the solution. And you demonstrate or prove that solution whether it's through the emotional stories of other people who have solved the problem or it's the explaining slightly with statistics or facts—remember that is a spice not an entrée because we wanted to be about them.

Take away the risk

After we have explained, we move on to taking away the risk. What ways are your service or product guaranteed? Why is it low risk?

At that point were able to ask for the buying decision. Give more than one choice for how that happens.

Show the consequences for not making a positive decision

And then show the consequences for not having the added product or service be reasons why it's a good idea.

Sell something people genuinely need

So as we look at this structure of showing why they need the product—and that could be as shallow as they're competing with another person for a yacht—but mostly it's as deep as the safety for their kids, or getting out of pain physical pain, or having more convenience, or saving money.

There could be many different reasons why they need the product or service. As you’re becoming a good salesperson, your empathy in the beginning of the conversation is how you understand what that individual customer needs in order to make a good choice. And you become good at this literally talking to the service staff in the hotel, for example, the desk personnel. You become curious about people and you more and more focus your mind not on you but on them. Not on you but on them. And your curiosity becomes profound because you're a great audience for them. And I'm not talking about some cheesy matching of them or some cheesy rapport concept; I'm talking about genuine and profound curiosity and empathy as you talk to others—so you're really taking them in.

As you do this, of course, if you have a service or product that they genuinely need, you're going to be able to intuitively know how they would need to experience that product or service, or who, that it already used it, would have the story that fits their needs. Then following the outline of a human decision that is used in marketing and advertising constantly, if they are really coming with you, if you're really communicating and they have the emotion of noticing their current discomfort, they have the emotion of connecting with the solution, if they really have the risk taken away at the end of that cycle, it's going to be very easy for them to choose a buying choice.

Now there are exceptions this. Obviously if they simply don't have the resources that's going to cause an issue, and also there isn't real trust or a real need that causes an issue.

Don’t be insincere

There are all kinds of insincere ways that you can take a checklist or a sales system and completely destroy it. In the beginning of my book, “Power Secrets of Sales Magic”, there's a story about my dad and it's a great story so I do recommend that you get a copy of the book—there may be a free download on the website. I really do love the story because the guy that my dad was training blew a sale and all my dad did was leave his pen on the table to have a reason to have to walk back in. And by the time he spoke for just a few minutes he had no problem having the family buy the education that their son needed.

Again there is a much more detailed account of that story in the book, but I just want you to know that you have the ability to help people to make confident decisions and the individual who my father was training he had the idea that sales was about manipulating other people to agree with him. He did not think it was about helping people to make decisions.

I recently was training a gentlemen and I watched him doing what we call screenings or consults for students for a company. And I tried to visit with them afterward because I watched him completely destroy three meetings with students who should've immediately taken training with them.

The reason that it went that way is because he was experiencing being a performer, not a teacher. He was imagining that if he did the performance right they were going to like him and buy.

Please know that a great salesperson never thinks that way.

  • It's all about what that other person is doing.
  • It's all about what that other person is feeling.
  • And it is not about what they feel or think about us.

You need to have the sense of security that allows you to know that you are, overall, mostly liked or that you accept yourself so you can just walk in and really be interested in what they want and need—and really feel that you are the facilitator of getting them what they needed or wanted in the first place.

With that attitude your outcome of having the maximum number of people, who need what you're selling, choose to buy, is most likely going to happen from that point of view. This of course also limits returns and it limits problems later.

So as you review this podcast you are going to be hearing an outline that begins with curiosity about them, begins with amplifying their own already perceived wants and needs.

I look forward to visiting with you again in the next edition of the podcast.