I’ve possibly just written the worst title to what could be the best ever blog post.
It could be.
You’ll never know unless you read it.
Before explaining why I’ve written such a subjective, vague and utterly ridiculous title, let me just say that in this post there’s 6 ideas that if you consciously and consistently apply them, you’re going to win more of the right people over, sell more, and connect more value to more people, if that’s what you want to do.
So, why the ridiculous title?
Because I wanted you to see how it made you feel, and how it’s making you feel now, and what you came here for vs what you’re getting – so that you can empathise with your customers for when you promise them something.
Why exactly are you reading this?
I mean, did you read this because you thought you’d find something that would make you laugh? (You still might!)
If so, why did you think that what I find funny you might too? (I am about to share a short video that I think is genuinely very funny, but that doesn’t mean you will).
Or did you think that ‘funny’ meant ‘weird’?
Did you read it because you’ve found some of my other posts useful and showed an element of trust in what I might share? Or that you just know me? Or just because you were bored?
Or did the deliberate curiosity get the better of you – a bit like the “don’t press this red button” experiment that’s popular amongst psychologists (obviously, most people press it. Naughty little sausages.)
The truth is, I don’t know why you’re here, but you do.
If I was selling to you (or helping you to ‘buy’) I’d simply have to ask you why you chose to read this, and then I’d have to drill down to fully diagnose and understand what you specifically want from this, and then either deliver or recommend accordingly.
3 important sales lessons
Lesson 1: When selling, opinion is usually dangerous.
Yet so many people use opinion to persuade (in my opinion). You know when you’re on the receiving end of this, it pushes you away and erodes trust. Especially when you know their opinion is formed before understanding.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Value is in the eye of the customer.
It doesn’t matter how excited you are by what you’re selling, or what your personal preferences are. You have to find out what your customer thinks.
However, if you are already trusted – the ‘trusted advisor’ – or if you have a following of solid fans, then your opinion can increase your influence on them.
So, build the trust first by avoiding giving your opinion, being more objective than subjective, and most of all seeking to understand your customer. Then, help them explore relevant options. Once you’ve built the trust, you’ll know when they begin to trust your opinion, and that’s a great place to be.
Important note: a customer (or friend) asking for your opinion is not the same as a customer trusting your opinion. The asking of your opinion is often a conversational starter and your cue to start building trust by diagnosing first.
Lesson 2: The English language is extremely ambiguous (funny haha or funny weird?)
Even when we think we understand each other, we often don’t. When talking to a customer, ask them, for clarity, to explain what they mean by the words they use. Because you might be looking at different sides of the word.
How often do you do that? Conversations often go totally in the wrong direction when we fail to do this.
Lesson 3: You don’t always need benefit driven headlines (or conversational phrasing) to get people to listen.
Sometimes piquing curiosity can do the trick. But again, careful how you quench their curiosity. See lessons 1 and 2.
The funny bit
Look, I’ve done it again.
Well, this 3 minute video sketch has made me laugh, and I’ve shared it with many people I’ve worked with who have responded well. But even if you don’t find it funny, there are sales lessons within it too! (Unless you already know these things..wow – selling is tricky isn’t it?) Seriously, if you see yourself as ‘in sales’ or not, have a look:
Some more lessons – on PRICE
Lesson 4: You usually get what you pay for.
Sales people who drop price can only go so far before the quality just has to give. When you’re buying, try to understand why it is priced that way. When selling, try to help your buyer understand. A lack of understanding will probably result in no deal.
Lesson 5: The person holding the purse strings often isn’t the end user.
You can help your buyers to consider the knock on effects of their decision on the end users, and how these might ultimately come back on them.
Many transactions may look like they’re all about price. But there are always emotional consequences wrapped around every decision, that ripple outwards…(Like in this case, I guess his wife would file for divorce?)
…and another important but more subtle consequence – what would the wife tell her friends about that dentist? How would it damage their business, because they agreed to provide a cheap service?
Lesson 6: Sometimes buyers aren’t spending their own money.
Which changes their relationship with the cost and sometimes the scope, and introduces other buying criteria and emotions into the equation.
Don’t let your own evaluation of ‘value’ interfere with how you project your pricing or your various options on to others. Just because you think your service is too expensive doesn’t mean that your buyer does, or even necessarily cares about that. Put your opinions away, and seek their budget constraints and their opinions (See lesson 1 again).
What a funny post.
Contact me here if you have questions.
For more on helping your non-sales people to sell more effectively, see my site here: http://helppeoplebuy.com
Where could your business be if your entire customer facing workforce were able to generate more revenue in a ‘non-salesy’ way?
I’m currently doing a lot of work helping businesses in the UK to develop a stronger service culture through their non-sales people. Anyone customer facing should have a commercial mindset, at least enough to be able to maximise the value they deliver their customers, their colleagues, their business and themselves. As well as being able to connect their customers to other relevant offerings.
If you need help with that, give me a shout.