If you are new to selling or you’re a seasoned business owner or sales professional, then you know first-hand that selling in this new economy can be painful – if you’re doing it the old way. Sales rejection, playing the numbers game and chasing prospects are still prevalent ideas handed down to us from the old traditional sales gurus. If you flick through the pages of business magazines and sales training material, you will find a constant flow of messages like, ‘Focus on closing the sale’; ‘Overcome objections’; ‘Be relentless’; ‘Accept rejection as a normal part of selling’; ‘Use persuasion to get useful information about your prospects’; and ‘Chase the sale’. In short, get the sale at the expense of the human relationship. For the customer, this approach is transparent and all too familiar.
Crossing social boundaries and adding pressure to the sales process makes it a gut-wrenching and painful process. There is a much better way to succeed in selling – move away from the hidden agenda of focusing on making the sale. When you do this, a new world opens up for you. In other words, when you stop “selling” and start building authentic relationships based on trust, authenticity and integrity, the possibilities are endless.
No Trust, No Sale
When there’s no common ground between you and the person you are selling to, when there’s no connection, trust simply can’t be created. And this is why people don’t trust those who are selling something. Even putting aside from the experience of rejection, selling can be painful for another reason … when you use old school selling techniques you can feel your integrity being compromised. You can feel the lack of respect from the people you’re talking to and you may even think they’re right to include you in the negative “salesperson” stereotype. Your intentions may be genuine, but the language you are using, the questions you’re asking, and the entire approach you’re taking is inadvertently triggering a lack of trust that makes it almost impossible to recover from because you’re only focused on you and your goals.
Creating Authentic Relationships, Selling Without Fear
Here’s the good news: there is a new way to sell that allows you to be your authentic self without having to compromise your personal integrity. This new way of selling allows you to truly connect with people by being your natural self. And you can do it completely without fear of rejection. And the person on the other end of the phone (or across the table) will naturally trust you and actually want to tell you the truth. It all starts with shifting your sales mindset.
Getting to the Truth is What Brings You More Sales
You’ll need to be open to a new mindset that allows you to focus on creating trust first, before focusing on the sale. The first thing you’ll need to do to “unlock the game” of selling and break the cycle of distrust is to stop focusing on making the sale. Huh? How can that be you ask? Key mindset shift: Focusing on the truth instead ironically creates more sales because you’ve created real trust with your prospective clients or customers. Stated again even more clearly: Your NEW GOAL is to find the truth (as to whether or not there is a potential for a sale between you and your prospect). Finding out if there is a fit between you and them is the pre-requisite to creating an open and trusting two-way dialogue.
Principles Of The NEW Selling Mindset
There are three principles behind what I call the Unlock The Game® Mindset.
Diffuse The Pressure
Always be diffusing sales pressure. That’s what you’ll need to be thinking about in every conversation you have in your daily selling activities, whether it’s on the phone, face to face, or even in email. Traditional sales methods teach us to always be moving the sales process forward, which puts pressure on people, you and them. For example, at the end of a call with a potential client, or at the end of a meeting, you’ve been probably been taught you should either close the sale right there and then or schedule the follow up meeting to keep the ball moving forward. Doing this puts pressure on the other person to respond, especially if you don’t know the truth of what they are really thinking. Where to begin with this is “letting go” of trying to move the sales process forward and instead, taking out the pressure and giving your prospect the control by saying: “Where do you think we should go from here?” They will immediately view you as someone who genuinely respects what they are thinking and that will be the beginning of the trust-building process. Amazing things will start to happen to you when you start creating trust instead of driving toward the sale.
- Get To The Truth
Getting to the truth instead of just focusing on the sale is key. When I say “truth”, I mean discovering the truth of exactly what the other person is thinking. The language you use is very important because it has to contain words and phrases that create a deep connection. For example, when someone calls you and tells you that they’ve heard or read about what your offer and they’d like you to send them some information, there is very specific language that you can use to immediately build trust and get to the truth of what the other person really wants. First, of course, you’ll want to begin with the pressure-diffusing phrase: “That’s not a problem.” Then you can say, “Would it make sense if we first figured out what specific problems you are wanting to solve, that way I can know exactly what to send you?” That language re-engages the conversation into a two-way dialogue. So instead of delaying, waiting for the person to receive a “packet” from you, and then “following up” (which is an old school sales phrase you want to banish from your vocabulary immediately), you can immediately begin to reach your goal of getting to the truth by getting the other person to open to you because they can see you really care about helping them.
- Become a Problem Solver and Trusted Advisor In The Eyes of Your Prospects
One of the key strategies to helping our clients make the shift to becoming a trusted advisor is helping them convert their features and benefits into what we call “Problem Statements”. Problem Statements are key phrases that describe your prospects problems so clearly, that by stating them to your potential clients or customers is the trigger that connects them to you. You’ll immediately become a trusted advisor when your conversation is focused on solving their problem rather than pitching the future benefits of your solution. Feeling understood by others is what opens the door to creating authentic trust.
Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Trust-Based Sales Expert and the creator of Unlock The Game®, a new sales mindset that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today. Unlock The Game has been available for over 10 years and has made sales breakthroughs for business owners and entrepreneurs in over 38 countries.
You can take a Free Test Drive of Unlock The Game by downloading Ari’s free audio seminar “7 Sales Secrets Even The Sales Gurus Don’t Know!” at www.UnlockTheGame.com.au