We tend to forget the basics, like the fact that people buy on emotion most of the time; their buying decisions are seldom based on logic. That people buy from people that they like and trust. That if we are like them, they will like us. And that people will do more to relieve pain than to gain a benefit.

Roy Bartell said, “Most people think ‘selling’ is the same as ‘talking’. But the most effective salespeople know that listening is the most important part of their job.” This is true, whether you’re selling pumpkins or palaces.

And how does this play out in a sales presentation? Yes, adapt to your prospect’s pace, tone of voice, personality style (DiSC), and body language, and yes, listen carefully. “I know that,” you say. But let’s take it a step further. When two people are belly to belly, someone is selling and someone is buying, and you want to be sure you’re the one selling and that you’re not buying excuses, put-offs, and blatant lies.

When we push, people will push back. We need people to buy, rather than us selling. And in order for that to happen, we need to find their PAIN. So we need to be like physicians – objective, reasonable, unemotional, and definitely not needy. And we need to carefully make people aware of the consequences of NOT buying our product, service, or opportunity, or whether we’re recruiting them.

While some analytical people will buy on data (and they need lots of it,) most buy on emotion – they’re looking to fix things, to be free of pain, and to feel good about themselves. It’s never about you, the salesperson – you can feed your ego or feed your family. Open ended questions – tell me more, what do you mean by that, could you elaborate, And, Yes, Why is that, What will happen if you don’t solve that problem, What are you trying to accomplish – will unveil the real reasons why they are considering your offer.

Problems indicate pain, and we can only rescue people when they admit they have a problem – ask any alcoholic, smoker, or other addict. Intentions mean nothing without action, and the less we talk and sell, the more we can learn. We need information to hit their hot buttons. When we drop our price, run after the prospect, beg for the sale, instead of looking for non-verbal and verbal buying signals, we’re chasing our prospect into the arms of our competition.

People need to feel safe with us; they need to feel comfortable, accepted, cared about, and liked. If you had just won twenty million dollars, would you desperately try to convince, or would you say something smart like, “This may of may not be for you, and that’s just fine with me”? People want what moves away from them. And we know that buyers are often game players.

We need to customize the benefits of our product, service, or opportunity to fit the exact needs and solve the unique problems of each individual prospect we meet. If you haven’t taken the time to know me, how can you possibly craft a fit for me? A tailor measures you for a suit. A doctor examines you to find a cure, a mechanic takes time to look at your car before he offers a solution. Salespeople need to listen, ask questions, follow clues, dig down, investigate, and interview before we talk about our company, ourselves, our product, service, opportunity, or pricing.

I’ll leave you with this famous quote: “What’s behind this door, I cannot tell, but this I know, and know it well: the more I open, the more I sell.” Let’s open less and sell more!

Robin Elliott  LeverageAdvantage.com