Psychology of selling: The first 8 minutes, Pt. 2Article added by Michael Lovas on June 13, 2011
Michael Lovas

Michael Lovas

Colbert , WA

Joined: December 10, 2004

My Company

AboutPeople

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This article details how to use simple psychology to help people say yes to you in order to prove your credibility and relevance.

Today, we’re going to look at the next steps in how to use very simple psychology to help people say yes to you. Why is this info important? Because this is how you prove your credibility and relevance to people.

The first thing you need to know is what’s going on inside your prospect’s head. What are her expectations or beliefs about you in four areas:
  • Your organization
  • Your industry
  • Your profession as a sales person
  • You as a person
From a psychological perspective, the more you know about what the prospect already believes regarding those four things, the better equipped you are to position yourself and your product or service so they fit into that prospect's belief system.

The point here is that any communication with any prospect must focus on that prospect. Your possibility of gaining a new client goes down with each second your focus is diverted from her.

The second thing you need to understand is that people do not like being put into a box. That makes them feel trapped. Sadly, sales people do this all the time.

It happens when you jump to the solution before the prospect has finished expressing the problem. If you jump in before she’s finished, you are dragging her into a trap we call the solution box. As soon as you do that, you are taking the focus off of helping the prospect. What is the natural conclusion a prospect will come to? That your focus has shifted to helping yourself.

The third thing to understand is the objective. If you’re selling high value products and services, your objective is not to make a sale. The relationship and subsequent introductions are far more valuable than merely one sale. So, your objective is to solidify the relationship. How can you do that? Our research over many years has shown a clear path or procedure of objectives:
  • Show yourself as being safe
  • Establish trust
  • Make a strong personal connection
  • Prove that you are a resource to help the client think through tough questions
  • Cause that client to reflect on and think about your conversation through the next 24 hours
When you accomplish those objectives, you will have made your connection, demonstrated your credibility and avoided alienating yourself from that person. But how can you get there?

The questions rule

Actually, there is a hard and fast rule about questions — listen. Listen to the answers.

With that in mind, questions are the most effective tool you can use to accomplish the objectives above.

Ah, but which questions? Because communication styles, circumstances and life experiences differ from person to person, it’s not easy to know what questions to ask. We know more than most people about questions, but we can't give you the perfect questions. Why? Read through the following steps and you'll understand why.
The questioning process

Step 1 — Start by making a simple statement. This statement sets the context for the conversation. The person who sets the context controls the conversation; you want to be that person. That statement might be: "You know, the _______ industry is really confusing."

Step 2 — Ask a simple short-answer question related to the opening statement. This question allows the prospect to engage easily with you. That question might be: "Has anyone ever explained to you why it's so confusing?"

Step 3 — Listen. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the process because it requires you to do something you might not be good at, yet. Listen. By listening to the answers, you glean information that: 1) you can base other follow-up questions on, and 2) you can use to demonstrate your credibility and relevance.

Step 4 — Ask a follow-up question. These questions are different. They're unscripted and based entirely on the answer the prospect just gave you. Think of these follow-up questions as helping hands guiding the client through a process of situational thinking.

For example, let's say the prospect's answer to your short question is, "No. I've always wondered why it's so confusing." When you listen to that answer, you can recognize: 1) the person does not understand the industry, 2) she is curious about why it's confusing, and 3) no one else has successfully simplified it for her.

You could then ask this follow-up question: "Would you like for me to make it simple for you?"

Why does this approach work?

The main reason this works is because by following this simple process, you gain opportunities to demonstrate your credibility and relevance. Additionally, you’re not forcing the prospect into a solution box. Instead, you're demonstrating that you know how to listen, and that you honestly want to hear what she has to say.

Your reward. As you can tell, credibility and relevance are important to my work. I’ve been researching and teaching producers how to improve it since 1991. To help you increase your credibility, just copy this paragraph from ProducersWeb and message me on the site and I will send you our paper: “The Credibility Process.”
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