Read the previous installment: Fundamentals of Sales Part 1: Re-Energize Yourself to Sell More
The words we use can have a negative impact on a sale, but they are easy to change. Let’s start by removing the words cost, price and down payment from our vocabulary. The moment you start talking about cost, price or down payment, your customer begins thinking about parting with their money. To them, money means security and that is something they don’t want to lose.
Instead, we want to talk in terms of investments. Replace the words cost or price with the word investment. Replace the words down payment with initial investment. You may also want to change the term monthly payment to monthly investment. People don't mind making an investment they just don't want to part with their money.
Let’s get rid of the word “sign.” Our parents spent 20 years telling us to never sign anything. I've seen it over and over again. Salespeople losing the sale right at the end because they said, “I just need you to sign this.” The moment you say “sign,” 20 of conditioning kicks in and the customer “needs to think about it.” To remedy this, replace the word sign with okay or approve. So, you would say, “I just need you to approve this.” Or, “With your okay, we can get the equipment scheduled for delivery by Friday.”
The next word we should replace is contract. Let me ask you, where do you go to get out of a contract? An attorney, and no one wants to do that! So, instead of talking about contracts, we talk about the agreement or paperwork. You might say, “Let me get the paperwork started.” Or, “I will drop the agreement by for the side- by-side this morning and you have can the golf course superintendent okay it so we can deliver the unit on Thursday.: Either way, using one of these terms in place of the word contract will lower a person’s defenses.
Additionally, let’s eliminate the word sell or sold. If a person came up to you and said, “I’ve got a new product that I’ve sold to a lot of people, let me tell you about it.” The moment you heard that you would immediately think they were going to try to manipulate you into doing something. No one wants to feel manipulated, so let’s use the word decision. For instance, say, “We have a lot of people, like yourself, who have made the decision to invest in this unit.” People don't mind making a decision, they just don't want to be sold to.
The next phrase, I understand, is one that will get you in trouble without you even realizing it. The moment you say those words, the customer will think, “Oh no you don't.” Instead, use words like appreciate or agree. For instance, say, “I agree with what you're saying” or “I can appreciate how you feel about that,” but don't use the word understand.
Next we need to eliminate the word but because it is usually linked with I understand. When you tell a person, “I understand, but…” it totally negates everything you just said you understood. The same applies to the phrasing, “I appreciate/agree, but…” Again, your agreement is negated. As a replacement, use the word and. Say something like, “I appreciate what you are saying, and I’d like to try to find a solution.” This phrase lowers the defenses so that you and your prospect are back moving in the same direction.
Another word we want to remove from our vocabulary is talk. When I was in school and I heard that the principle wanted to talk to me, I knew it probably wasn’t a good thing. Typically, I found out those talks were not a form of two-way communication. To this day, if somebody walks up to me and says, “I need to talk to you,” I immediately think there's a problem. The same is true for your prospects. Let’s begin using the words visit or discuss as easy replacements. You might say, “We have a new model that I would love to visit with you about.”
Yet another word we need to get rid of is the word pitch. It just sounds greedy, slick and slimy. We, as sales professionals, don't do pitches, we do presentations or demonstrations. Don't call someone up and say, “I’d like to come by and give you my pitch” or “I’d like to pitch you on this new product.” Baseball pitchers pitch. Sales professionals give presentations or demonstrations and lead their buyers to the best product or service possible.
The last word I want you to replace is the word deal. Most people will assume that you're going to lower the price or negotiate. As a sales professional, you want to try to stay away from initiating a negotiation as much as possible because as we negotiate, we give away our margins and our profitability.
Instead, say something like, “I can show you a model that is a great value for the investment. Let’s take a look to see if this would be a fit for you.”
By eliminating the word deal, you will help to steer your prospect away from thinking that negotiating is just part of the buying process.
Why People Buy
When people make a major purchase, the number 1 reason they cite as to why they bought from where they did is that they liked the salesperson. That’s right, the number one reason they buy from you is you!
Best Practices with Bob Clements is a series brought to you by Yanmar.
Yanmar — Don’t settle for less when you can have more. For example, Yanmar makes all its compact tractors’ major drivetrain components – the Yanmar engine, transmission, and axles — in-house. Because they’re made to work perfectly together, you and your customers get a hardworking machine with more usable horsepower, less power loss, and a smoother, more comfortable ride. Yanmar’s tractors are designed to work as hard as you do for a lifetime. Strengthen your dealership with Yanmar today: AgMarketing@yanmar.com or call 770-877-9894.
Dealerships don't like to hear me say this, but people are going to do business with your company not because of what your company does, but because of what you do as a salesperson. If people like you, they tend to buy from you. If they don't like you, then, unfortunately, seldom will they give you their hard earned money.
As a salesperson, it’s easy to take credit for the win. But, as a professional, it is also important to take the responsibility when we lose a sale. The normal response is to blame someone else. You might find yourself blaming the dealership, the manufacturer, or the fact that your prices are too high, you’re just not competitive enough or perhaps your products just aren’t good enough./p>
It's no different than professional athletes. When professional football players view their game films, they're not looking so much at what they did right, they're looking at what they did wrong. They look for missed blocks or missed tackles. As salespeople we need to understand that there's an incredible advantage in going back and evaluating where we made mistakes. What happened that caused me to NOT get the sale? It’s called taking responsibility. The responsibility for getting the sale is yours and the responsibility for losing the sale is yours.
If you begin to accept the basic fact, that either way, you are responsible for your outcomes, you are one step closer to taking your sales to the next level of success.
Selling Using Peer Pressure, Status
As we talked earlier, we discovered that people are not logical, but they are emotional. One other thing we need to consider is that younger people buy for different emotional reasons than older people, so as you will want to consider two key emotions, peer pressure and status.
Prospects who are younger, let’s say from their mid-40s and younger, are impacted more by peer pressure than any other emotion. Think about yourself. Perhaps you decided on a particular college or course of study after high school because of what your friends were doing. We get mortgages, get married and maybe even start a family because that is what everyone else is doing.
Now, let's think about this from a selling standpoint. When I'm working with people in this group, I know that peer pressure is going to be a powerful emotion for them. So, I want to spend my time talking about how other people, just like them, are doing or buying what I'm recommending: “Here's what everybody else is doing. Maybe you should consider doing it, too.”
You will find that as we mature, we become less interested in keeping up and more interested in getting ahead, which is where the emotion of status comes into play. As you're working with people who are in their mid-40s and older, focus on how your dealership can move them up to the next level. Focus on the uniqueness, durability, flexibility and technology along with the extra value they get with the models you carry. Talk about what younger people are buying and then show them products that have more and do more. That’s where the emotion of status will begin to impact the sale.
Another powerful motivator is ego. Ego typically is a greater motivator for men than women. We have found that men tend to be fascinated with knowledge and have a desire to learn things that they think other people do not know. If you are visiting with someone in-person, be prepared to point out new features or technologies associated with your product that most people do not know.
Also, be sure that men know that the new equipment is the envy of the area. You may also want to stay in touch with these customers by occasionally send out articles or news clippings on new products. At the bottom of the article, add a note that says, “Ran across this recent article, thought you might be interested in this new feature.”
It is important to note that while men are motivated by ego, women tend to be more motivated by peer pressure. We see this in the retail buying patterns of women in areas like designer handbags or clothing lines. In the same way, they will also often buy a particular line or product of others they know have purchased it.
Regardless, for women or men, there is a clear pocket of individuals who will make a major purchase and do so because of ego. They want to look good and have an eye-catching, cutting-edge piece of equipment. Don’t be afraid to tap into this motivator when appropriate.
If you're going to be successful in sales, if you're truly going to be and reach the top, you have to do things differently; you have to walk a different path. Understand that the moment you look like a salesperson, walls will go up and you have to fight to bring them back down.
I challenge you to keep thinking about how you can sell differently. If you do, I am convinced you will rise to the top and make more money than you've ever dreamed of in your life.