One, simple tactic to radically improve your sales
Welcome back to our free, three-part series, Master the Sale (MTS). This is post number two. (if you want to start from the beginning, go to number one here) MTS dramatically raises your ability to close sales and the best part is that it's free. Most entrepreneurs never study or even attempt to learn sales and it's their number one mistake.
While they're out there making the same errors each and every call, you're stepping your game up and finding valuable resources to mold you into a sales maven with integrity and authenticity. Go you!
To review quickly, last week you learned how to deeply connect to your prospects and were given three scripts with language you can use today to drastically improve your sales calls.
You also learned the difference between an assumption and reading someone and when and how to use each method. Again, if you missed part one and want to read the whole tutorial, go here to catch up.
Now onto week two!
Today we're going to talk about a skill that most people assume is quite simple and rarely ever practice. It's an expertise that the best entrepreneurs master early on and know can change the amount of respect, credibility and trust they command in a conversation.
Mediocre entrepreneurs spend very little time on this and thus tend to have average results.
So what's today's topic?
Today we're going to talk about disagreeing with your prospect in the form of a proactive objection.
Um, what do you mean disagree with your prospect?
To disagree is to have a different opinion than the person you're talking to. Simple, right?
Well, kind of. And that's where the expertise comes in.
There tend to be two polarities in the disagreement space and you'll land somewhere in the middle, hugging tighter to one end or the other.
On one end you have the punk. The punk looks a little something like this: He is uber confident, has all the answers and has a sort of ignorance about him. He may over talk you, have really long presentations and probably talks quite fast. He talks more than he listens and his disagreements seem shallow or uninspiring.
Sometimes the punk feels a bit slimy and other times he feels arrogant, but what's consistent about him is that there's no room for disagreement because he is always right.
On the other end, you have the nice guy. The nice is hard to dislike. He damn near agrees with everything you say, or so you think, but then again, you don't really know if he's in agreement because he's so busy answering your questions.
Polite and maybe even charismatic, you like him but you aren't entirely sure if he's selling you something. At the end of what feels like a sales presentation, he doesn't ask for the sale or give clear structure as to how to follow up. His disagreements are minimal and like the punk, lack in impact.
Early on or midway through the conversation, you find yourself not taking him very seriously. "Nice guy," you might think as they walk through the door, but you don't think of him as someone who can legitimately solve your problems.
What is the real reason both the punk and the nice guy fail?
While their styles are different, neither one of them share any insights that are particularly memorable.
And if you aren't remembered, then you are forgotten.
The punk creates a feeling of annoyance and maybe even anger in his prospects. And where he maybe could have justified his aggressive behavior with valuable insight, he didn't. His potential customers intentionally dismiss him and he loses the sale.
The nice guy on the other hand creates next to no emotional experience for his prospects. He is unintentionally forgotten simply because he said nothing that stood out.
How to disagree with your customers and still win
Classy sales people know that strategically placed, intentional disagreements can rapidly move a deal forward. Smart people have well-thought-out opinions and high-level sales people are more like consultants than the stereotypical sleazy car salesmen. Thus, they're perceived as smart and trustworthy.
They need to seen as capable; having intelligent opinions is a key piece to that. There's an 18 minutes TEDx talk on that very topic here.
Seasoned business people aren't looking for something out-of-this-world-new, but they are looking for something different (tweet that!).
Something that makes them pause and reflect, something that awakens them, that brings them closer to a simple solution that delights.
They want the "Oh wow, I never considered that before" factor. And the path to that moment of revelation lays inside an intelligent opinion.
So how can you construct an opinion and not offend or bore your prospect?
Here are THREE methods you can use to wow your customers even while telling them they're wrong:
1- Consider what ONE, common misconception they all have. If you've been selling this particular product or vision for a while, you'll come to see that most customers have similar mindsets and thus tend to employ similar strategies.
Once you identify the common misconception, ask yourself why it's a poor way of thinking and in what critical way is it harming their business. Forget about why your product or service will help them and focus on why this one misconception is causing them to lose out significantly in either time, money, tech or talent.
2- Practice saying the following statement, "You know what, I can see why you think that and I gotta say that I disagree with you." The key here isn't so much in the words but in the tone. If you say it with arrogance, you toe the line of the punk and if there's no emotion behind it, you're the nice guy no one takes seriously.
Say it like it's not a big deal and yet you know something they don't (because you do). Try raising your voice a hair just before the end of the sentence. Aim for the third or second-last word and then drop your voice on the last one (like your normally would to signal the end of a sentence).
If you end on a high note (literally), it symbolizes a question and takes away your authority. If you're too monotone, it can come off as either boring or aggressive.
You're going to use this exact phrase when you hear them share the ONE misconception they all seem to share.
3- Release the outcome. On a personal level, this has nothing to do with you. If you've tried your best to explain the pitfalls in their current strategy and they aren't open to learning, there isn't much you can do. Your job is to speak up when necessary and be ready for whatever they decide.
Now onto your homework.
We have dozens of conversations every day and there are definitely times when we do not agree with the people we're speaking with.
Your task is to identify the ONE common misconception in your industry that most people have and share it with us in the comments below. That's it. Becoming clear about how people think is 2/3 the battle.
Do it today and post it here in the comments for us to read. I look forward to reading your comments.
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