This post is the result of more than ten years in sales (b2b and b2c) and constantly following great minds like Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuck, Olivia Cabane and many more....(if you don't know them and you are in Marketing or Sales, change that!)
I am far away of being a sales guru or the best marketing professional ever. But I feel obligated to share my experience and knowledge with others. Why? Because I believe in giving. Period!
Let's get to the point. It is scientifically proven that decisions are made in the limbic system of the brain. That's the part of the brain responsible for our emotions. While we are in a decision process this is the most active part. That's how you can explain quotes like "It just felt right to buy the Mercedes" (It always does, it's a Mercedes) or "She complements me" (Pardon me? What does this mean? You have a right arm and right leg and she has the other parts?). We actually do well in explaining our decisions after the purchase. Responsible for that is the Neocortex, which is barely active during the decision making.
How does this information help a sales person? Let me ask you this: Have you ever made a major purchase and then said: "The sales person was a total d****ck" I guess normally that doesn't happen unless you make a recurring purchase of something you really need (or at least you believe so). The reason why is because the successful sales person makes you feel good. He creates a for you comfortable environment to make the purchase less stressful. Being unpleasant doesn't really help.
How do I make my potential client feeling good?
First rule in sales: Let the client talk! Not only will you get all the information you need to offer the right product or service but guess what: People love listening to themselves. Even a shy and introverted person! You just need to ask the right questions and let them come out of the shell.
Another important key factor is your body language! "The MIT Media Lab concluded that it could predict the outcome of negotiations, telephone sales calls, and business plan pitches with 87% accuracy simply by analyzing participants' body language, without listening to a single word of the conversation. Non-verbal communication is way older than language-processing abilities. As a result, non verbal communication is deeply hardwired into our brains" ("The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane).
The body language is a reflection of your and your clients state of mind. While you are reading this, did you notice how often your eye lids are regularly fluttering or how heavy your tongue is? Your body is sending thousands of signals, there is no way you can control all of them. That means you can't fake a positive body language. You need to have the right mind set.
Saying that, make sure that:
You are positive, optimistic, focussed and well prepared before you are going into a sales talk. Well prepared means to repeat sales scenarios over and over again. This will reflect security and self confidence in your sales talk, especially if you are a beginner. Role plays are great way to practice.
Since we know now that body language can be so significant make sure that you are focussed 100% on your client. If you are not focussed on the client for one second, if you watch somewhere else, if you are zoning out, your body language will change tremendously in a split second and you will send the wrong signal to the client. Even if it is subconsciously (!) he will notice it and it might set the tone for the rest of the sales talk.
These are examples of how body language can have an influence on a face to face sales talk, but what about sales on the phone? Did you notice that you can tell by the voice if somebody is smiling on the other side of the line or not? You can "feel" the other's body language. If you have the right mindset you will smile on the phone, you will be positive and your client will sense that. It is also helpful to stand and walk around while talking. Your voice gets more energetic and your brain is more active (scientifically proven). Try it I swear it works!
There are so many more additional tips you can follow to make your potential customer feel good and most importantly help you to be in the right mindset. I highly recommend the following books: "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek and "The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane. Definitely eye opener for me!
Please feel free to leave comments and share your experience with me. I am eager to evolve and learn from others!