Years ago I attended a talk by a well know coach who told us that there were two ways to a make a sale. The first was to listen to what the prospect really wanted and to show them how working with you would help them get it. The second was to listen to what the prospect really feared and emphasize that if they didn’t work with you they would have exactly that. AND IF WE DIDN’T DO THE SECOND, WE WERE DOOMED TO FAILURE.
Wow. Talk about fear based sales. And aren’t we all just ready to be done with that cow manure? (Not cursing here out of respect for some of my readers – but if you choose, you may read into this sentence any curse word that appeals!)
Fear never carries you far in building a true Passion Driven, Money Making, World Changing business. I’m choosing love instead.
Love, despite many great love songs, is not blind. Real love requires seeing the other person clearly, warts and all. It requires listening deeply and stretching out of your own perceptions of the world so you can see the world as the other person does. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the pain and fear of your prospect. But rather, that you acknowledge that pain and extend a soul felt invitation to help them solve it.
In order to make love based sales you have to accept that others don’t operate the same way you do. Most don’t even speak the same language. My uncle John wants to know that people will love the bacon and eggs he is cooking, that he will be appreciated and, despite his joking complaint, he will get hugs. My dad just wants to know how much he is supposed to pitch in toward the cost. Different men who sound and look exactly the same. I love both deeply. And yet, they speak different languages.
I know how to speak to my Dad and my uncle because I’ve spent a lifetime practicing. How do you know with a prospect you may have just met? A couple of tips:
- Deep listen – turn off the voices in your head, stop thinking about how you will respond, and just listen.
- Lean in and get really curious about what the other person is saying. Listen to what they are telling you is important to them. Are they talking about people? Or data? Emotions or bottom line results? Are they painting big, colorful pictures or detailing the road map?
- Reflect back the things that are important. Your service or product has an effect on people; you have accumulated lots of data details; you understand the big picture of what working with you will provide; you also know the step by step process. Choose to share the one that most appeals to your prospect, based on what they are telling you.
By giving your potential client the information in a way that speaks to them, they become empowered to make a really solid decision when you invite them to work with you. By speaking their language, you have proven you care. And that, in the long run, is what love based sales is about.
Your post, Julia, brought back memories of an incident that took place a few years ago when my Mom and I visited a well-known astrologer on a friend’s recommendation who declared I would die within 3 months due to some planetary movements and then proceeded to tell us about a particular prayer to save my life. His ‘fee’ was exorbitant and his credentials for performing the prayer were suspect. Unknown to him, we were aware of this particular prayer which in fact has to be performed by the family priest (I am a Hindu). We told him we would think about it and get back. When my Mom called to tell him that we had decided not to proceed as I was not convinced the prayers were required, he became quite violent on the phone and declared that if he did not perform the ceremony, I would die and my Mom would have to bear the consequences!
Happy to report that I did not die within 3 months. To put any fear inflicted concerns aside, we did consult my maternal side family priest who did not see anything fatal but suggested I get a medical test done as the stars showed a high pressure period coming up for me. My routine fitness tests revealed a slightly high cholesterol level which was brought down with sensible eating and some exercise to combat my sedentary office work and year-end reporting deadlines.
The point is, fear does not really work as a motivator for the potential customer who, in this age of technology, can easily Google another service provider whose style might well resonate better as well as the structure and fees. And most certainly not in a Seth Godin era where we try to build relationships that take both parties further in achieving their goals. In this case, the astrologer got very negative feedback from us and that was that.
What a perfect example! I’m so glad that he was wrong! When you sell in fear sometimes you will make a sale… but only once! Like your astrologer… whom lost you as a future customer as well as anyone you might have recommended to him!