The last day of the Michael Flynn Mentor Entrepreneur Academy was as lively, and eventful as the last and kept true to Michael Flynn Mentor Entrepreneur Academy’s tradition of underpromising and overdelivering. It was a session dedicated primarily to Sales and this article seeks to dissect some of the eyeopening information attained in the course of the 5-hour session.
In a recent study of industries in the United States, it was established that 1 out of 9 people employed today are in employed in sales.The interesting part is that when they took a closer look at the 8 out of 9 who were not specifically salespeople here’s what they found. It was established that this group of people spent 40% of their time influencing and persuading. So essentially, we are all salespeople whether we choose to accept it or not. Can we now accept that? We all do it. We all do it, in fact since childhood we have participated in this ancient practice from our dictatorial demands with our mothers for breastmilk in infancy to the manipulative maneuvres of appeasement in order to gain rewards in our adolescent years. Examples of
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”—Archimedes
Archimedes had an interesting principle he said that give me a long enough pole and a fulcrum on which to place it and I can move the world. What does this ancient quote mean to you as a salesperson and entrepreneur? It means simply this, sometimes our clients do not know how to make a decision or which exact decision to make. Hence, it is our job to grow our pole of influence and leverage them to make a decision. Influence can be defined as the act of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct command. A simpler definition would be the ability to guide a person’s behavior and make them comply passively or as salesman extraordinaire, Victor Antonio puts it: “Influence is the ability to nudge without pushing.” In fact, it was established that by simply asking customers the question “Can I help you find something?” when they walk into a store; it could end up increasing sales by 30%. Consumers have a velocity. If there is a narrow aisle you will walk faster. If the aisle is wide, you will tend to slow down and walk slower. In fact, this can be seen in the perfume section and the women shoe section where the aisles end up being quite wide. They get really wide and causes the shopper to automatically slow down. On the other hand, when you are rushing through the store and there is a need to slow you down, they will place bins in the narrow aisles in order to slow you down. They are mental speed bumps, for example, the bins may contain DVDs for 5 bucks. Since we are impulse buyers, supermarkets usually place milk and eggs in the back, because they know that the customer will walk to the back in order to get the product and on the way to the cashier to check out, they will see the cookies, donuts and end up buying such products. Another tactic is that if while talking to a customer in the sales process, by simply touching their arm, sales increase from 55% to 81%; by just touching the arm.
Rules for Successful Selling
1.Rule number one to be successful in selling is – you gotta ask. Asking is very important and is integral to any sales process. You can’t sell unless you take control
“Push right to the edge. The one in control of the conversation is the one who asks the question.” –Michael Flynn Mentor
2. You have to know how to ask In life never ask for what you want, ask for more than what you want you so that you get what you want. When we are selling to customers do not start out with your cheapest product. Start out with your most expensive or a substantially more expensive product than your goal and if they say no, sell the customer the lesser expensive product. By saying ‘no’ to the initial big offer, the customer feels bad, then at this moment give them a savory way out and into the 2nd offer which they will happily accept.
“Close the sale too hard, too often. That’s how you find the line and become an awesome salesperson.” –Michael Flynn Mentor
Options: On average, when two options are offered people will choose the smaller one. How can I get you to buy the bigger one? I can either tell you about the features and benefits of the product or instead present a third option. Studies show that when you present three options to a customer in order to prevent making a risky decision, they will choose the one in the middle. If you look at McDonald’s, Wendys, Starbucks amongst a plethora of other consumer-centric companies, they always present three options. Where do you think the biggest profit margin is? It lies with the middle product.
Note: A confused mind will never make a decision. A larger skew of choices reduces buying probability. Narrow down your choices if you want somebody to make a quicker decision, the ideal number being three.
Mimic Don’t Paraphrase: You cannot ever change the language of the conversation. Mimic exactly the words which the customer uses. Repeated Studies have been undertaken to observe the impact of mimicking orders made by customers to their respective waiters as compared to paraphrasing, on tip rates amongst customers. It has been proven that the simple act of mimicking an order increases the tip rates by 70%.
Ask Open-Ended Questions: How can I help you? Never ask a question with a yes or no answer. “What are we building?”-we, not me The trick is to make them say “yes” “yes””yes”
Duplication of Choice/Assumption Clause: You can get something they didn’t want to get what they want for example: “would you prefer shorter or longer” “Large or extra large?” It allows you to skip the process of the client outrightly deciding whether or not they want the product to the part where they decide which type of product they want.
Asking superfluous questions just for him to say yes. Positive answers increase the likelihood of your client/customer accepting your product or offer. Hence, the goal is to ensure they respond as positively as possible to your request as this places them in a more comfortable position and helps to create rapport. People hate replying negatively to other people as stated earlier, therefore, it is vital to you as a salesperson or entrepreneur to ensure the customer is comfortable, at ease, and that you both have a basis of commonality.
Salesperson: Can I deliver?
Salesperson: Will you pay now?
Can I have your number?
Tie Downs: It is an iteration on the use of superfluous questions discussed above and its sole goal is to ensure the customer/client agrees with you as much as possible. And this tactic just like the one before subconsciously creates rapport and trust between you and the client. For example, Salesperson: The dress looks good on you, doesn’t it? Customer: Yes.
“People don’t want features but benefits. Therefore, you should always offer your client two benefits for every feature.”–Michael Flynn Mentor
3. Persistence is Key. Just keep asking until someone says yes. Persistence is the key to winning in sales. A study from Dartnell Corp reveals that 2% of sales are made on the first call, while 3% were made on the second, 5% on the 3rd and 10% on the 4th call. 80% of all sales are made on the 5th or subsequent calls.
- 48 percent quit after the first contact
- 72 percent stopped after the second contact
- 84 percent give up on a prospect after the third contact
- 90 percent wave the white flag after the fourth contact
Are you surprised at what you’ve learned, too? This article does not tell the whole story, but it certainly illuminates many aspects of what we learned at thMichaelel Flynn Mentor Entrepreneur Academy Week 6. Keep checking this page for updates and don’t forget to share this article so that your friends can be pleasantly shocked at what they will learn too.
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