A Consistent Approach Generates Consistent Sales
Many salespeople find that their sales tallies fluctuate and these results seem totally random, but that’s the logical, inevitable result of sales activities that are also random.
Random selling methods can’t deliver consistent sales results. To achieve steady sales, you need a consistent sales process, which means engaging in the same reliable actions during every sales call. Or by simply replicating what’s work and abandoning what doesn’t work.
Consider the “consistency principle” developed by psychologist, author and marketer Robert Cialdini: “Private declarations dictate future actions.” This means that people are, generally speaking, internally consistent; they will take actions that match the messages they tell themselves. Similarly, what people say to others or what prospects say to salespeople would dictates their subsequent actions.
Successful salespeople consistently get prospects to say, up front and in public, that they don’t need numerous proposals from your competitors, that price isn’t the controlling criteria for the sale and that it’s not necessary to “think about it” further when it comes to your sale.
If you can get prospects to state these assertions, you will make more sales.
“You can make a living in sales by finding what people want and need. You can make a fortune by understanding the emotions that are driving the purchasing decision.”
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Minimizing Your Prospect’s Risk
Your sales process does not need to be complicated. It needs to be consistent. Whatever your process turns out to be – and everyone’s is unique – make this part of it: When you are with a prospect, look for the problems that your product or service can solve for them and say aloud that you can fix them.
Work hard to gain the prospect’s trust to minimize or eliminate his or her risk, which comes from the prospect’s worries about making a bad purchasing decision.
More trust and less risk increases the likelihood of making a sale. Less trust and more risk reduces that likelihood.
“A sales job gives you the opportunity to create…prosperity, but…you must have the skills, talents and processes that will turn the opportunity into money.”
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3 Ways to Mitigate Risk
Remember to include these three risk-reduction methods in your selling routine:
- Provide an ironclad guarantee – The best guarantee is a “risk-reversal” guarantee. Author Weldon Long’s air conditioning company offers prospects a 100% financial guarantee if they become unhappy with their purchase anytime during the first year. Example, I was considering MentorBox and almost made the purchase, but the money-back guarantee isn’t ironclad, and in fact too much negative review about its customer service.
- Make a “signature story” the bedrock of your selling process – Use your story to demonstrate how your ironclad guarantee eliminated a prospect’s risk in the past. If you can, get a signature story in writing from a completely satisfied customer. This could come in the form of real life testimony.
- Encourage the prospect to trust you – To earn trust, convincingly demonstrate “high character” and “high competence.” Remember that first impression is very important.
“The more you stay focused on diagnosing problems and finding solutions for your customers, the more you will generate sales through high service.”
Minimizing or eliminating risk is only part of consistency selling, which follows four steps:
Step 1: Build a Relationship
Relationship building occurs over the course of your initial contacts, meetings and deliberations with your prospects. You want to be liked but never desperately. As they say, birds of the same feather, flock together.
Neediness always backfires with prospects. To get your prospects to like you, make it clear that you like them. You can work to develop this factor as your client can’t tell that you’re working on it.
Ask simple questions to establish common ground with your prospects. A viable relationship depends on showing that you’re a person of high character. To demonstrate, you can tell an amazing (the more amazing the better) signature story that shows how well your firm treated a client in the context of its 100% guarantee. Go into the details of the guarantee. If your firm doesn’t provide an ironclad guarantee, offer the prospect your personal guarantee that he or she will be satisfied.
For example, you might say, “I will personally move heaven and earth to resolve any issue to your satisfaction.” Also keep true to your words, integrity is key in this line of work.
“Building a relationship with your prospect always begins with getting them to like you and identifying commonalities…The best way to accomplish both of these is with questions.”
Ask prospects if they’re willing to select your company conditionally based on your promise to achieve the desired outcome and to guarantee total satisfaction over rivals who “might tell you anything to get your business.”
Get the prospect to make this affirmation publicly.
“Prospects are more informed and sophisticated than ever…Whether or not they bring up price or competitive offers or any other issue, they are thinking about them. Ignore that at your own peril.” So, its would be better if you firm or yourself have a website which keep tracks of all your products and relevant up to date testimonies. And make sure the links are in your business card, it’s hard to get ranked in google, even this site is currently ranked over 10 thousands plus.
Oh yes, remember to emphasize on your ironclad guarantee which eliminates or at least minimizes the risk your prospect are taking.
Consistency anchors are public declarations that the prospect makes early in the sales process because you’ve persuaded him or her to go public about specific sales issues.
For example, you want your prospect to declare that price shouldn’t be the controlling factor in the purchase decision, that multiple bids won’t be necessary, and that he or she won’t need a long decision-making process about whether or not to buy.
During your conversations with your prospect, constantly ask questions to prompt him or her to issue statements that will lead to a purchase. When you bring up these issues proactively and get the prospect to put them to rest in public, he or she will be unlikely to raise these objections again during the conclusion of the sale.
You want to make sure that the prospect’s last public statements to you don’t leave the door open for future delaying tactics, such as saying they need multiple bids, a lower price or more time to think.
“‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. It’s the ‘I don’t knows’ and the ‘I’ll call you next Tuesdays’ that will destroy your income-earning potential.”
Consistency anchors are an essential component of the “consistency-selling process.”
According to the consistency principle, people want their past statements and current statements to be consistent. When correctly utilized, consistency anchors get your prospects to agree in advance to a three-part story, which unfolds as follows:
- Connecting with a reliable, trustworthy and competent firm is a more crucial requirement than securing multiple competitive proposals.
- When considering a purchase, the cost isn’t the most important criterion.
- It won’t be necessary to extend the decision-making process on this sale. The prospect can quickly make a “definitive decision.”
Step 2: Investigate the Problems
The more problems you uncover and solve for prospects through your offerings, the more money you will make. During this sales step, demonstrate your competence as an astute analyst of the prospect’s problems. By exhibiting competence, you enhance the prospect’s trust in you. This is essential. You can’t sell to people who don’t trust you.
Remember, “The higher the risk, the harder it is to say yes; the lower the risk, the easier it is to say yes.”
Step 3: Sell Your Company and Your Solutions
By this point you have developed a strong relationship with your prospect and thoroughly investigated the problems his or her company has that you can solve with your offerings.
Now explain compellingly why your offerings are the ideal solutions to these issues. Always ask the prospect’s permission to offer your commercial recommendations. Conduct a product or service demonstration that shows the effectiveness and value of your offerings, as well as your and your firm’s inherent trustworthiness.
Step 4: Conclude the Sales Call
Before discussing the particulars of this crucial step, note the phrase “conclude” the sales call, not “close” the sales call. The reason for this phrasing is that no matter how great a salesperson you may be, no one can close 100% of all possible sales. But you can conclude all sales, one way or the other.
In consistency selling, the old ABC (Always Be Closing) approach has little relevance. In the reverse of that sales principle, featured in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, you should spend 90% of your time and energy cultivating the relationship and only 10% of your efforts on closing.
Leverage your prospect’s previous consistency and anchor statements to bring the sale to a successful end. After you formalize your commercial recommendations for solving your prospect’s problems, ask the prospect for the order. Also ask for his or her continued trust. Be bold, brave and direct. Put your request in these terms: “Will you trust me?”
Remember that prospects without consistency anchors are highly likely to raise the common objections that the price is too high, that they need alternate bids and that they need more time to think about buying. Avoid this by proactively getting your prospects to agree to consistency anchors. Getting them on the record in advance forestalls these common objections. Committed prospects won’t bring up these issues during closing. They will want their final declarations during the closing to be consistent with their earlier declarations.
Proactively address any weaknesses, real or otherwise, that prospects may perceive. Get rid of all “excuses, justifications and objections” to secure a “final decision” from your prospect when you are together. You want a yes, but a no is acceptable. You want a definitive answer. What you don‘t want is ambiguity in the form of “irrational hope.” In sales, ambiguity is always the kiss of death.
Organize your appointments so your prospect makes this all-important sales decision in your presence. Once that is done, the prospect is more likely to volunteer a yes instead of a no. No one wants to reject someone face-to-face. If you employ consistency anchors to eliminate standard objections before the prospect raises them, you will successfully conclude a large number of sales.
“You can’t make someone care about something they don’t care about.”
Focus on the Process
You can always control the sales process, but you can never control the results. Smart salespeople focus on the process. As you talk with your prospect, steadily ask questions that encourage him or her to make statements that point to buying.
Then the closing or, more accurately, the conclusion which will be an easy, stress-free conversation between you and your prospect.
Consistency plus the prospect’s regular declarations of intent to buy from you will lead to sales success.
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