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12 Selling Skills! Making Persuasive Offerings

12 Selling Skills

Chapter 8: Making Persuasive Offerings

I am not judged by the number of times I fail,

but by the number of times I succeed;

and the number of times

I succeed is proportional to the number of times

I fail and keep trying. – Tom Hopkins

The sale is a “mental game” of selling,

where real deals are made.

During your pitch,

you convert skeptical

and distrustful potential customers into dedicated customers

An effective sales pitch

can increase your sales many times over

than a fragmentary and unprepared explanation

or proof of the product/service you are trying to sell.

During the questioning phase of the sales process (see chapter 6),

when you ask well-prepared,

well-rounded questions that elicit wants,

needs,

desires, and purchases,

both Both you

and your potential customer must understand four factors:

Potential customers really need the product to improve their life

or work in specific ways.

Potential customers can use the product

and enjoy the full benefits of what the product can do.

Potential customers can benefit

from the product in specific ways at a reasonable cost.

Potential customers can purchase the product;

it’s not too expensive considering their current financial situation.

Once you and your prospect know these four conditions well,

it’s time to convince the prospect to take action.

“Cherish forever what makes you unique,

because you’re really a yawn if it goes.” -Bette Midler

***************

Developing presentation skills

The majority of offers,

probably around 95%, could be improved.

The good news is that presentation skills,

like sales skills,

can be learned.

With a bit of thought and practice,

you can become extremely good at delivering a persuasive pitch

about your product/service.

Many of my graduates have doubled

or tripled their sales

in just 30 to 60 days

by increasing the quality of their offers.

Before moving on to the sale,

you should restate

and agree on the issues and needs

that you and the prospect have discussed

and identified in the questions section of the sales process.

Then explain why your product/service

is an ideal solution to your customer’s problem.

You should explain exactly how the customer

will benefit from your product/service.

You should be careful in how you present it

so that customers can see the features

and benefits of the products

and services you are offering

to suit their specific needs.

You should ask questions throughout to ensure clarity,

to get feedback,

and to reach agreement.

Such as:

• Does this offer mean anything to you?

• How do you feel about this proposal?

• How do you see it?

• How do you feel about this proposal so far?

• What do you think about this?

• Do you have a question or concern that I have not mentioned?

(This is a wrap-up question,

asked once you’ve completed your pitch.)

Remember, the best salespeople are constantly

asking questions aimed at enticing,

engaged,

engaged customers out more information

and insights,

for a chance to be heard,

to build credibility

and to make sure they’re on the right track.

“You have to tell a story before you can sell a story.” – Beth Comstock

***************

Encyclopedia for sale

A good pitch is carefully designed and rehearsed.

It is a logical, orderly way

to move from general problems

to specific problems.

It cannot be said indiscriminately

or haphazardly in the course of your client meetings.

There is a very famous story that took place around 1952,

a large encyclopedia company commissioned

a group of behavioral psychologists

to create what would come to be known

as “Encyclopedia Offer”.

It is designed with 42 questions

and each question needs

to be answered “yes”

in order for the presentation to continue.

The last question is

to confirm the transaction

and write the payment slip.

As far as I can remember,

when the salesman knocked on the door,

the first question was:

“Do you live here?”

This is an important element to start your offering.

There’s no point in starting a sale with a visitor.

The second question is:

“Do you believe in the importance of higher education?”

If the prospect does not believe in the importance of higher education,

the sales visit should stop

and the salesperson should seek out a new customer.

Each question will become more specific,

and the sale will continue

as long as the customer

answers these “sweet questions” with a yes.

And when the offering was completed,

it was rolled out around the world.

Everyone has been trained

by dozens of other people

to knock on doors

and make this sale.

Due to the offer for sale

So effective,

that the encyclopedia company made billions

of dollars selling the series

all over the world,

and sometimes they sold English versions of the series to people

who didn’t even know the language.

Older brother.

“To build a long-term,

successful enterprise,

when you don’t close a sale,

open a relationship.” – Patricia Fripp

**************

Time is very important

Before you start explaining the benefits your product/service offers

and why it’s a good choice

for a potential customer,

he or she must be interested

and curious about what’s going on,

and you are selling.

The process of asking questions

to determine the need has fueled customer curiosity

to the point that they want

to know more about buying your product.

Where you make your offer is also important.

You need to make sure that the customer is completely free

to focus on the salesperson

without being interrupted or disturbed.

It’s the salesperson’s job to schedule an offer

to make sure the prospect can fully

focus on what he’s saying.

“Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously.

Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.” – Brian Tracy

**************

Proper plan

An offer to a salesperson is like a doctor’s surgery.

It needs to be well prepared in advance.

Plan your pitch step by step.

Review carefully

before each client meeting.

Never assume you already know enough about it.

Many years ago,

as an aspiring professional speaker,

I gave identical lectures to different audiences

across the country.

After three or four presentations

to a positive audience

with good feedback and acclaim,

I concluded that there was no need

for me to prepare any further.

The next time I gave that presentation,

I went unprepared and started speaking.

It’s a mistake! I remember,

what I presented sounded really bad.

I remember the disappointed faces of the audience

because I didn’t review my notes carefully

before making the presentation,

it started to malfunction after a few paragraphs.

Then everyone started to stand up,

shake their heads,

and walk out of the room.

I learned my lesson.

And that never happened again.

Review your pitch before every client meeting.

Never assume that you are smart enough

to remember every detail of the offer.

Today, even if I’ve given

that presentation a hundred times,

I still spend an hour or two

before each presentation going over every word

and every detail before actually doing it.

This has made a significant difference in my career.

“The best way to sell a product is

to make people want the product.” – Ted Nicholas

*******************

Here’s the rule:

Preparation is an expression of professionalism.

The word “over-prepared” never existed

in the dictionary of true experts.

Sales professionals prepare and prepare,

and then prepare again.

They review every detail of their offering,

and then review it again.

They do not surrender to fate.

The huge benefit of thorough preparation is

that it allows you to focus completely on your client.

Instead of trying to remember what you want to say,

you feel relaxed, confident,

and comfortable.

You feel positive and completely in control.

You can focus all your time

and attention on your customers

and make them feel good about themselves.

People buy emotionally,

and they justify their decisions intellectually.” – David Sandler

****************

How to make an offer?

It is like a play on stage,

where all the props are carefully positioned

and each actor has to move in a prescribed manner

and say specific sentences at specific times.

In particular,

your offer also needs to be carefully considered

and executed as efficiently as possible.

Start with your positioning,

or seat,

when talking to customers.

Avoid sitting on the other side of the table.

This is a confrontational position,

even if subconsciously.

Instead, look for the opportunity to sit diagonally

with the prospect,

or in a chair where

there is no table separating the two.

If you find yourself sitting

across from the customer

as you prepare to deliver,

politely ask if the prospect would like

to move to a position

that makes both of you comfortable.

In all my sales career,

around the world,

I have never met a customer who said “no” to this offer.

“Good content is not storytelling.

It’s telling your story well.” – Ann Handley

**************

VIEW, PROVIDE INFORMATION AND ASK QUESTIONS

Think in three directions.

People will be most happy

with information presented in three directions.

It’s a special tool that has been used

by professional speakers

to make the most of their audience,

and you can use it in your pitches.

The best trilogy is called “show,

inform and ask questions”. Such as:

“This is a new feature we recently added to this product.”

(Show)

“Here’s what it can do, how it does it,

and the benefits it can give you.”

(Provide information)

“Do you see any features that you can take advantage of?

Is it for your job?”

(Make a question)

When you show,

provide information,

and ask questions,

you keep the prospect fully focused on your offer.

Continually find ways

to get customer feedback

by asking questions.

The person asking the question is the one in control.

“If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life),

you probably aren’t doing enough asking.” – Jack Canfield

******************

BECAUSE… YOU CAN… THIS MEAN…

Teach your customers how to get the best benefits

from using the product/service you are describing.

The most effective way to educate customers is

to use another three-step method:

“Because…” (Describe product features)

“Can you…” (Describe the benefits of the product)

“What does that mean…” (Describe the customer benefits)

Here is an example:

You are selling a flat screen TV and you say:

“Since this is a flat screen TV,

you can mount it anywhere on your wall

( benefits of the product),

which means you can turn your family room

into a movie theater for your family

and friends (customer benefit).”

Of course, the reason customers buy is

because of the benefits they will receive.

But customers also want to know

how they can get those benefits,

and why they get them.

When you use this three-step method in sales,

you’ll be amazed at

how quickly the prospect you’re dealing

with makes a purchase.

I taught this method

to a national sales organization a few years ago

and it was immediately taught

to all salespeople in the company.

Sales managers later told me

that their sales skyrocketed from $50 million

to $75 million the following year,

almost entirely

due to the adoption of the three-step selling method.

“You are your greatest asset.

Put your time, effort and money into training.” – Tom Hopkins

**************

POWER OF PHOTOS

Here’s an interesting discovery:

Customers won’t buy your product/service unless

and until they can envision themselves actually using

and enjoying the benefits of what you are offering.

How are you selling?

People must be able to create a really clear mental picture

of how they will use your product/service.

Without that mental image,

they will almost always respond with words like,

“That sounds great,

but let me see.”

Your job is to create interesting images of how potential customers use

and enjoy the benefits of the product you are offering.

That’s why photos of your customers

using your product/service will have a big impact

on the quality of your offer.

That’s why TV commercials have

such a powerful effect.

As soon as customers visualize themselves using a product,

they are ready to buy it.

Think about going to buy a new car.

The first thing the customer does is invite you

to sit in the car and take a test drive.

Your desire to buy that car will increase 10 times

after you have tried driving

and experienced the feeling of sitting in the car,

having memories and images of yourself sitting in the car.

It is very simple to create this mental visualization.

Say: “Imagine it!”

“Imagine yourself using this product/service!”

“Imagine how you will feel once you start enjoying the benefits

and results of this product/service!”

“Try to imagine yourself achieving this result!”

Whenever you say,

“Imagine,” the other person will immediately imagine themselves

actually using what you are suggesting.

You can also say:

“Think of what difference it could make for you!”

“Think about what difference

it could make in your life

if you achieve complete financial freedom

and you never have to worry about money again.”

“Think about what difference it could make in your life

if all the reports are on time and accurate

and you don’t need to double check them.”

Whenever you ask people if they can imagine

or “see” themselves using your product/service

– “Can you see yourself using your product/service?”

this product into his work?

Can you imagine yourself using this product at home?”

– they automatically create a mental picture

and put themselves in the center of that picture.

“Unwillingness to do what no one else wants to

is why people lack money.” – Grant Cardone

**************

KEEP CUSTOMERS PROACTLY ENGAGED AND ENGINEED IN THE CHAT

In addition to sitting in a comfortable position

with the customer during the sale,

you should get the customer actively engaged

and engaged in the conversation.

Ask the customer to do something.

When I’m selling,

I ask my prospects to calculate numbers,

learn to read a specific passage of documents I’ve prepared,

or grab or hand me a piece of paper.

The more customers participate and have

The more influence they have on the offer,

the greater the likelihood

that they will really want to use and enjoy the benefits

that your product/service brings.

The more proactive a customer is,

the more they see themselves benefiting from what you’re selling.

“Ninety percent of selling is conviction

and 10 percent is persuasion.” – Shiv Khera

***************

END OF SALE CARDS

Trying to close the offer

during the offering helps elicit feedback from the customer.

Closing the offer is sometimes called the “close test,”

when you test it out to see if what

you’ve done up to that point is OK.

It’s sometimes called a “closed-sale guide”

because you’re looking for cues from your prospect

to decide which direction you should go in at that point.

It’s also sometimes called a “closer’s pulse,”

when you actually “take the pulse” of your customer during your offering.

Trying to close the sale is the mark of a sales professional.

Inexperienced salespeople will often

go through a circuit from start

to finish without allowing

or enabling customers to have any comments or opinions.

By the end of the offer,

the customer’s mind will be so overwhelmed with facts

and details that he can no longer afford

to make a buying decision.

As a result, the customer will say,

“I’ll think about this.”

Many people think that trying

to close the offer can get you a “no” answer

before you even close the offer.

It’s not really, it’s merely giving you feedback

that can show you which direction

to continue and which direction to stop.

For example, you could say,

“Do you like this color?”

and potential customers might say,

“Oh, no, I hate that color so much.”

And then you can say,

“No problem,

we have a lot of other colors for this product

and there’s bound to be one you like.”

You might ask,

“Are you going to need to use this new feature of the product in your work?”

The prospect might reply,

“Oh, no, we won’t use that feature.”

Here’s a pretty useful piece of information you’ve gathered.

This information prompts you to stop talking about new product features

and move on to other features

and benefits that customers may be more interested in.

“For every sale you miss because you’re too enthusiastic,

you will miss a hundred because you’re not enthusiastic enough.” – Zig Ziglar

****************

ALWAYS BE POSITIVE

Successful selling is really a process of “transforming enthusiasm”.

Transactions are made when your belief,

your enthusiasm for what is good

and the value of the product/service you are offering,

is communicated like an electric arc,

from your mind to your heart and mind of potential customers.

For this reason, you need to stay positive,

confident and optimistic about the quality of your product/service

and the good it can bring to your customers.

The level of trust you place in the quality of what

you’re selling creates a positive effect on your customers.

It’s one of the most powerful influences

you can have on your customers.

The most successful and highest-paid sales

people seem to really love their products/services,

really care about their customers,

and really believe that the products/services

they offer can make a difference,

help clients improve their lives

and work in some way.

Emotions are often contagious.

When your positive emotions are strong enough,

it will actually translate to the customer

and make the customer want

to buy and use what you are selling.

“If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life),

you probably aren’t doing enough asking.” – Jack Canfield

***************

Selling anecdotes

This is possibly the most powerful part of an effective pitch.

In selling anecdotes,

you tell success stories of customers

who have been satisfied with the product.

When you tell a success story,

other customers automatically put themselves in the shoes

of a satisfied customer

and imagine themselves enjoying the benefits of your product/service. again.

The person who won the Nobel Prize

for the work that discovered

the secret of the cerebral hemispheres

and brain activity once said that

everyone has a left brain and a right brain.

Each side of the brain performs completely different tasks.

The left hemisphere of the brain

is responsible for language processing,

abstract thinking,

writing,

calculating,

sorting,

classifying, remembering words,

and perceiving time.

It is the left hemisphere of the brain

that carefully analyzes,

compares,

and evaluates information and ideas.

The right hemisphere of the brain is different.

The right hemisphere is stimulated by stories,

music,

emotions,

colors,

ideas,

images,

and people.

In fact, the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible

for learning new words and their meanings,

while the right hemisphere

is responsible for integrating those words

and phrases into the language.

All purchasing decisions are made

by the right hemisphere of the brain.

The right hemisphere of the brain takes in all the facts,

numbers, images,

and feelings and merges it into a single conclusion set up,

buy or not buy.

When you create mental images

and tell stories of satisfied customers,

you stimulate the right brain

and drive purchasing decisions.

When you talk to a customer,

depending on whether the audience is male or female,

tell him/her stories about male/female customers

who have purchased your product/service

and the benefits that he/she received from that product/service.

Since time immemorial,

stories have been the most powerful means of conveying information,

ideas,

and emotions.

“What we really need is a mindset shift that will make us relevant to today’s consumers,

a mindset shift from ‘telling

& selling’ to building relationships.” – Jill Stengel

***************

All good stories have a hero or a heroine.

When you tell a story about a hero or heroine,

the listener automatically puts themselves in the shoes of the hero

or heroine you are describing.

That’s why men like action movies

with action heroes and women like romantic movies

with female stars who have similar characteristics

and traits that they wish they could be too,

should be like that.

Who is the hero or heroine in your story?

Those are satisfied customers

who have purchased your product/service

and have made certain improvements in their life

or work as a result of that purchase decision.

Whenever you tell stories of happy,

successful customers after using your product,

you create in the prospect’s mind a deep subconscious desire

to become a customer,

become those people.

All good plays/stories have a villain as well as a hero,

which is another way of semi-anecdotal.

Who plays the villain in your story?

Those are the people who failed

to buy your product/service

and then feel extremely sorry for the missed opportunity.

Here’s a story:

“About six months ago,

I called Bill Smith.

He turned me down

and decided to buy a cheaper version

of the product from our competitor.

Bill just called me last week

and told me it was his biggest mistake.

He saved a bit of money,

and then he had a lot of problems with that product.

Now he wants to give up

and buy my product,

even though our product is more expensive than the one he bought.”

When you use stories in your pitches,

you make the biggest impact of all.

You talk about people

who have purchased your product/service a

nd how satisfied they are after using that product/service.

You also tell a story about the person

who didn’t buy your product/service only

to feel disappointed and regret later.

When your customer wants to be that hero

and doesn’t want to be the villain,

the customer finds himself buying

and using your product/service.

And that’s when the transaction is made.

“Arouse in the other person an eager want.

He who can do this has the whole world with him.

He who cannot walks a lonely way.” – Dale Carnegie

*****************

Plan, prepare, review and improve

Your goal is to plan and refine your offer

so that it is convincing enough to build trust

with potential customers

and make them decide to buy in nearly all offers.

At the end of every great sale,

the customer should be eager

to enjoy the benefits of what you’re selling.

Fortunately, this largely depends on your thorough preparation

and continual improvement of your offering.

And mastering presentation skills

is a skill that you can learn.

When I was first trained to sell technology software products,

I was given a series of slides

and asked to memorize them.

During the first few pitches,

because I relied entirely on the structure

and timing of those presentations,

the way I communicated

with clients seemed clumsy and unnatural.

Those slides destroyed my ability

to communicate effectively,

and my sales suffered as a result.

Slides should only serve

as a support for the structure of the offer.

Use them as a reference to reinforce points

and provide visuals.

Don’t rely too much on slides

when making your pitch.

Instead, use the headings in each slide

as a general guide

and talk passionately about your product/service.

Emphasize the benefits your product/service can bring

to customers and give real-life situations.

Do not read the slides.

our potential customers may have read those documents.

Your job is to consolidate information,

add value to the slide, not read the slide.

The best slides are the simplest ones.

Sometimes just a single word

or an interesting image is

all you need to convey the necessary information.

When designing your presentation slides,

I recommend designing two copies.

The first version is the one you will present.

It should provide a sequence of points to present

and images that can make a positive impact that

you can interpret with passion and enthusiasm.

The second copy will be what you send to the customer later

offer for sale.

This copy should be designed

so that potential customers can read a

nd learn the information without further explanation.

Imagine going to 10 different people,

in 10 different industries or sectors.

Make it simple and clear enough for

the reader to understand,

especially the benefits they can enjoy

from using your product/service.

“To sell well is to convince someone else to part

with resources not to deprive that person,

but to leave him better off in the end.” – Daniel Pink

***************

ACTION EXERCISES

Here are seven exercises that you can use to help yourself make

even better presentations in the future.

Explain why a well-prepared presentation is far more effective

than a sketchy presentation

and can change with each new client.

List three reasons why your position in the customer’s mind

is important to a prospect’s buying decision.

Identify three words that customers use

to describe the best salespeople.

Identify three sales methods used by the best salespeople.

List three presentation techniques you can use

to increase the persuasiveness of your offer.

What are three things you can say

to help potential customers develop a mental image

in which they are using

and enjoying the benefits of your product/service?

What are three benefits of using an anecdote in your pitch?

Finally, if there was one action you would take

immediately following the lessons learned

from this chapter, what would you do?

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