If you’re tired of getting treated like a salesperson, stop acting like one. Tweet This
Stop selling and start having conversations.
Interactive conversation allows the prospect to take part in the sales presentation and this sort of give-and-take dialog is beneficial to both parties. Conversation is almost always better than a data dump or a 56-slide PowerPoint presentation.
Selling through conversation is the most efficient and least expensive way to improve sales. It’s a proven way to increase revenue, improve skill sets, and make selling more fun.
There are penalties for not selling this way. Prospects and customers make serious decisions about your company based on the professionalism and effectiveness of your sales team.
Employee turnover can be very costly and negative for morale. In other words, a “less-than” sales team can affect more than sales. It can cost you reputation and market share, as well.
We almost always work too hard at selling. Closing a deal should be a natural conclusion to a planned conversation.
So let’s talk about why selling through conversation works so well and how your team can use basic communication to sell more, better, faster.
Conversation–The art of indirect selling
People don’t like to be “sold to” anymore.
Voice mail, invented in 1973 by Stephen Boies at IBM, has made it very challenging for salespeople to get through to prospects by telephone, let alone get an appointment. Prospects routinely use caller ID to avoid sales calls.
And the Internet now allows customers to do business online, which can make it hard to develop relationships, close complex sales or even up-sell.
Heck, many salespeople don’t even like to sell! Some actually tell prospects, “I’m not trying to sell you anything.”
You can get past all this drama by not acting like a salesperson.
When you act as an advocate, it’s less likely that people will treat you as an adversary.
Too often, salespeople are focused on the close. In fact, they should be focused on things that have to happen before the close.
The first 15 seconds
Many sales training programs focus on closing and don’t teach the art of “opening” a sale.
If a seller can’t open, he’ll never be able to close.
Michael teaches a special module on how to open a meeting or a call by drilling down deep into the first fifteen seconds of an interaction.
It turns out that a lot of critical things happen during the first fifteen seconds of a sales call, including the first impression, the “perfect handshake,” and important decisions such as whether the prospect immediately likes and trusts the seller.
And get this–there’s a “first fifteen seconds” in every interaction, not just the introductory meeting. Click on the graphic below for a live demo of the perfect handshake.
Execute the “perfect sales call”
Most sellers get distracted while they’re working.
Sometimes they conduct too much small talk and forget to get down to business. Sometimes they get to talking business too soon.
Sellers often spend too much time talking much about themselves or their company. So while it’s true that strategic conversation is a terrific selling technique, most salespeople don’t listen enough.
Some salespeople forget to talk business at all.
And the art of listening requires that the seller asks very particular types of questions. Michael will teach your sales team to ask non-binary questions–two specific questions that open up dialog like a crowbar.
The chronology of a sale from beginning to end.
Here’s what Michael will teach you and your team:
– 5 questions to pre-qualify the customer
– How to distinguish yourself/your company from the competition at trade shows
– A secret for building trust that nobody makes time for
– How to handle the “nibbler”How to deal with “the flinch”
– Why you should sell to the four buying personalities
– Creative ways to double your referrals
– Networking secrets so you can work a room like a pro
– Tips for reading your customers’ and prospects’ body language
– 3 great ways to deal with price objections
– Why you should always talk about price last
– Why consultative salespeople almost always sell more
– How to increase your sales by 10% by asking one question
– How to sell more online
– Use “trial closes” to better qualify and increase closing ratios
– The art of “pre-selling” and how it saves scads of time
– Why you shouldn’t read books on how to sell
– The art of what some call “storyselling”
– Two questions that open up sales dialog like a magic key
– 22 sales closes that work (no single close works all the time–see below)
– Speed up the selling cycle so you can make more money
– And much more! Contact Michael’s office here, if you’d like to increase sales in as few as 90 days.
There are at least 22 ways to close a sale
Of course, every seller wants to be better at closing.
A high closing ratio puts food on the table and offers not just job security, but employability. Some might argue that a solid closing ratio offers other valuable things like self-esteem and confidence.
Michael will teach your sales professionals 22 ways to close a sale–because no single close works every time:
– Learn selling techniques from other industries
– Use an effective Trial Close to save you tons of time and anguish
– Use The Natural Close to get the prospect to close himself
– Deliver the Assumption Close without being arrogant or manipulative
– Employ the famous “Three Question Close”
– Adopt a Personality Close that works best for each prospect
– Close deals as you walk out the door using the Doorknob Close
– Learn to love objections and then execute the Redirect Close
– Use the close every salesperson needs, but never wants to use
– Employ the Silence Close as your secret weapon
– Find the best books and audio programs on selling
– Learn a Non-close that makes the prospect want your product even more
– Make sales calls almost effortless with the Pre-Sell Close
– Benefit from a powerful Two-Word Close that rocks
– Apply the Half-Nelson Close and smile at how easy it is
– Perfect the surprising and odd Porcupine Close
– And much more!
Michael will work with you to customize the exact language to use when selling your particular services and products.
What clients are saying
Check out some of the testimonials from Michael’s clients:
“I attended Rainmaker training at Michael’s home and his tips helped me and my team obtain over $2.5 million in business within 90 days. Amazing!”
-Bridget Grewal, Packaging Consultant, Surgere Inc., Birmingham, MI
[Update: Bridget reports that the total return-on-investment from Michael’s training is now closer to $4 million. These types of results cannot be guaranteed.]
“More of my calls will be perfect sales calls from now on!”
“Sales coaching with Michael was very productive. We had to re-visit several issues covered early on. I had allowed bad habits to creep back, such as relying on my memory during sales calls.
Michael picked up on this immediately and helped me organize written talking points so that I don’t leave anything out of the selling conversation. More of my calls will be “perfect sales calls” from now on.
Also, Michael asked me to make a “punch list” of what to work on before he came to town, which is why our time together had maximum value. Upcoming results can be directly attributed to Michael’s Rainmaker Training.”
-Josh Boerger, Regional Sales Manager, Flexible Plan Investments, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Contact Michael’s office now, if you’re interested in his keynotes or sales training for your team.
Event-based training vs. sales culture shift
There are at least two ways to increase sales.
The first way is to stage a training event or a series of events. Ideally, these events would involve a selling expert that gets your salespeople to focus on a specific curriculum with a very specific outcome.
Training can be very effective, but usually team members need to be retrained and the messages need to be reinforced from time to time.
Michael, for example, has spoken at annual sales meetings for companies such as Verizon Wireless, Time Warner, Discount Tire, Rayovac, Nissan, and the Barbados Office of Tourism.
The second way to increase sales is to invest in long-term training designed to improve your selling culture in a manner that cannot be achieved during a mere training day or two. A culture shift means that team members would change longtime selling habits now and forever.
If you’re interested in long-term improvement for your sales team, check out Michael’s famous “Rainmaker Sales Training.”