The old adage that “people like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold” is alive and well in the 21st Century. One of the keys to having buyers sell themselves has to do with a very little known psychological principle that says “people tend to support that which they help create”.
What that means is the more a buyer is a participant in the selling process, the more likely they are to buy.
Does your selling process intentionally involve buyer participation? If you’re selling a product that you can demonstrate, did they touch it? Did they feel it? Did they practice with it? Did they get a chance to use it or are they simply someone who sits there and let the sales person do all the talking and all the demonstrating?
How to increase sales by using a written agenda and uncovery
For those of you who are very astute, you will recognize that our Uncovery Worksheet and our setting of an agenda, especially a written agenda, gets the prospect involved from the get go.
This involvement gets them physically and emotionally involved as participants. How involved are your prospects in your selling process? Or are you the one who does it all and they sit there like bumps on the log waiting to make a decision when you’re finished talking.
How to increase sales by getting prospects to consume your information
Another form of involvement is the consuming of information. How much information about you, your company and what you do and who you work with does your prospects consume prior to your first meeting with them? Has your prospect read information about you?
Do you send them anything to read? Have they been to your website to read anything or to watch any videos or to download any reports? Have they received the CD from you with an interview with some your of your clients in the form of testimonials? Have they participated in a free come, look and see tour of your office where they get to meet the staff – an open house if you will. Have they done any of those kinds of things physically or online or in print? If they have done none of those things and you hit them cold the very first time, they don’t know you. If they have never really heard of you and you just show up you are operating at a significant handicap. Getting them involved in consuming information about you and being involved in the selling process will take you from minus 80 to at least zero when you first meet with them.
Getting prospects or buyers involved in the selling process requires that you intentionally slow the process down. You slow it down to get them to consume information about you and to participate to some degree in the completing of some sort of survey or worksheet or uncovery or needs analysis before you ever go see them. If you don’t have them do that and you rush out and go see them, you have no opportunity whatsoever for them to consume any information or participate in the process with you.
That strategy puts too much pressure on you to hit a home run while in front of them. You’ve got to be everything when you go out there and you’re only going to get one shot to impress them.
Two problems with that approach. First of all by being so available and willing to run out there on the spur of the moment, you communicate a message that says ‘hey I’ve got nothing else to do’. Your message says ‘hey my time is not very much in demand’ which sends out exactly the wrong message! Sort of like a girl desperate for a date and will take anybody who calls her for a date because she’s got nothing else to do. That’s the kind of impression you give. So, you intentionally want to slow the process down and have your buyers go through a series of steps before you have a face to face interview with them.
An example of how to increase sales by intentionally slowing the sales process down
Recently, I met someone at a social event for one of my other clients. It was an open house and one of my other clients went to the event. I went to the social event as a guest of my client in hopes that I might be introduced to some of her high-end clients. At this event, there were architects and lawyers and high-end financial planners. I went, drank wine and visited with them. During the event, I met a certified financial planner and of course, as you know, everybody asks you what you do.
Well, I don’t carry a business card, what I do carry is what’s called a rack card. It’s a 4 x 9 card that on one side has the front cover of my book printed on it with an offer to go download a free copy of that book electronically (an ebook) along with an MP3 audio and on the backside is the cover of my book that says “Who is Steve Clark”?
Everybody else has business cards. They ask me for a card, I flip out this 4 x 9 card, give it to them and start the conversation. And by the way, this guy calls me and says ‘I went to your website and I looked around and there are some very interesting things you offer. I’d like to set up a time and get with you and kind of go over the things that you do because I think I might be in need of coaching of some sort with you’.
And I said, “well that’s all well and good but before we meet, I need you to do a couple of things. I need to make sure that you have gone through certain places on my website and that you have read certain things about me about what I do and how I do it. By doing that, it will make our time more valuable when we do get together because I’m sure you have a lot of questions for me about what I do and how I do it and who I do it with and those questions can be answered by reviewing my website and when we do get together our time can be better utilized to talk more about issues.” And then I asked him if that made sense and he said absolutely. I told him I would send him three links to my website and to go there and read those three pages on my website.
We then set up a time to get together and talk after he had done his homework. This put me in control from the get go and positioned me as the ultimate authority. And yes, I made the sale. Actually, my material made the sale for me. One of the easiest sales I ever made. That’s how business is supposed to be. Not some grind it out marathon of endless meetings and follow ups that waste time. I urge you to implement it. If you want more information about how to do this contact me.