SIMPLE SALES SERIES
Customers Get to Pick
It’s a rule of childhood. Every kid seems to know it. I get to pick my favorite. You don’t. Some folks, as grownups, forget that simple truth. — they make us feel like we should let them pick for us.
That’s called the hard sell.
Ever been told, ‘You HAVE TO see this new product. You WILL LOVE our new service!” ?
What’s your response, right now, reading that? Mine is “You don’t know that! In fact, now I’m predisposed to like it just a little less.”
We’re hype adverse. Put that together with these natural human responses.
- No one likes to be told what to think.
- No one likes to lose the right to pick their favorite.
- No one likes someone else to decide what they need.
We know other folks don’t get to pick — so when they talk as if they do, we back off. If you’ve met a sales rep who brings out these responses in you, it’s no wonder if you are having mixed feelings about taking on a sales role for what you do.
How to Get Customers to Sell Themselves
The question then is: How do we communicate an offer — a product or service — that we’re thrilled about and we’ve done all of the work to know folks will like it too, if only they’ll try it out?
Here’s what to do. You can do this in text or in person. (In text, point 2 looks a lot like an FAQ.)
- Offer a taste — a movie trailer. Make it a little one — spoon sized like at Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors. It might be one example of what you do, a case study, a blog post that you keep for sending to clients, a free weekly seminar, a phone call with you. Whatever you choose. Keep it concise and tightly focused on only one idea. It’s only one scene from your movie — overcome a tendency we have to give the plot away. (Often having the taste as an option makes people feel secure enough to buy without it.)
- Make everything about THEM. Ask questions and listen. Hardly say anythng. Be a verifier. Repeat back what you heard, “I heard you say you’re looking for . . .” Ask questions in that way until you’ve helped them draw a complete picture of your product or service. “I also hear you want . . . and a . . . If I put that together I get a . . . with the features of . . . . Does that sound like the ideal that you wish someone would offer someday?”
- Listen to see how his or her needs line them up with your offer. When you see that, you’ll have the confidence to say so. “We actually do that! Would you like me to tell you about it?” (Don’t worry if the needs and your offer don’t line up, just say so and don’t try to make things work.)
- Talk to the customer/client unemotionally about what you have to offer. You’ll know that you’re going somewhere when the person you’re talking to starts selling you on why it’s a good match. That’s when it’s time to start listening again.
Letting the customer pick is the same as when we were kids. We know what we need and why. We’ll even justify for you why it works for us, in essence selling ourselves on why we should buy.
What do you need to give this a try?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’d like Liz to work with you on these three easy steps, you’ll find her number on the
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To follow the entire series: Liz Strauss’ Inside-Out Thinking to Building a Solid Business, see the Successful Series Page.