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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If you want to sell more, stop selling

Do you like to be sold?

Notice that when you see a sales pitch coming, your muscles tense up a bit and you put on your “armor” so as not to be convinced of something you don’t want. Your prospects do the same. Everything you’ve been taught by product companies—about spouting features and benefits screams SALES PITCH and insures that your prospects will resist.

We created a self-study program on selling, and the most frequent question we got was “where’s the section on handling objections?” The only reason a sales person gets objections is because he attempts to sell what the prospect does not want. Of course the prospect will object! Do they object when you offer what they want?

How many times have you shown your prospect the mutual fund brochure or the insurance brochure? In fact, how many times have you mailed it before meeting? If you want to be any more certain of raising your prospect’s resistance, keep sending them product and sales literature. Not only do they resist when you start off in this fashion, they have no interest in your agenda. If you want to get their attention, send an item that addresses their agenda.

In the next few minutes you can learn to stop selling and get the prospect to buy.
The fastest way to get your prospect’s attention is to communicate to them about issues important to them. Their desires (their agenda) are their foremost concern. Here are some common foremost financial concerns:

--To have more income
--To pay less tax
--To have financial independence in retirement
--To protect themselves and family members from financial catastrophes

People are very eager to have these desires satisfied. Wait a minute....don’t you offer products and services that satisfy these desires? Then how come people are resistant when you attempt to sell? Because you have put the cart before the horse. You fail to get their attention before you alienate them by discussing your products and services.

First, get their attention. If you mail items or place an ad, here’s the message:

Concord Retiree increases income by 20% and pays 30% less

(without accountant’s help)

It’s true, John M. retired two years ago and was comfortably living on his retirement income but worried about future increases in his living costs like health care and
utilities. Would his money last? His accountant had no suggestions but John was
able to uncover three simple changes that

Reduced the tax he pays on his social security income
Offset the tax he pays on his pension income
Boosted his interest income to secure his future

Maybe you can benefit from items that John uncovered. Learn what John M. did.
Call and get your free copy of the booklet “Three Ways Retirees Can Cut Taxes
and Enjoy More Income.”

Call 800-xxx-xxxx and get your copy

Notice that the above communication doe not mention any financial product. It does not offer any teaser rate. It addresses only the issues of concern to most every retiree—running out of money.

So when does you product come into the picture? AFTER you have presented the ideas that match your prospect’s agenda. AFTER you have won their trust as a person with solutions and made friends. The last part of the sales conversation is about the specific tools you use, AFTER the prospect has expressed interest in your help because you have gained trust.

In your mind, the prospect’s desires are fulfilled by your financial product. This is so obvious to you that you forget it’s not obvious to the prospect. So when you discuss your product too early, the prospect thinks, “what does this have to do with my concerns?” It’s only after you have fully flushed out the prospect’s concerns can you ask, “If I could help you with that, would you want to know more about it?”

You then explain the solutions in general (no product mention) and confirm with the prospect that your conceptual solution is on target. “Would you like me to recommend the specific solution that will best fulfill what we have agreed on?” Then, when the prospect expresses interest in your recommendation (i.e. he trusts your suggestion), you can show your product.
Put the horse (the prospects agenda) before the cart (your agenda—the sale of your product or service) and your journey with prospects will be more enjoyable and lucrative.

Post provided by Javelin Marketing


Chris said...

Thanks for the reminder that solving other people's problems is the value you are selling them. I think sales people too often lose sight of this fact and get so wrapped up in features that the potential customer must get defensive.