The Human Dynamics of Selling
By Willa Schecter | August 31, 2004
In the 70's some very successful sales professionals developed a "formula" for selling that was very well accepted and embraced in the marketplace. However as the years went by consumers became all too familiar with the formula, which had become predictable and started to be perceived for what it was: pushy, manipulative and agenda driven.
This is by far the most important aspect of the sale. By understanding what goes on inside of human dynamics you will better understand how sales are made. Here are 3 powerful insights that will increase your odds of walking away with the sale.
1. Human beings are not good listeners.
When we are involved in a converation we listen to what we are thinking about what is being said ... rather than listening to what is actually being said.
The first and probably the most powerful insight that I can give you is that human beings (yes, all 6.5 billion of us) filter everything we hear through an inner dialogue of: "Is this important to me?", "Do I care about this?" or "Do I agree?" Notice that it's all about 'me'. When your client answers 'no' to these questions they will want to stop the conversation.
A typical sales interaction consists of 2 human beings in a 'me' conversation. There's nothing wrong with this - we all do it. What most people don't realize is that most sales are actually lost here , not later on in the objection handling process.
You can 'tell' the client everything you think they need to know. However, they will tune you out if you talk about things they aren't interested in. Outwardly they may appear to be listening - they will probably be looking at you, nodding and smiling - but inwardly they will be looking for a way to stop the conversation.
This is when objections arise, because clients know that they can usually end the conversation - and the sales process - if they throw an objection at you.
The solution is to keep your client engaged by asking curious questions. This way they won't tune you out and they will most probably tell you everything you need to know in order to get the sale.
2. We have short attention spans.
The reason why remote controls work so well for us is that we only have a 10 second attention span. During those 10 seconds we are assessing whether or not the communication is important to us and if it's not, we'll be thinking about dinner tonight or the golf game this weekend.
When you introduce your product or service make sure you talk about what's in it for your customers. No feeds, speeds, price, bigger better, smaller faster information please. Just 2-3 sentences that are designed to have people see something that will make a difference to their business and want to hear more.
Then ask a curious question that will allow your customers to talk about what's important to them and their business.When designing your introduction, keep asking yourself:
- "What's important to a person in their position?"
- "Will they really care about this?"
- "What can I say that will keep their attention?"
- "What can I ask them that will have them talk about what's important to them?"
3. What a difference an attitude makes.
Only 7% of communication is verbal. Your attitude is a far bigger piece of the communication pie. We are all very intuitive and when you have a big old agenda your client will pick up on this. If you are there to 'get' them to buy something, this will show up in your attitude, clients will sense it and - zowy - an objection.
When a client says "no", it's not about what you did wrong in the sales formula; it's about understanding the human dynamic that went on here. Were you more interested in getting the sale than finding out your client's needs? Were you trying to "convince" them of how wonderful your product/service is? Notice what your agenda is for the client interaction, your attitude will reflect this.
Once you take on an attitude of "I'm simply here to introduce myself and my products to determine if they would be valuable to you and your organization", you clients will not feel pushed, manipulated or that you are there to "get" them to buy something and be far more likely to tell you everything you'll need to know in order to meet their needs.
Once you better understand the human dynamics of a sales interaction, it will be easier, more comfortable and far less work to close the sale than ever before.