Good morning everyone! Are you listening?
This one might be a bit long, but I think it is important so please stick with me until the end.
In business, (and arguably life) there is no more valuable skill than being able to make sales. More sales solves every problem in business, and in a capitalist economy, if you know how to sell, you will always be ok. But very few people are actually good at it.
There are probably a lot of reasons for this, but the one that I see people get wrong the most often is too much talking and not enough listening. I’ve known this to be the case for quite a while, but something recently set the cogs in motion for me to talk about it today. As I have mentioned, I recently started taking a karate class. So far I am enjoying it and learning a good bit. I have some previous martial arts training so I have a little bit of an advantage when it comes to learning it.
One thing I am struggling with however is that the name of all the techniques are in Japanese. I speak English and my previous training was in a Chinese art so I am having a hard time remembering what is what… but only under one of the instructors. Most of the teachers (and they are incredibly skilled) will demonstrate a move, tell me what we are doing, then tell me the English meaning of the word, then the Japanese. One of the others doesn’t. Additionally I find this one instructor harder to learn form in general.
As I said this instructor is very skilled, but I noticed that when she is instructing she is, for lack of a better term, in her own head. It seems to me she is thinking more about what she is saying, than thinking about what we are hearing and how we are interpreting it (a couple other students confirmed they felt the same).
So what does any of this have to do with sales? The Answer: Everything.
Consider SEO sales. How many emails, calls, PMs etc… have you gotten that started with: “I noticed your website is not ranking on the first page of Google. I can get you there because I am an SEO expert”. I bet some of you have even sent/said similar things… I must admit I have years ago. Do you see the problem? (I mean there are many, but as it relates to the topic at hand) The person with something for sale here isn’t even thinking about what the prospect wants or needs, they are just thinking about what they are saying.
You need the time to get to know a prospect, figure out what they want, why they need them, then if your product can fill that need offer it to them.
Imagine this scenario: You get HVAC company owner Joe to agree to meet with you. What a lot of people would do would immediately go into talking about what their service does… higher ranking, more traffic, more leads and sales etc… That is not a high probability close because you are just presenting a widget, not taking the time to get to know the person.
A better way to handle this would be something like this:
Me: “Hey Joe, how’s business?”
Joe: “Good, could always be better, but going ok.”
Me: “That’s good good to hear Joe… you say it could be better, how so?”
Joe: “Well its going great, but if I could hire another guy and add another truck then I could cover the next town over as well.”
Me: “I hear you Joe. Let me ask you this though, why’s it important to cover the next town over?”
Joe: “Well they are building a lot of new hotels and other businesses over there and there would be a lot more work for us.”
Me: “That’s great Joe I hear ya. So let me ask you this, you said things were going good, is there a specific reason you need the extra work from the next town over?”
Joe: “Well my daughter Sue is starting college next year and I would love to take my family on another vacation before she leaves. Also my guys I have now work their ass off for me and they haven’t had a raise in 2 years. I would love to take care of them.”
Me: “That’s great Joe and I hear ya, I like to take care of my people too.”
Me: “Well Joe what if I told you that I have a way that I can help you get enough new business where you are now so that you could hire that guy, and buy that truck you need to expand into the next town over. I can even help you get more work in that town… and then you’ll be able to take care of your team and have that vacation with Sue and your family before she heads off to college. I’d love to sit down with you for a few minutes and show you for free how I have helped other HVAC companies get the results you are looking for, and Joe when I am done the only problem you will have is deciding on whether to take your family to Hawaii or Disney World. Sound good?”
See the difference? We took the time to ask questions, and listen to what the prospect was telling us and then let him know that we have the cure for what ails him. Which do you think will be more effective? This isn’t theory by the way.
Here is a real example of something similar I had in a conversation recently with someone that is now a client. Like I said, this stuff just works. Do you think you could do a better job of thinking about what your audience is hearing, and listening to what they need?
If so let me know in the Profiit Academy Daily Facebook Group. If you want to check out a great book/audiobook on sales and persuasion check out Way Of The Wolf by Jordan Belfort some really great stuff in there.
Sorry this went on so long but I think it is an important topic and I hope it will help some of you.
Talk to you tomorrow.