This Month’s Selling Principle:
Building Credibility by Defining Terms
What would it mean to you if you were to pick up a skill that enabled you to quickly build rapport and credibility with your customers and help you earn more of their trust? Would it be worth a little bit of effort and time to master it? And how excited would you be if you could start using this skill with your very next customer?
Then pay close attention to this month’s selling principle: “Defining Terms”.
The average salesperson, especially those of us with experience, tend to assume we know what our customers mean when they use terms like, “good value, high performance, very safe, fully loaded, too high, not enough, sexy, cheap, reliable”, etc. Because we’ve heard these terms before, and because we’ve had some success dealing with these terms in the past, most of us simply launch into time proven word tracks or strategies confident that we’ll get the same good results.
And when we don’t, we’re left scratching our heads in confusion. We end up saying to ourselves (or our managers), “But I showed them all of the safety features!”, if our customers mentioned “safety” or “This thing couldn’t have another option added to it!”, if our customers mentioned “fully loaded”.
What we neglected to do was find out how our customers defined the term “safety”. We never took the time to find out what they meant by “fully loaded”. And it’s something very easy to do. Until we take the time to define our customer’s terms, each time we use the words “safety” or “fully loaded” we just sound like a salesperson trying to make a sale.
I’d like you to do this today. I’d like you to add these few questions to your toolbox right now and use them when you’re performing your investigation or trying to determine your customer’s needs. Take the time to personalize them, of course. Here they are:
“_________ (safety, fully loaded, good value, sexy, etc) means something different to each of my clients. What does it mean to you?”
“_________ is obviously very important to you. How come?”
“Because each of my clients have different expectations, let me ask you this: How will you know when it has enough _________?”
“What else should I know about _________?”
“I hear you say ________. Could you please expound upon that for me?”
“And just to clarify my thinking, why is _________ so important to you?”
“What else could you share with me to help me better understand the importance of _________ to you?”
Let me ask you something. Do these questions sound like we’re trying to close them? No, we sound like we’re trying to understand them. Do we sound like every other salesperson they’ve had to deal with in the past? No, typical sales people only ask typical sales questions. And who’s interest does it sound like we have at heart? Theirs, right?
Once our customer has defined their terms to us, we need to paraphrase back to them what we heard. This confirms to our customer that we understand what THEY mean by THEIR terms. Now, whenever we use those same terms, those words will have more meaning and have more weight, because they know we’re operating in the same world as they are with the same definitions.
When we point out a safety feature or show a convenience option, we’ll be building value and justifying cost based on what they have already told us. Now, when we use the terms “safety” and “fully loaded”, we sound like someone looking out for their interests, welfare, and satisfaction, not just a salesperson trying to make another sale. Everything we say from then on will be more credible and seem like it’s tailored to their specific wants and needs.
This one skill set is quick, effective, and easy to add to our arsenals. It allows us to better understand our customers, build rapport more quickly and easily, and separates us from the rest of the field. All of which are important in today’s market, aren’t they? Add it to your toolbox today.
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care.”
Objection of the Month: “The price/payments are too high.”
These are just a few of the most common strategies shared at the workshops we’ve conducted all across North America and attended by thousands of the top sales people in our field. Please keep in mind that nothing works all the time, and no one thing will work for everybody. Each of these strategies, of course, need to be tailored to the individual user, to the specific customer, and the particular situation. Also, this is by no means the definitive work on overcoming this particular objection and it’s not intended to be.
a. “How much too much?”
b. “Liz, the price properly reflects the safety, performance, and quality that you’ll be enjoying for the next four years of ownership. Let’s wrap this thing up so you and your family can start enjoying your new car. While they’re finishing up the rest of the agreement, let me get you all something cold to drink. Who wants to come and help me carry the drinks back?”
c. “Mitch, didn’t you say this car is for your wife? Sue, you understand why Mitch wants you to have the airbags and the anti-lock brakes, don’t you? Now Mitch, wouldn’t you agree that Sue’s safety is worth a few extra dollars a month? Let’s put this thing to rest so you both can put this shopping stuff behind you and start enjoying your new car. Should we register this in just Sue’s name or both names?”
d. “Bart, you originally said that your major concerns were reliability and economy, right? Isn’t it true that the money you’ll save in gas and upkeep over the next three years is more than worth the additional $300 in original investment now? Just OK your purchase right here and we’ll get them started on the rest of the agreement. Did you want to use my pen or yours?”
e. “Of course it is Rachel! Tell me though, other than price, is there any other reason why we can’t send you home in your new car today? No? Good! Now you said that you usually keep your cars for five years, did I hear you right? You also said that you’ll use it mostly for business and that you’ll carry clients in it a lot, right? Well, isn’t the prestige and extra influence this car will bring to your career worth a few extra cents a day it’ll cost over the next five years? Let’s wrap this thing up. Exactly how do you want it registered?”
f. “What’s easier for you, an extra $4000 up front or an extra $100 per month?”
g.> “If you had $5000 deposited in a CD, what would you expect your rate of return to be? Heck, the state charges you ____% tax and what services do they really provide?”
h. “Let me ask you this, Ms. Customer, currently how many of your payments are too low? All payments are too high, right? You see, that’s simply the nature of payments. The fact is, three years from now when you’re ready to replace this vehicle, you’ll be trying real hard to keep your payments right around the one that today …seems a bit too high. Just like now, you’re trying to keep your payments right around the ones that three years ago, seemed a bit too high. That’s just the nature of payments. You love this car, and we both know you can afford it. Why don’t you just go ahead and get it?”
i. “If paying $XX more per month for the vehicle you love is too much, how do you justify continuing to pay $XXX per month for a vehicle you don’t even want anymore?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I’m just looking, not buying today.” We need YOUR input!!! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to [email protected].
“How we use our mind is crucial to our finding and getting what we want out of life, and giving what we want to it.”
How to Survive the Business of Living
by Karen Kaiser Clark, The Center For Executive Planning
Real is the person who does not define happiness as an absence of problems. Surviving this business of living is a difficult ordeal at times. How can we retain a healthy sense of humor and experience a sense of balance in our lives? How can we realistically and yet with a sense of wonder live fully and not just survive? How can we maybe even celebrate this business of living? To answer some of these questions we will focus on seven points.
Life Isn’t Fair
No matter how good we get at this business of living, none of us gets out of it alive. Frustrating, isn’t it! Life doesn’t always deal us a good hand and doing our best doesn’t always pay off with a positive.
Growth is seldom easy and pain is an integral part of our human condition. Everybody hurts. It’s just that some of us are better actors in hiding the pain we feel. Seldom if ever … are all of our ducks in a row.
Loneliness and Alikeness
Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, “We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.” We have all known moments of apartness and empty loneliness. Embracing that reality is essential if we are to cope effectively.
We each have a choice to be either a death-peddler or a life-giver. We are responsible for the choices we make. We can become most of what we wish to be if we are willing to change and pay the price.
A poster reads, “God don’t make junk.” People are special and each is, “Beautiful in his/her own way.” We are more than our accomplishments!
People Need People
Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. All of life occurs within relationships. We need to know we are needed and so do those we need.
Life is not just one big problem to be solved. Rather, it is a mystery to be experienced, all the more meaningful and beautiful when it is shared and celebrated with other persons who are committed to “growing deep, not just tall!”
Just for Today I Will Be Happy
by Sybil F. Partridge
This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from within, it is not a matter of externals.
Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.
I will take my family, my business and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.
Just for today I will take care of my body.
I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.
Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind.
I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
Just for today I will I will exercise my soul in three ways.
I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William Janmes suggests, just for exercise.
Just for today I will be agreeable.
I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, not find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.
Just for today I will try to live through this day only.
Not to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twelve hours that would appal me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
Just for today I will have a program.
I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests, hurry and indecision.
Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax.
In this half-hour sometimes I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective into my life.
Just for today I will be unafraid.
Especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.
“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
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