This Month’s Selling Principle:
How to Control Most Any Argument
Would you like to know a simple way to control virtually any argument? I’ll assume you just shook your head “yep!”.
First and foremost, we need to keep in mind that two of the most basic of all human needs are to be valued and understood. Virtually every one of us have these two needs in common. Next, we need to understand what an argument actually is. An argument is simply two people trying to be valued and understood at the same time.
In your mind, go back to the last party you attended. Now, try to remember the two guys in the corner who were arguing all night long. As the first guy was talking, you could almost see the wheels turning in the second guy’s head. He was going over and over in his mind what he was going to say when it was his turn. When the first guy was finished, did the second guy begin by paraphrasing back to the first guy what he thought was said? Nooooo! The second guy just starts right in on explaining his point of view. What do you guess the first guy is thinking? Yep! He’s thinking, “I guess this idiot didn’t hear me the first time…I wonder how I can say it better next time it’s my turn to speak?” When the second guy is through explaining his views, does the first guy paraphrase back to the second guy what he had heard? Nope! He just starts right in with his new and improved way of explaining what he had said to begin with. The poor second guy is now forced to think of a better way to make himself heard and it goes on and on like this forever or until one of them decides the other is just too closed minded or stupid to understand.
Sound familiar? Okay, then here’s how we can control most any argument; let the other person be valued and understood first. We can accomplish this by using the skills of Active Listening and Agreement Framing.
If we are allowing them to go first, aren’t we controlling the situation? But something else magical happens. By allowing the other person to feel valued and understood first, we open them up to listening to us, to listening to our point of view. What we are doing is pacing their need to be valued and understood, pacing their need to be listened to. We must first pace the other person (build rapport) before we can have any real chance of leading them to our point of view. Which, of course, is the right one, they just don’t know that yet.
Active Listening is a skill familiar to most sales people, so I won’t take the time to cover it here. If it’s new to you, it is explained in detail in the article entitled: The Two Things Every Customer Wants From Us posted in the Articles section of this website.
Agreement Framing is simply stating our point of view beginning with whatever the other person has said that we also agree with. In other words, after first paraphrasing back ALL of their points of view (which is the last step to Active Listening), then even if we disagree with 90% of what the other person has said, the first thing we focus on should be confirming the 10% that we do agree with. This, coupled with Active Listening, goes a long way to breaking down people’s defensiveness.
Dr. Stephen Covey, author of the book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People says it this way, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is very sage advice in my opinion.
Next month we’ll cover the skills of pacing and leading in more detail. But in the meantime, this is how we can control almost any argument that will ever happen again in our personal or professional lives. Take this to work with you and most importantly, take it home with you too. I’m confident you’ll be very pleased with the results you’ll get. Finally, please remember this, the next time you find yourself having an argument with some idiot, just make sure the other guy isn’t doing the same thing.
So, until next time, be well, and do good work!
Michael D. Hargrove
“Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you.”
“Health and wellness isn’t a matter of doing–it’s a matter of being.”
Dr. Paul Pearsall
Objection of the Month: “I don’t need to drive it.”
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. “That’s okay, no problem, I’ll drive!”
1a. then we just go ahead and switch places halfway through the demo route.
b. “You wouldn’t pay $200 for a pair of shoes without trying them on first would you? Let’s not make the same mistake with a $30,000 car.”
c. “Do you like spending time with salespeople? Neither do I really. Please let’s just take this for a quick spin so I can get a little time away from these guys.”
d. “You know, Mr. Customer, there are only two things that are FREE at any dealership and one of them is the first ride in your new car. And when we get back, may I bring you the only other free thing? Do you like yours black or with cream and sugar?”
e. “There are several critical contact points in making your decision. One of them is where the rubber meets the road. Another is where the seat meets your backside. Let’s make sure you get a chance to experience both, shall we?”
f. “Do you know what P.D.I. means? It stands for pre-delivery inspection. It’s literally the single most important service your car will ever receive. This is where a factory trained technician goes from the front to the back of the car making adjustments and checking levels. This becomes a base point for your car’s personality for the rest of its life. You see all these Accords? Each one drives a little different based on how it was PDI’d. Let’s see if you can tell the difference.”
g. “Look, this thing’s got ________ miles on it. Let’s just make sure no one’s hit a curb with it.”
h. “Have you ever baked anything before? Then you know there’s a recipe that needs to be followed for the dish to come out right, isn’t that true? We can experiment with the minor ingredients, that’s actually the fun of baking, but if any one of the main ingredients are missing, the recipe won’t come out right, right? Well, there’s a definite recipe to making an intelligent car buying decision, and the demo ride…is one of the main ingredients. Let’s make sure this recipe comes out right, shall we?”
i. “Ma’am, I wouldn’t ask you to buy a car you haven’t driven.”
j. “Have you ever seen a movie twice? Did you see different things the second time? Let’s drive this a second time just in case, okay?”
k. “A car, just like a wedding ring, is a major purchase. Unlike a wedding ring, however, a car can’t be resized. So, let’s take a moment to make sure this one fits just right, shall we?”
Next month’s objection will be: “I need my wife/husband.” We need YOUR input! Please forward your ideas on this one, or your suggestions on which objection to cover next, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We become what we think about. And when we’re possessed by an exciting goal, we reach it.”
by Andy Rooney
I’ve learned…. That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.
I’ve learned…. That when you’re in love, it shows.
I’ve learned…. That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.
I’ve learned…. That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.
I’ve learned…. That being kind is more important than being right.
I’ve learned…. That you should never say no to a gift from a child.
I’ve learned…. That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.
I’ve learned…. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.
I’ve learned…. That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.
I’ve learned…. That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
I’ve learned…. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
I’ve learned…. That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.
I’ve learned…. That money doesn’t buy class.
I’ve learned…. That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.
I’ve learned… That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.
I’ve learned…. That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?
I’ve learned…. That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
I’ve learned…. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.
I’ve learned…. That love, not time, heals all wounds.
I’ve learned…. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.
I’ve learned… That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.
I’ve learned…. That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.
I’ve learned…. That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.
I’ve learned…. That life is tough, but I’m tougher.
I’ve learned…. That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.
I’ve learned…. That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
I’ve learned…. That I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.
I’ve learned…. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.
I’ve learned…. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
I’ve learned…. That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.
I’ve learned…. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.
I’ve learned…. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
I’ve learned … That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life threatening situation.
I’ve learned…. That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.
“Take good care of yourself, your family and friends. Make your life anything you wish it to be.”
New Life Summary
Upcoming Public Events:
Retail Automotive Sales: The Professional’s One Day Workshop
“I would recommend even the most experienced sales manager to attend this training. We all fall off track. Michael Hargrove’s training puts you back on track.”
Gurdeep Randhawa, Selma Auto Mall – Sales Manager
“I now have a much better understanding of the car sales business.”
Robert Noyes, Weber BMW Fresno – Client Advisor
“Overall the course was great. I will definitely use some if not all of the material covered and given. I would recommend this course to others. I think I will grow my practice based on the information and material covered.”
Ignacio Samaniego, Zamora Automotive, Merced Toyota – Sales Associate
“This is my third time attending and once again Michael has given me great inspiration and motivation to expand my career.”
Juan Diaz, Merced Honda – Salesperson
Date(s): To Be Announced
Location: Shilo Inn Portland Airport
11707 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97220
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
Date(s): To Be Announced
Location: Hotel to be determined
XXXXX Main Street
Salem, OR 97220
Click here for more info on the 1 Day Sales Pro’s Workshop
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