by Michael D. Hargrove
Have you ever wondered why a particular technique works well for everyone else but you? The most common reason for this is that we haven’t taken the time, or made the effort, to make it our own.
For any technique to be effective we must first adjust it to our own vocabulary, philosophy, selling style, and company culture. If we just try to spit out a technique exactly as we heard it, without first making these adjustments, there’s a very good chance the delivery will seem forced and unnatural. And even though our intent is to make the buying process easier for our customer, they may assume that we’re being disingenuous, thus eroding whatever confidence or rapport we may have succeeded in building with them.
Then, once we have made it our own, we need to master the technique by role-playing it over and over again until it becomes second nature.
Here’s a quick and easy way to do this.
First, we need to familiarize ourselves with the technique. To do this, we simply need to silently read the talk track to ourselves four or five times. The frequency will vary from person to person, of course, and we aren’t memorizing it yet, but basically we need to keep reading it in our heads until we can anticipate which line comes next. What we’re also trying to do is determine what psychological or selling principles are involved in this talk track. In other words, when it works, what makes it work. We do this so that when we adjust the technique to make it our own, we won’t compromise the psych or selling principles involved.
Next, we want to personalize it. We’ll need to read the technique out loud to ourselves approximately five times. This will allow us to hear how it sounds when we say it and to modify it so it becomes natural for us to deliver. As before, the frequency will vary from person to person but this step shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. To do this, the first or second time we read it out loud we need to do so with a highlighter in our hand. If we come to a word or phrase that feels too uncomfortable, or that we keep stumbling over, we just highlight it and keep going until the end. Then we go back and decide; do we add this word or phrase to our vocabulary (by saying over and over again until we own it) or do we substitute it with a like meaning word or phase that already is in our vocabulary? Then we take the now personalized talk track and continue to read out loud a few more times.
Lastly, we need to anchor it. We need to create muscle memory. To do this, we take the final (personalized) version of this technique and role-play it until we master it. By mastering it, I mean it needs to become second nature to us. It needs to be retrieved and delivered with little to no effort at all. The frequency and amount of practice needed to achieve this will also vary from person to person but this shouldn’t take more than ten highly focused minutes. Then, once we master it, we’ll still need to practice it every once in a while to keep it current and ready to use when we need to. The goal is to move past simply delivering techniques and move towards having directed conversations.
This method of learning utilizes the three main learning modes; visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, and the time required to do all of these things is surprisingly small. Twenty minutes or less per technique is usually all we’ll need. Do you have twenty minutes per shift to devote to mastering one new objection or closing skill? If you do, and every one of us had better of admitted that we do, that means in two months time we’ll have mastered around fifty new techniques! How much more effective do you think we’ll be then? How about a year from now?
Make the decision right now to do it. Really commit to it. Then, above all else, have fun doing it!
© Copyright 2013 by Michael D. Hargrove and Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc. All rights reserved. Michael D. Hargrove is the founder and president of Bottom Line Underwriters Inc.