I hear this statistic thrown around a lot. Maybe it’s even true.
In fact, on a recent sales call, the guy on the other end of the line said, “I’m your typical Millenial buyer. I’ve already pretty much decided what I’m going to buy before I talk to a salesperson.”
Now, being the salesperson on the end of that call, it’s pretty good news for me, right?
But, what about those people you are calling on who should REALLY consider working with you because you can make their lives SO much better? But, they don’t know about you yet?
You’re kind of in a pickle with them, right?
Here’s what I’ve found really works in those circumstances…
When people consider it so important to be 65% of the way to a buying decision before they talk to me – but I want a shot at a deal, I have found that it’s all in the language I use when I am first talking with my prospect. There are five approaches that I find can really turn a situation around and to my advantage.
#1 – Make them feel smart
What I like to say to make them feel smart is: “You’ve probably already thought of this, but….” and lead into their particular situation and the problem I help solve, like….”purchasing sales training is always hit and miss because you never know if you’re going to get results or if they’re going to stick.”
Now, they will either agree with me. And, I have something to talk about – because I solve this problem. Or, they will disagree and I can probe more into what they’ve done that’s been successful and help them tell me how to help them with their current situation.
#2 – Make them feel smart
The way I like to phrase the next one is: “I’m sure you’ve done your research and are clear on what you want. Would it be OK for me to present you with another idea that might also help you meet your goals?”
Now, they feel like I really get them. They HAVE done their research. And I am here to help them do MORE research to be even more smart! If they really tell me that it’s not OK for me to present them with another idea, then they are definitely not a good prospect. I tell them Thank You and move on. (I do NOT offer to help them in the future. They already know I will. Move on.)
#3 – Make them feel smart
The way I like to do this is – in the middle of a presentation that they have agreed to – I will ask things like: “Should I keep going?” “Is this interesting?”
This gives me a really good read on how they are doing over there. What they are thinking about. And, if we should be moving to the next point. If they are sitting on the other side of the table thinking, “When is this person going to shut up?”, it will just aggravate them to hear me talk more.
When I ask them if it is interesting – I am telling them that they are smart and know how to make great decisions for themselves. When they know that I know this, they are much more likely to think that I am interesting and engage with me!
#4 – Make them feel smart
I’m halfway through a presentation and I ask a magic question, “Thanks for letting me go on about our company, should we keep the idea of working together on the table or it’s not really interesting right now?”
This is a great lead into the close. If they will keep the idea of working together on the table, and they will say it right now, they are more committed to making the deal happen than not.
If they say it’s not interesting, they will feel compelled to tell me why (since I brought it up) and I can shift gears to listen more to what they need to overcome to work with me. Either way, I’ve got great information and I haven’t pressured them one little bit!
#5 – Make them feel smart
I really love this one. I like to say to someone as they are considering doing business – and hopefully with me: “Of course, we’ll move forward with the plan you think is best, but there’s something I’m really excited about that I would love to share. Would you be willing to indulge me for a moment?”
Done well, this approach is wildly disarming.
First, I state the obvious – which most salespeople won’t do – I WILL move forward with the plan they think is best! I am NOT trying to wrest control away from them (but this move will give me WAAAAY more control of the conversation, naturally.)
Then, I appeal to people’s good nature and curiosity. Who could resist?
Moral of the Story – when you are dealing with people who are now 65% decided about their purchase choice before they want to talk with you, Make Them Feel Smart!
And, don’t forget to …
Love ‘em UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl
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