Most of you probably already know that I LOVE dogs!
I’ve learned a lot about life and love from my own dogs – as many of us have.
A couple of years ago, though, I also learned an incredibly successful sales tool from my dogs. If you’ve ever been around ‘em yourself, I bet you’ll see what I mean.
So, I’m training my 12-week-old lab. Well, actually, my trainer is training ME to get him to cooperate. Which is a little bit crazy with a goofy, needle-sharp teeth, highly distractible, getting-stronger-by-the-day puppy.
She laid a nugget of wisdom on me. She told me about the dog-collar-mechanism. Which, in its most fundamental form, says – “If you pull on your dog’s collar – the dog will immediately pull in the opposite direction”. Huh!
Didja ever notice how that’s true in sales, too?
You make an assertion. And the first thing they do is tell you why you’re wrong.
How do you fix this problem with a sale? Same way you fix the problem with the dog.
Reduce the tension. Make where you want him to go more appealing than where he is now. Have HIM think he came up with the idea of going where you wanted him to go.
With dogs we use cues like treats, or distracting activity, or intriguing noises.
In sales, we use language!
Here are a few of my favorite approaches to working with a prospective client to get his buy-in. Instead of acting like I know everything to solve his problem, I will use phrases like:
“You know your business far better than I do, but it seems to me that….” (Whether they agree with you or they tell you it’s different for them, they are now talking and giving you valuable information!)
OR, I’ll say…
“This probably isn’t true for you, but I find that most of my clients seem to be dealing with this kind of trouble…”(Again, if it is true for them, they are in the same boat with other similar professionals. If it isn’t true, you’ve made them look smart and they will tell you how you can help them solve their unique business need).
OR, I’ll say…
“I doubt this has ever happened in your business, but one of my clients hired me to fix this situation…” (You are probing for information, and you are reducing the tension!)
The hilarious thing about my dogs…I take mine to the beach all the time to chase sticks and balls in the waves. People tell me how well-behaved they are. When, in reality, 99% of the time I am only asking them to do things that I know they are going to want to do anyway!
Remember the dog collar mechanism in your sales conversations and be sure to…
Love ‘em ALL UP!
The Irreverent Sales Girl
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