Monday, June 9, 2008

Winning At Sales - It's All Emotional

Taking the bull by the horns in leadership can be dangerous. Sometimes people don't want to be led. Great leaders see the value in gaining the respect of their people. So do you have people's respect, or are you a leader wrestling with the bull?

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In a purchasing situation customers avoid being bullied as well - nobody wants to be sold. Especially by a hesitant, desperate or aggravated salesperson.

However, rarely would a salesperson realize until far too late that they have been selling from these three positions. Only after repeated failures do many professionals question their technique.

Gerry Spence, a nationally recognized attorney says that instantly we each sort through billions of items of information, select what is relevant to our decision, and present that decision in the form of a feeling - either a negative or a positive one. I believe this. We humans purchase things, invest in things, follow things and run from things, by split-second responses based on emotion only.

If a salesperson or leader makes us afraid or skeptical that we are going to be harmed in any way, our physical bodies send a signal of fear, anxiety and frustration. Before we can even summon the words, "No thank you", our mental energies (and our wallets) are already blocks away.

To succeed at sales (and leadership as they are truly one and the same) salespeople ask big dollar questions:

How can a salesperson increase his average customer/sale ratio?
How can a salesperson keep the attention of the buyer?
How can a salesperson upsell the customer so they buy more?

Ahh, and there you have it. In those very questions is the reason so many sell with no passion. Because they fear the real answer and preoccupy themselves with "big dollar" questions. Successful selling and successful leadership doesn't come cheap and it doesn't come from those who focus on the buck.

One can never be successful in sales without truly caring about the customer. It is the caring that calms the fears, speaks to the anxieties, and listens to the frustrations - with the intent to protect the customer.

Same with leadership. Good leaders calm the fears, speak to the anxieties and listen to the frustrations - with the intent to protect those being led. Whether leading out as a parent, a manager, or a CEO.

Because on an emotional level - its all emotional. Just ask your child, your spouse, or your customer.