Influencing is at the heart of integrity selling
Many salespeople underachieve because they mistakenly feel that selling is something you do to someone. They believe that once a prospect has been bombarded with a product’s features, advantages and benefits, the sale will be guaranteed. If you (or your team) have patchy sales records, with some customers buying and others not, despite similarity of sales presentation, the likelihood is that you are employing a ‘sell to you’ strategy.
Integrity selling takes a different approach. One that acknowledges how and why people make buying decisions. It is founded on the realization that selling isn’t something you do to someone, but rather something you do with someone, gaining trust and rapport and then influencing the buying decision.
In this post, you’ll learn the 12 rules of influence selling – the first four of which provide the basis for the following eight, which could also be considered as the psychological persuasion tactics in the salesperson’s toolbox.
Prospects are humans, too!
Each prospect you encounter is a complex human being, and not a buying machine waiting for you to press the right button. Just like you and I, your prospect cannot be broken down into several tick boxes. However, there are four basic psychologies which are true of 99% of humans. These traits form the first four rules of influencing a sales decision:
1. People decide with their emotions, then justify with facts
People trust their intuition. The decision to buy something is an emotional one, not a rational one. The features of a product don’t sell it, the benefits to the customer do. Find the emotional need of a customer, and you are halfway to selling your product.
Once they have made the decision to buy, people then seek to justify that decision with logic. They seek facts that support the decision to buy.
For example, someone falling in love with a house. The house they have already is perfectly adequate, but they must have the new house they have seen. So, they read the sales brochure and justify the purchase by reference to the better energy economy, modern kitchen, and extra outdoor space. They want the house because of the feel good factor. They buy the house because they can justify doing so.
2. People buy value solutions
People buy perceived value. Products and services that they believe will provide the best value solution to their problems. There are many factors included when determining value. These include urgency of need, the benefits your solution offers, what the customer is used to paying, and what price others charge. If you can show that your solution provides a value that appears equal to or lower than the asking price, the customer is more likely to buy.
3. People are suspicious and egocentric
People will ask, “What’s in it for me?” They want a service or product to relate to them personally, and they will be suspicious of your offer (especially if it is priced particularly low). You’ll need to provide evidence of any claim you make about your service or product.
4. People cannot be forced to do anything
You cannot force anyone to do anything. Ultimately the choice to buy is theirs. This brings me to the final eight rules of influence to increase sales, and the psychological influencing skills used by the very best salespeople today.
5. Solicit feedback
Prospects want to know that their views are important, and that you are responsive to them. So, ask them their thoughts and opinions. Let them influence you as you influence them. If there is something they tell you that you don’t understand, ask them to clarify. And always repeat what they have said in your own words, to confirm your understanding.
6. Be positive
Display a positive attitude about yourself, your product or service, and about the prospect’s responses to your questions.
7. Focus on the customer, not the product or service being sold
Let the prospect know that you value the customer above all else, and that your values are congruent with theirs. Your mission is to ensure that the prospect knows they are central to your objectives, and that the sale is secondary. Remember, people are egocentric!
8. Persuasion happens at an instinctive level
Prospects turn into customers by making subconscious decisions, determined by emotional response. They feel the need to buy before they rationalize their decision.
9. Be sincere
Listen to your prospect, and understand their needs. Create rapport by showing empathy, recognizing their concerns, and valuing their views.
10. Reinforce sincerity with your body language
Don’t neglect the importance of body language. Nod approval, make eye contact lean forward toward your prospect to show interest, and smile when appropriate to do so.
11. Be sincere with verbal communication
Of course, the words you use are equally important to the body language they accompany. Use phrases such as “I see”, “I understand”, etc. When asking questions to clarify points made, make sure they are open questions that put the prospect at the heart of the conversation. For example, “Tell me more about the concerns you have”, and “How did that make you feel?”.
12. Use the law of psychological reciprocity
People give back as they receive. The feelings, attitudes and responses you give will be reciprocated. Make your central focus the creation of value for the prospect. Subconsciously, they will want to return value to you. Often, this means buying from you – and then referring you to others.
These 12 rules of influence selling aptly inform the power of integrity selling.
Contact us today, and discover how we could help your sales team to manage themselves, their prospects, and ignite sales.