If your salespeople are using “price” as the #1 reason they did not close the deal, you NEED to read this.
It is estimated that 70 to 85% of ALL salespeople blow the sale during the first conversation with a qualified prospect! This estimate is based upon years of working with business leaders and sales teams.
We have experienced this with salespeople while attending sales calls in the field as well as on the phone.
Perhaps you have heard this vary “excuse” from your salespeople.
The prospects perspective is focused on price for one reason – TRUST! Face it… TRUST is difficult to build in the first meeting. The salesperson only has a short window of time to EARN the target’s trust.
Business leaders present this question, “How can my salespeople overcome the PRICE as an objection?” The answer is both simple and complex.
Simple answer = BUILD TRUST
Complex answer = HOW DO WE BUILD TRUST?
Let us explore the building of a trusting relationship, then we can lay out a way to build this trust with “strangers” who are our targeted prospects.
Building the Relationship
Probably one of the oldest questions facing mankind, “What are the ingredients of a trusting relationship?”
According to a blog written in January of 2017 by Therapy & Co. Relationship Center titled, “7 Ingredients of Trust” are as follows:
Defining and servicing the above “ingredients” during that first conversation would be overwhelming however, let start with some minor steps which may lead to these 7 ingredients.
When humans no longer care about something like a car, their home or perhaps a person in their life neglect sets in, and the object or that person experiences a disconnect. The opposite applies in this situation - when someone truly CARES for something or someone, then a strong connection is built and the “thing or person” experiences the warmth of being taken care of, yes?
CARING is one of the most important connectors of building a newly acquainted relationship quickly.
Demonstrating CARE is an emotional transfer when meeting new people as well as solidifying a current relationship.
When a person experiences another person demonstrating CARE, then that person becomes more vulnerable, more open to suggestions and a magnetic attraction is created. Think about a nurse – the more they can show they care, the more vulnerable and open the patient.
The next ingredient that supersedes the above list of “7 Ingredients of a Relationship” is UNDERSTANDING.
The combination of CARE and UNDERSTANDING becomes a POWERFUL CONNECTOR. Here is why… When a human experiences CARE from another they begin to feel comfortable. Demonstrating an authentic desire to UNDERSTAND the prospect or the prospects situation builds upon CARE.
Imagine the last time you met someone, who asked you both personal and professional questions. And while you were answering their question, this person went on to ask deeper questions about the topics you referenced. Questions that were about the answer you provided like, “You mentioned you do not like your boss. What don’t you like about your boss?”
A simple question like this one demonstrates an emotional connection: 1. You heard them say, “They do not like their boss.” 2. You care enough to ask them “Why.” And 3. You have a desire to understand them or their situation.
The natural curiosity of the salesperson begins to move the relationship forward through the conversation that simply shows care and understanding.
“How can my salespeople overcome the PRICE as an objection?” The answer is both simple and complex. We just outlined the SIMPLE way to build the relationship. Now the question is “HOW?”
How Does the Salesperson Build Trust?
Let us first understand the prospect sitting on the other side of the conference room table or on the video conference.
While speaking with the decision maker that person is imagining what it is like to MANAGE YOU. YES, you! In BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS SALES, one of the MAIN responsibilities of your target is managing their VENDORS. This target is saying to themselves, “What will it be like if I change suppliers?” Here is a short list of the thoughts that go through this newly contacted prospect:
- Can they trust you to deliver on time?
- Can they trust you will provide exactly the right product or service?
- Can they trust you will provide the right terms of the agreement?
- Can they trust you will correct any issues quickly and without pushback?
- How can they know that doing business with you will make their job responsibilities easier?
When your clients KNOW that doing business with you and your company will make their life easier, you have now gained confidence. By demonstrating CARE and UNDERSTANDING you will be on your way to building TRUST, well ahead of your competitors.
So HOW exactly do we accomplish this VITAL objective?
This was the single most important challenge facing Eureka Performance clients years back. Then, we designed, trained, and executed on this project and tracked the results.
First, we realized that most of the salespeople we observed in the field as well as behind a telephone or on video screen was the salesperson speaking both logically and critically about the advantages of doing business with their organization and how they would benefit from their products / services.
While this technique can be effective, the #1 objection from the prospect was to “match” or “beat” the competitors pricing. When this occurred, it was obvious that TRUST was not established. So how can we get the NEW prospect to say, “I want to do business with you!”
We looked at the above technique, knowing that the “solution” sales style would be more effective. However, even using this age-old technique was oftentimes ineffective in closing the deal or moving to the next steps.
What was realized right away was how the salespeople were speaking to their prospects CONSCIOUS MIND. This was a HUGE BREAKTHROUGH and here is why:
PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST AGREE THAT THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND IS BETWEEN 50,000 AND 500,000 TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN THE CONSCIOUS MIND! THEY ALSO AGREE THAT 85 to 95% OF EVERY ACTIVITY WE HUMANS PERFORM EVERYDAY IS CONTROLLED BY THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND!
When we look at a few traits of these two sections (Let’s call them sections) of the mind, here is what we find:
Ok, so what! So, the subconscious contains all this POWER, what has that got to do with sales?
Good question. When we observed salespeople presenting their product / service, the conversations are centered around the features and benefits or solutions. Even if the salesperson took the time to learn about the prospects needs, their focus was only connecting with the CONSCIOUS mind of the individual; leaving the SUBCONSCIOUS to decide on it’s own weather or not the salesperson could be TRUSTED.
This was when the GAME CHANGED!
Research and development of the CONVERSATION FLOW
We first needed to discover a way to get the person’s PROTECTIVE NATURE of their SUBCONSCIOUS MIND to feel comfortable. Once the subconscious mind is relaxed then the salesperson can ask discovery questions. Without this vital step, the prospects subconscious mind will not allow this STRANGER to reveal any weaknesses or “chinks” in the person’s identity.
Have you ever experienced a prospect respond to your questions with either a one-word answer, or a 5-minute story? If so, this is their subconscious mind “deferring” the TRUTH. If this STRANGER were to learn of their ACTUAL situation, then the prospect will be laid vulnerable, revealing TOO much to this “untrusted stranger.”
Breaking down the barrier that exists with any NEW RELATIONSHIP is easy, simply ask permission to ask questions and the first few feet of the top of this barrier comes down. We will never learn the TRUTH with the prospects IDENTITY PROTECT PROGRAM in full alert?
Step 2 - Getting to the TRUTH
Ask your TOP question and pay full attention to the answer. Do not interrupt if their answer is long winded. Let them talk. While they are talking, you are taking copious notes, yes?
These next 2 techniques are where you can BEGIN demonstrating genuine CARE and UNDERSTANDING.
Listen attentively to the KEY WORDS / PHRASES the prospects subconscious mind is saying. The pot of gold lies in these KEW WORDS. Here is why - Despite the subconscious mind’s protective nature, it really wants to reveal EVERYTHING to SOMEONE they can trust, ESPECIALLY if this person sitting across the table has a solution to their problem.
These KEY WORDS are where the answers to your questions will uncover the REAL situation, the TRUTH - all while building TRUST through CARE and UNDERSTANDING.
While the prospect is answering your question, (remember, only ONE question) you NEED to write down the KEY WORDS you hear and we suggest abandon the “copious note taking.” By doing this exercise, your very OWN SUBCONSCIOUS mind will memorize EXACTLY what the prospect said. And, you will now be in the position to ask your next question.
Using the key words the prospect’s subconscious revealed to you, ask your next question. This question MUST be a clarifying question, again, with THEIR key words injected into your question.
Here is an example:
- Tell me about your responsibilities here at ABC company
- Well, I'm in charge of the entire network!
- Wow, that sounds like a lot of responsibility... What is your biggest challenge being in charge of the entire network?
- Keeping up with all the latest technology.
- Yeah, I understand... times are changing rapidly. What segment of the latest technology concerns you the most?
- Cyber Security.
- Ah, I understand... What are your concerns surrounding cyber security?
Get the drift, yes? This process takes practice. As a sales professional you practice, right?
Ok, if this sounds too simple, it might very well be too simple. The prospects subconscious is revealing these small windows of opportunity to YOU, the salesperson, the stranger in the room. However, the prospects subconscious is now learning about how much you care because you are LISTENING and are taking the time to LEARN of the TRUE situation the prospect is experiencing.
This portion of the CONVERSATION FLOW could take 3 minutes or could last more than an hour. Either way, this is your opportunity to BUILD TRUST.
Step 3 - Solidifying the Relationship
Empathy has power. We will visit this in just a moment.
You have opened up the subconscious mind of the prospect and they have willingly revealed their situation and you know and possess the CORRECT SOLUTION to resolve their issues. BEFORE you start selling your product / service, repeat back what you have heard and confirm with the prospects SUBCONSCIOUS MIND that you heard correctly.
Ask for them to add to or correct your observations will further demonstrate that you CARE enough to truly learn of what they are experiencing.
NOW you provide EMPATHY, showing them that you care and understand. Statements like, “Wow, if I were in your situation, I would feel embarrassed” or use any other emotion, value or belief you feel is appropriate for the prospect.
You can always simply ask, “How does that make you feel?” but I find that male salespeople have a difficult time with this question, female salespeople seem to be more comfortable asking how people feel. So guys, get it together… you are no more or less of a MAN asking the “FEEL” question.
Step 4 - Closing the Deal
You have revealed pain or at least a strong need, you have repeated back what you have heard and empathized with your prospect; now it is time to close the deal.
One simple question that will solidify the deal… “Assuming we have a solution to resolve “X” problem and “Y” issues would you do business with me / us?”
Now you have to opportunity to provide the features and benefits of your product / service or gather the information needed to provide a detailed quote.
The science behind this proprietary (application in US office for copyrights) process has been tested and proven in the field and behind video conferences as the best way to control the conversation and build trust through caring and understanding. Your prospect as well as your current clients will feel that you genuinely CARE enough to take the time to UNDERSTAND them, their needs and to provide solid solutions to the issues they face in the work environment.
The development of this program started in the late 2014’s and was first tested in the early 2015’s. As of this writing, there has only been one prospect answer “no” to the first question, “Can I ask you a few questions?”
When first learning this technique, most salespeople will ask permission to ask questions, secure the “yes” and ask their first question; listen for the answer and then “abandon the CLARITYING QUESTION ship” and ask a totally unrelated question, causing the protective nature of the subconscious mind to lock down the conversation.
Staying “on point” with just one topic, listening for the key words or phrases and asking clarifying questions are the KEYS TO BUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP quickly. If you, as a salesperson only do these three steps you will be lightyears ahead your competitors or perhaps displace the incumbent vendor.
For a copy of the actual 10 steps of the Conversation Flow simply click on the button below and we will email you the formal outline along with the step-by-step process for you to follow or train your salespeople.
FAQ About Selling to the Subconscious Mind
Why asking permission to ask questions lowers the “Barrier” between the prospect and the salesperson?
Most prospects have sat in front of salespeople before. And MOST salespeople start the “SALES” conversation with various questions. Over time, this protective nature will become stronger, and that next salesperson will have to overcome this massive barrier. By asking permission we get the prospect's subconscious to say, “YES.”
Once the subconscious is engaged, it becomes just a little relaxed and open to answering questions. By using the “KEY WORDS OR PHRASES” in your “CLARIFYING” questions the prospect slowly (and cautiously) provides more in-depth answers with additional KEY WORDS. Continuing this type of questioning using the KEY WORDS the prospect clearly realizes that the salesperson is listening AND that they CARE enough to utterly UNDERSTANDS them. Our subconscious LOVES to be UNDERSTOOD.
Now, the prospect’s subconscious is learning of how much you CARE and is revealing things they never thought they would say to a stranger.
When following the Conversation Flow, wouldn’t the prospect become suspicious with the line of questioning?
Just the opposite – the subconscious is very generous with people it trusts. Once you have learned how to “Speak to the Subconscious Mind” the receiver enjoys revealing the truth. I have witnessed prospects say to salespeople who use this technique, “Why I have just told you my life’s story!”
What is the best way for me to learn how to use this technique in my sales conversations?
Practice! And practice some more. Learning my Conversation Flow is easy – Mastering the technique takes practice. Practice listening for KEY words in every conversation you have (with humans not your pets) and respond with a clarifying question.
This works amazingly well with everyone in your life, family, friends, kids and parents as well as romance! If you are single in search of a partner, use the Conversation Flow to win a romantic partner over and beat out the competition!