Because I work in the sales industry, I coach salespeople on their accomplishments as well as work with them on some of the difficult challenges that we all face in our daily sales lives. One of the challenges is salespeople’s inability to get their clients to believe what they say. And, even more so, an inability to speak the truth.
Your clients have set up a “shield” around them when it pertains to salespeople. Why? Come on now—we all know why! Do the words intimidation, manipulation, and hype come up for you? How about embellishment? Or how about the bad experiences your client has with the assembly of salespeople lined up in the lobby each week? You know EXACTLY what I mean. Unfortunately for us in sales, our customers have their past sales experiences to deal with—experiences that affect us when we’re speaking with them.
Build Intimacy With Your Clients
How do we solve this challenge? By building intimacy with your clients! There are many ways to increase your intimacy-building skills in order to make more money. Don’t confuse intimacy with rapport—every salesperson can build rapport—but only true professionals can build intimacy with their clients. So what is an easy way for the salesperson to up-level into intimacy with their clients? Well, it is easy as “One, Two, Three!”
That’s correct: One, Two, Three! In other words, giving information in the form of first-party, second-party, and third-party. Here is an easier way for you to remember. If I tell you about the big fish I caught, you’re not as likely to believe me as you would if Tony steps up and tells you about my catch. What if Tony told you about my fish and backed up the story with a photo? Or another way to look at it is that you may not believe me but you might believe my mother!
Most sales people live in the first-party world, the world of telling their clients from a first-person platform, such as “tell the client, and when you get done telling them, then tell them again.” Well, telling them too many times is redundant and may trigger memories of a negative past experience. Beyond that, it’s HOW you tell them that will make a difference. Telling them things that come from a first-party platform, in most cases, will never move you towards closure or intimacy: it will always move you away.
A second-party platform is utilized by salespeople who like to tell stories. Sometimes it is effective, sometimes it is not, though it is always better than telling something from a first-party platform. Storytelling can be effective in making points with clients—as long as they are a socializer or relater; directors or thinkers consider stories a waste of time. So we need to think of a better way.
The better way is to speak and share, whenever possible, from a third-party platform. Remember, it’s easy as one, two, three. A third-party platform offers evidence to your client that in almost all cases is more believable and effective than information from a first-or second-party platform. Even better, all the main types of client personalities that salespeople deal with (directors, socializer, relaters, and thinkers) are moved towards closure and intimacy through a third-party platform. Using third-party evidence builds intimacy with your client and increases your sales strength and position with them.
SalesMastery Client Believability Scale
When you present, where do YOU rate with your clients? Low, medium, or HIGH believability? It could be as easy as one . . . two . . . THREE!
Tools That Help Build a Third-Party Platform:
- Newspaper, Magazine, or Internet Documentation
Find articles or information related to your industry that can bolster your position or product. Prepare them professionally by having them laminated for your presentation. Scan them to include in your PowerPoint presentations, and leave copies with your clients. Create a permanent record of these on your website.
- Your Personal Business Website
Your personal track record is important to your clients, so establish a website that your clients can visit before your appointment. The four main personalities (director, socializer, relater, thinker) all come to satisfaction through knowing your personal track record. Your website can be a wonderful and inexpensive tool that, when used properly, can satisfy all four main personality types by providing your personal track record from a third-party platform. It’s the internet telling them about you versus you telling them about you. Make sure that when you design your site, you mix professional along with family or personal information. This way, no matter your client’s personality style, they’ll find something of interest on your site.
- Use Visual Impressions
Your client processes visual information 66,000 times faster than auditory information. So using photographs, charts, or any other type of graphics connects you better with your client, building intimacy and closing the sale. I share with some of my audiences, “If your lips are moving, you should be pointing or clicking,” meaning that when you speak to a client, point to an article about a particular subject, or fire up the internet and refer to information on a website that will back you up.
- A Recorded Voice Message
Have a short (less than five minute) recorded message that covers the main points about you, your company, and your product or service. The message could be in the form of a voice message on a local phone number, it could be a message provided on an 800 number for your long distance clients, or via a “click” on your website that allows a message to be played by the client visiting your site. This is an incredible third-party convenience that you can offer and, remember, most other salespeople would never take such a step! What should you put in your recorded message? Three-to-five minutes of bullet points that will be meaningful to your client as it relates to you and your products or services. Do hire a professional voice to perform the message!
- Fast Facts Profile
Create a one-page document that covers the main points about YOU, your company, and services. Each Fast Fact should be some item that will buy you many points when the client reads about them. From your education to your family background, to the main points and accomplishments of your company’s products and services, your Fast Facts document will save you time in building intimacy with your client. Make sure that your Fast Facts are included in all your initial documentation that you provide to a client, backed up with a faxed form, and included on your website. What do you title the hyperlink? “Fast Facts” of course!
- Utilize Your Managers & Corporate Office Staff
Many of you work in a structure that includes some sort of corporate umbrella. Under that umbrella, in most cases, are managers or staff who are experienced and financially connected to you. They should be available to help or assist with your clients. It’s certainly a positive move to allow a manager to have access to your clients in an ongoing intimacy-building discussion, one that regardless of the outcome of the call, the manager listens to the clients and builds intimacy. Use your managers—let them help you!
Testimonials from a third-party platform can be a very powerful part of your sales process. Wherever your career is at, compiling testimonials on yourself and or your company is another way to build intimacy and your personal track record. Begin gathering and filing these right now. Remember, you need to ask for them to get them. As an example, when I finish speaking to an audience, I have them fill out a two-page evaluation of my speech. Included in that evaluation is a place for testimonials.What to do with testimonials? First, condense them into bullet points. Then use them on:
- Your personal website
- Your Fast Facts Profile
- The footer of your outbound e-mails
- Your PowerPoint presentations
- Back of your business card or Main Point Card
By implementing these suggestions into your method of operation, you are virtually guaranteed a few more sales each month! These intimacy-building skills will work as long as you remember . . . it’s as easy as one, two, three![ssba_hide]