Among the plethora of jobs I have had throughout my life, probably the hardest yet most useful were sales positions. It taught me how to speak to people with confidence and direction.
In my childhood, I sold newspapers and was consistently top sales person in school fundraisers. As an adult I worked as a credit card processor salesman (made more money that lost), debt-collector (very successful), and Collegiate novelty store salesman (I was the Up-Sell King).
Re-framing the Sell
ESTABLISHING CONTROL OF THE SELL
As a seller, you must establish CONTROL of ANY SELL.
From the moment you first interact with a customer you must CONTROL THE SITUATION. You’re basically tell the customer what to do, where to do it and what to think.
With that being said, you can’t directly tell a customer they need to do something. That puts 95% of every seller in FIGHT/FLIGHT mode. This is bad for you (the seller); the company (because of the bad publicity); and MOST of ALL the buyer.
But…. HOW do I establish control?
You CANNOT seem aggressively pushy but you also can’t show timidness either. More than anything, You need confidence. You need to rapport and trust. Ironically, both confidence and rapport are representative of the logical and emotional parts of the subconscious respectively.
As a bigger guy that kinda looks like a giant teddy bear, I always used that to my advantage. I know I am an imposing figure. So I would break the ice by typically saying “You don’t have to worry about me, I am a giant teddy bear. I am more afraid of you than you of me. You may have a flashback from your childhood and cuddle me to death.”
This worked every time. I would get a laugh or a you are silly/crazy. The room seemed to lighten up. This made the buyer comfortable (rapport) and it displayed confidence in who I represented (I was truthful. There was no denying, I do look like a extra large child’s toy).
Keeping Control in Sight.
As sellers we know every sell is a power struggle. Control the sell by allowing the buyer to have the illusion of control. This allows you to keep control within “arms reach” but also keeps the buyer engaged enough to direct them towards closing the deal.
For me the perfect blend for face to face selling was charming charisma yet passive assertiveness and aggressiveness. I also read body language and listened to pitch and tonal changes. These I used to gauge is a person was agitated, happy, sad, interested, disinterested, etc. If I noticed any change, I would change strategies.
KEEP Control with Your PITCH!
Probably the single most important portion of the sell (besides the close. Duh!!) is the pitch. A well thought out and prepared pitch is emotional, logical, funny, sad, intriguing, commanding, etc. If your sells pitch is solid, people will be focused and attentive on you throughout without distraction. You will garner the control of the sell.