You are selfish, you will never be a good salesperson. And this is when you say, “But Mark, I'm not selfish!” Ah, but you are selfish, you just don't know it. Because even if you're not actively thinking it, subconsciously, you are focused on yourself because it's your product and features and benefits. And it's your brand and it's your company, and you’ve got to grow revenue and make the sales and hit the targets and you’ve got to pay the mortgage, you’ve got to buy that car, you’ve got to put the kids through school, you’ve got to make payroll, or you’ve got to make the boss happy. And as long as you care more about yourself than the person you're speaking to, you will always lose more sales than you close.
And that's the truth that we have to understand, we have to face and we have to overcome because as an entrepreneur or a salesperson, trying to convince your prospects to buy your product is extremely challenging. In fact, it's almost impossible trying to convince anyone that it’s not a total waste of time. It's not your job to try and convince people or talk at them or simply educate them. It's your job to help guide them to their own decisions. You're not there to convince them. They're there to convince themselves. And you can do that through your experience and your knowledge and your education. But ultimately, people have to arrive at their own conclusions.
So how do you do this? Let's break it down to the five objections that everyone thinks or everyone feels when they're out to buy something.
1.I'm not sure I need it
2. I'm not sure I want it.
3. I'm not sure I can even afford it.
4. I'm not sure that I need it right now.
5. I'm not sure that I can trust you.
Those are the five things that everyone thinks or everyone feels consciously or subconsciously before they buy something. “Do I need it? Do I want it? Can I afford it? Do I need it right now? And are you the person that I can trust to actually deliver on all those things?”
And now that we know this, there are sales strategies we can use to help people work through each of these five steps.
I'm not sure that I need it
This is a really interesting one, because people will act like they don't need it, or they don't want it, or they don't like it. But then, you know, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What the hell are they even doing there?” If they have walked into your store, or your dealership, or your retailer and they're calling you up, if they're actually reaching out to you, or interacting with you in any way, then at some level, they want it or someone in their life wants it, or they're thinking about giving it as a gift for someone.
And so a lot of times, you know, the classic example is you're at the car dealership, I'm there and I'm walking around the lot and someone comes up to me and says, “Hey, can I help you?” And I go, “No, I'm just looking”, but I'm just looking for what? Why am I in a car dealership? What am I looking for? I obviously want a new car or something, right? Like something brought me there. Something put me in front of you. And so it's your job not to position your product. Not talk about features, not talk about benefits, not talk about anything about yourself. It's your job to ask the right questions and enough questions to be able to understand them, to understand what they want, understand what they fear, understand what they need, understand why they're there and ask them as many questions as you can.
So you can start to frame in your mind a picture of exactly who this person is, and how you may be able to help them.
I'm not sure I want it
So now that you're in a conversation with them, and you understand that they need it, you don't actually know if they want it or not. And this can be dependent on the product, it can be down to a whole bunch of little things. So it's up to you to really understand their taste, what they like, how they picture themselves using it. And this comes down to what they value. Not everyone values, the same thing. I'm cheap. So I think everyone else is cheap, people aren't cheap. People don't value money the way that I value money just because I'm cheap. My wife loves style and loves design. I don't; I don't value that as much as she does. And so she'll spend a lot of money to get something really stylish and I would rather spend next to no money to get something plain. We value two totally different things.
So when I decide that I want something, something is driving me to want it, it needs to align with the product, but again, you're not focused on features. You're not focused on benefits. You were focused on the prospect, the person that you're speaking to, and you were working to discover what little things get them excited, what little things have them lean in. Some people buy things based on color, or based on size, or based on shipping windows, whatever it is, what is it that will help them decide that actually, they really want this and that usually comes down to touching it, to feeling it, to experiencing it, to interacting with it, to tasting it, to having the demo, you know, like having the person lean in with excitement and be able to do all of those things will help them actually build up a desire for wanting it.
If you could have someone need something and want something, then you're a few steps ahead.
I'm not sure I can afford it
Now putting aside what I just said about money and me being cheap. At the end of the day, people still do focus a lot on money, they focus on price, they focus on value. In fact, in terms of marriages, the number one and two things people fight about are kids and money, because we all have a different sense of how we would use it, what we would use it for and what it means to us. For some people, money is about security. For some people, it's about status, we use money in different ways. And so when people aren't sure if they can afford it, it's not your job to convince them that they can afford it. It's your job to try and make sure that your product aligns with their budget.
And so, if you have the ability to change financing windows or to make payment plans, or to structure something, or to throw in more value, “here's some free things to make it work”, then there are ways that you can level the value exchange so that way it appears like they're getting a great deal. It's a great sales, a great promotion, you've worked really hard for them to make this deal work. But at the end of the day, if ultimately they go, “I’m just so uncomfortable that I don't think I can afford this”, then you need to back off, maybe find them something else that may be able to work for them. But there's nothing worse. There's nothing that I hate more than when I hear from people that they have buyers regret because they know that they were pushed into something through excitement. And they know that at the time it felt right. But then they walk out of the store, bags in hand, or they get the bill a few days later. And they realized they made a terrible mistake. It wasn't the right thing.
And that's because they were pushed into something that in their gut, they knew that they shouldn't do. Their brain was screaming at them not to do it. But in their heart, they were super excited. They went ahead with it anyway. Yes, we need to help people overcome the “you can afford this”, but we can't take them to a place where it hurts them.
I'm not sure I need it now
Now for me, this is the most challenging thing to overcome. Building up a sense of urgency when there is none is a huge challenge but with products more so then services, you have a few levers that you can pull to help build a sense of urgency right now. So demand and scarcity are obviously the things that you can do. If someone is looking at a product or service and you have a limited quantity, and it might walk out the door, if someone is falling in love with a vehicle, and they're hesitant to sign the deal, but they know that at any moment someone else could walk in and buy it out from under them. If you're in a real estate negotiation, and you're trying to buy a house and you fall in love with that one house, then you can leverage all of these things to help build a sense of urgency in your process.
Of course, on the buyer side, we know that if I don't buy this car, there are other cars, if I don't buy this house, there are other houses, we know that if I don't pick up this product today, it's okay. I can pick it up in a few weeks or a few months. There are lots of things out there that rationally, emotionally, we're terrified that we're going to lose the thing that we fell in love with.
And so if we know what they need, and we know what they want, they know they can afford it. Now is the time through offers, through promotions, through scarcity tactics, to build up so much desire to make sure that they lock this in for themselves right now because this deal is going away, we're going to run out of things, this window is closing. That is how you get someone to realize that this is something that they need now, but like all of these things, if ultimately they're like, “You know what, don't pressure me, I don't actually need to make this decision right now. I'm not ready or comfortable, I need to talk to someone, I need to figure stuff out”, don't push them, because the more that you push them, the more that you'll actually hurt yourself for the next step. And that is number five…
I'm not sure I can trust you
If you understand what they value, what they need, what they want and what they desire. And you've worked with them and given them time and attention, and you haven't pushed them too much, then I don't see why they wouldn't trust you. Of course, your marketing and your brand awareness and the reviews on your product and everything that you do in marketing will help people walk through the door or get on the phone with you with an elevated level of trust. In which case, then all you can do is screw up and lose it.
You shouldn't be having people come in who don't trust you and suddenly you’ve got to make them trust you. Your marketing and your sales channel should help bring people in who already have a new trust level, at least, or trust what they know about you.
And now it's your job not to lose it. And so what you say, and how you act, and how you carry yourself is everything; saying one thing and then having your story change, or them talking to one person and talking to someone else, or the specs on the website say something, but then when they walk in your retail location, your person says something else. All of these things introduce doubt. All of them have people start to question, “Do you even know what you're talking about?” And so you carrying yourself in the right way and caring about that person and not pushing them too hard, having great customer service or a great back office to support you, ensuring that if something gets shipped out, and there are issues with it, it's changed right away.
This is how you build trust. I mean, you do these five things and you do them well, and you will sell more products. Of course you don't want to overtalk, you want to listen, you want to change what you say and customize it for the person you're having a conversation with. But your goal is to get people to the point where they lean in a little bit, where they reveal that thing that they're really excited about, where they say like, “You know what, I can really imagine this, I want this, I like this. I don't like that color. I do like this color”. Your goal is to guide them to the point where they convinced themselves that they need your product right now.