We are selling something every single day of our lives. Whether it is a concept, an idea, a product or a service, selling is at the heart of every business. The salesman who closes deals effortlessly is one who understands the art of selling.
Exercising behavioural flexibility to match each client’s personality and style is paramount to achieving consistent results. So, it pays to learn and acquire sharp skills for this level of performance.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been hailed as a powerful toolbox for many years. Many have experienced the wonder of it but only because these learners have in the first place, an expertise and depth of knowledge in a specific field. In this case, sales.
I have seen immediate impact with students I trained in the past. Wanting to move to the next level, they attended my NLP for selling course to learn techniques that worked with the unconscious mind of the customer. Using these to sell products and services is where the actual magic is.
Effortless selling starts with a deep understanding of customer's needs. What does the customer want and what has stopped him thus far from acquiring it. This first most important step in the sales cycle is establishing rapport with the customer.
This is where I share the first NLP technique. Matching the customer in every way – how they sit, how they speak, the words they use. This fundamental process relaxes the customer and opens the gateway to their unconscious mind.
Accessing the unconscious is of paramount importance. It is where values and beliefs reside, where people make decisions and most of all where rapport comes from and trust is built.
Crucial to successful selling, for this is where customers open up and share information that helps salespeople close deals effectively. The difference that makes the difference. An opportunity for salespeople to demonstrate their expertise, tailoring their approach to meet customers’ needs. When selling feels natural and less forced, the customer relaxes too and is content with the decision they make.
Metaphors are a wonderful way to connect. Powerful as they resonate at some level with customers, this strengthens rapport. Finding the right metaphors for each customer are also important. This is where a bit of research before meeting the customer may just save your day.
When a metaphor matches a customer’s predicament they are more likely to feel you are an old friend who knows them well. Everything that comes after becomes a breeze. So it is worth spending some time figuring out who your customer is via social media feeds and profiles.
This paves the way to elicit the customer’s values. Now it’s time to find out more beyond needs. Asking what’s important to the customer elicits a set of values. This sits at the heart of how the salesperson can effectively feed their product or service to the customer.
Always emphasise benefits that the customer will gain by buying your products and services. This is more effective than just spouting a list of features. For example, if you’re in the software business, show them how much time and money they could save by going digital, with facts and figures as back up.
Is what the client expects to receive exactly what you promised? Are the two congruent? This is something the salesperson can then address. Values then become the focus of conversation until the customer is convinced. Be sure to appeal to what the client values.
Working through customers’ values is the magic behind closing a deal as values are the deepest unconscious filter every human being holds. When these are fed, the person feels good and is able to make a decision along the same lines.
This is what is meant by a consultative approach. Rather than pushing products or services on customers, effortless selling means communicating expertise that meet the customer's needs, rather than simply trying to make a sale.
In my next article I continue working through the sales cycle.
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Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.