Monday, January 30, 2017

Lesson #256: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know

Posted By: George Deeb - 1/30/2017

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I was given early access to a good new business book by Shari Levitin called Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know.  Shari is an expert in sales strategies, and is a well-known speaker and author on the topic.  I thought she did a really good job of highlighting the most important part of sales that most people forget: the emotions behind the sale, and tapping into those emotions with integrity in order to get the sale to close.  Shari was kind enough to allow me to share a summary of the 10 universal truths with our readers below.  These are truly words each salesperson should live by, in order to be closing more sales, faster.

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1. Success starts with the growth equation. 

Top salespeople share a willingness to take responsibility for their weaknesses, a deep curiosity about their customers and the world, and a desire for mastery. They commit to using what they’ve learned about their processes to continue improving. When you master this “growth equation” you will improve your sales record.

2. Emotions drive decision-making. 

The desire to be loved, to create closeness, look good, feel good, be remembered—even to belong—drives all of our decision-making. Our ability to uncover our customer’s emotional dominant motivators will dictate our success.

3. Sales thrive in structure. 

Pilots run through pre-flight checklists. Free-throw shooters develop rituals to help them hit the same shot time and again. Bakers adhere to time-tested recipes. So, why should it be different in sales? Highly successful salespeople have a process they follow and they follow that process every time. It may sound counter-intuitive, but structure creates the freedom to act authentically and to create true connection.

4. In sales, no never means no. 

Are you paralyzed by fear of failure? Good. Top salespeople know that the more fear they feel, the more important it is to tackle the fear. What you’re afraid to do, you must do. The question you’re afraid to ask, you must ask. We are talking about “getting out on the skinny branches.” Failure is inevitable. Resilience will drive success, as no never means no.

5. Trust begins with empathy. 

Trust is born of empathy, integrity, reliability, and competency. You need all four traits, but without connecting on an empathetic level, you won’t have a chance to demonstrate the other three. Empathy is the first building block of trust. We can’t pretend to have empathy. Empathy is not about shifting the conversation to what you want to say or judging your customer. It’s about being fully engaged and present to someone else’s emotions.

6. Integrity matters. 

Once we cultivate true empathy, we find it impossible to lie to or cheat our customers—or anyone, for that matter, including ourselves. The word “sales” comes from the old English word for “give.” When we sell, we must give. We can only maintain trust and enjoy enduring success when we cultivate honorable traits like reliability, competency, and integrity. Eventually, they become part of our character.

7. Anything that can be told can be asked. 

When we ask the right questions, we uncover what matters most. “Discovery questions” uncover customers’ needs, direct their thinking down a path we choose, generate curiosity, and ultimately move them to action. These questions build rapport, gain commitment, and help your prospects sell themselves. Well-crafted questions help us make a point loudly, without having to raise our voice. Good questions create change. Great questions can change the world.

8. Emotional commitment precedes economic commitment.

Most salespeople incorrectly assume that they can create a sense of urgency by threatening scarcity or appealing to greed. But if people don’t want what you’re selling, they won’t care if there are only two left or whether you’re throwing something else in. (Anyone want a stagecoach? It’s on sale today only! And I’ll throw in some horseshoes for free!) Engage customers with stories and build urgency by demonstrating how your product connects to precisely what motivates them.

9. Removing resistance takes persistence. 

As soon as a prospect displays resistance, most salespeople drop the price, modify the terms, or otherwise change the offer. But the truth is: only when someone is in a receptive emotional state can you close. You need strategies for keeping customers receptive, isolating the toughest customer objections, and uncovering the real and final objection so you can close more deals more
quickly.

10. Looking for wrongs never makes you right. 

Every day, in every encounter, you have a choice. You can look for what’s right about that person or experience—what’s valuable or productive—or you can look for what’s wrong. When you’re interacting with your associates or your customers, don’t look for reasons why they won’t buy. Look instead for reasons why they will buy. Whatever you look for, be certain you’ll find it!


Thanks again, Shari, for sharing this with our readers.  And, be sure to check out more details in the book itself.  If any questions, feel free to reach out to Shari at her website and follow her on Twitter at: @sharilevitin.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.


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