Divided attention reduces your level of communication with the prospect dramatically. Therefore keep all of your attention on the person you are talking to whether by phone or in person, and not on other people, text messages, computer screens, TV, radio broadcasts, or anything else.
It is hard to imagine a greater strength, or weakness, in a salesperson, entrepreneur, business owner, or professional based entirely on whether or not they operate in agreement with this law.
There are, obviously, many factors at play when in communication with a sales prospect. They may be distracted by something else going on, have their attention stuck on an incident that happened earlier, or be thinking about some action or meeting scheduled to take place later on. Regardless, the fact that they could have their mind on something else to a certain degree is likely. So in such situations what is the most important thing for one to do? Answer – To not allow yourself to be likewise distracted! And how do you accomplish that? By not allowing your attention to become divided.
Once good communication has been established the next thing to do before doing anything else is to establish personal rapport with the person you are speaking with. The ability of the salesperson, entrepreneur, business owner or professional to establish personal rapport enables them to form a foundation for creating, and sustaining, positive relationships with their clients and sales prospects.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
You will discover as you progress through The 29 Natural Laws of Sales that there are 2 very simple but critically important facts to always keep in mind. These are:
1. That it is vital to identify a sales prospect’s or client’s actual problem, need, or want
2. Prospects and clients will only communicate that information to someone they are comfortable with, respect, and trust
Experience teaches us that prospects and clients tend to readily discuss their real problems, needs, wants, and views with others that they are comfortable with, respect, and enjoy talking to. So what could then be expected to happen if a prospect is talking to someone with whom they are uncomfortable, and feel might not be really interested in their own issues or needs but instead seems to only be there to “to make a sale”? For the answer just recall a time you were talking to someone like that. Were you ready and willing to discuss a problem you wished to solve or something you really wanted to have? In all likelihood the answer will be “no.”
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
– Zig Ziglar
A personal message to you – the reader.
I’d like to use the design and construction of a building as a metaphor for describing this book in the sense that it will have the following elements:
The Introduction – Stating the concept for the building’s purpose and use
The Individual NLS Chapters for Each Law – The building’s floors
The Synopsis & Conclusion – The top of the building, its roof
Your Path to Sales Stardom – The Road Map for going further up, up, and up!
We have however omitted the very first thing that must be completed for any building meant to last – The Foundation. And it is this Foundation that gives a structure stability and a home for its essential equipment and machinery.
In the context of your reading The 29 Natural Laws of Sales this Foundation pertains uniquely to you – your viewpoints, your values, your objectives, your motivations, your methods, your habits, your beliefs – you.
1. Find the prospect’s specific problem(s), needs, or wants
2. Prove that their product or service will provide the best solution to meet those problems, needs, or wants
“Solving the problem means helping the customer to understand why you’re the best person for the job.” – Chris Murray
Having learned about NLS #9 we are now aware of the three distinct factors that create any sale of anything at any time. Once that is well understood it then becomes just a matter of identifying which single factor, or factors, are at play and what exactly is being sought.
Discovering a sales prospect’s exact problem, need, or want is something that successful sales professionals consistently do very well. But there is also something else that they do first, and that is to establish good communication and personal rapport with the prospect or person being spoken with. This is covered fully in NLS Book One, but simply put it is the ability of the salesperson to create, and sustain, positive relationships with their clients and prospects that determines long-term sales success. And that process begins with one’s ability to effectively communicate and to establish good personal rapport.
As each step of the process is successfully completed, the salesperson and the prospect move just that much closer to concluding the sale, in the same manner as climbing a staircase. Each step leads up towards the close, and must be completed before the next is undertaken.
“If you will define and apply an effective sales process to your sales activities you will improve your success ratio dramatically.” – Michael Vickers
Having outlined and described the 7-Step Sales Process in the previous chapter, we can now step back and look at this technology as an integrated whole. In fact, and as mentioned in NLS #15, this should be seen as a staircase where one starts at the first step and travels up from there, eventually arriving at the desired location.
A word about staircases, since this is the metaphor we chose to use. Imagine that you entered a building in the lobby to see someone on the first floor and let’s also add that an elevator was not present. Now what if a staircase was not present either? Well if you needed to get to the first floor you would either have to be a great jumper, find a ladder, or assemble enough boxes or other items to eventually lead you there. Not very desirable or even realistic methods, needless to say. Very few people if any can jump that high, ladders can be dangerous and difficult to navigate, and assembling boxes or other paraphernalia to get up one flight could take hours. So unless there is an elevator available, boy do we really need those stairs!
Excellent communication with a sales prospect is enabled and enhanced by:
¬ The demonstration of sincere interest in the prospect and their communication
¬ Listening, not interrupting
¬ Answering their questions – right away or afterwards
¬ Always telling the truth
¬ Never confusing them with jargon
¬ Never leaving them in a mystery
“The first ingredient in conversation is truth; the next good sense; the third, good humor; and the fourth wit.” – Sir William Temple
Let’s start with the first point above: the demonstration of sincere interest. Firstly, ask yourself this question:
Who do you enjoy talking to?
Might it be someone that seems genuinely interested in you and your own activities or business pursuits? Would it also possibly be a “turn off” if the salesperson you were talking to didn’t seem to care at all? Well the answer to both of these questions is yes.
With the critical importance of communication with sales prospects now well established i.e. that it can make or break sale, the question is how does one do that? And the answer rests entirely with NLS #2.
Sales success depends upon persistence and a determination to provide a valuable service to the prospect.
“It’s always too soon to quit.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships.” – Ross Perot
The career of a salesperson, entrepreneur, business owner or professional often has a number of ups and downs, highs and lows, disappointments and moments of elation. However, despite all of that there is one essential quality that sets apart the winners from the losers, and that is persistence. Other terms for this quality are “tenacity” or a “never say die” attitude. Regardless of how you say it, though, it all comes down to this:
Persisting in the game you have chosen to play until you either win it or decide to play a different game altogether.