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TSE 481: The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld

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Science of Selling, Donald Kelly, David Hoffeld, Sales Training Are you still using the same selling strategy that you used some 20 years ago? You can’t just sit there and wing it anymore thinking that those old school technologies are going to win clients over.

You can no longer guess your way to success nor should you even wait for a guru to tell you what works because you need to sell based on the science of selling if you really want to be 100% effective.

Today’s guest is David Hoffeld, author of the book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch Influence Decisions and Close a Deal. David is the CEO and Chief Sales Trainer of a research-based sales training firm, the Hoffeld Group. They literally read scientific journals and apply the studies into the real world of sales.

He shares with us the great things he has learned from studies and experiences about the importance of science in sales.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:

Why understanding science is important in sales:

When 800 salespeople were analyzed on real sales calls,

  • 63% regularly behaved in ways that drove down performance
  • 37% were consistently effective

Why?

Because we’re getting in the way of sales. Meaning, we sell in ways that obstructs how the brain is wired to be influenced and to create buying decisions.

What is science in sales?

This means creating a questioning model based on how the brain works. All of us can get better by understanding the science that reveals how our brains make choices. Align how you sell with that science to be more effective and to better serve potential customers.

Are salespeople still necessary?

We still need interpersonal relationships especially for complex sales because interpersonal relationships matter. People still buy from people. Human interaction is still essential.

Two methods for sales influence: How does a brain make a choice?

  1. Peripheral route

This is how you build rapport and trust. These are factors that shape perception heavily.

  1. Central route

The message of the salesperson. What are the key things people must commit to so they buy your product or service.

*Both routes are happening simultaneously called parallel processing so they’re heavily influencing every sales call. It’s the foundation of what going on “behind the scenes.” Learn how to leverage both and you become really effective at selling.

People buy based on emotions.

It’s how we create preferences. Emotions influence our perception. Decades of research can now tell us how we can ethically sell to people’s emotions.

How to change the buyer’s emotional state:

  1. Ask for opinions.

Harvard research found that when people answer opinion questions, the pleasure centers in their brain lineup, naturally putting them in a more positive emotional state.

  1. Talk about topics rich with positive emotions.

Inject positive emotions into your sales conversations.

  1. Focus on voice inflections.

Research shows that voice inflections help people feel positive emotions that people respond more to one another. This is called emotional cognition.

How to convey value effectively:

  1. Look for the distinct value.

Find out how your product or service is different than a competitor and in ways that matter to your buyers.

  1. Reduce the persuasiveness of your competitors.

Leverage distinct value to neutralize your competitors.

Ask for strategic commitment.

You don’t just leave a sales call, you ask for a commitment. Commitments are not just continuations, but look at what commitments are to be made for a buying process to occur.

The 6 Why’s that Help Align Your Sales Process With Getting Commitments:

  1. Why change?
  2. Why now?
  3. Why your industry solution? (Why can’t they create it on their own?)
  4. Why you and your company?
  5. Why your product or service vs. other options?
  6. Why spend the money?

Get commitment to these 6 why’s by strategically injecting these why’s into your sales process. Help your potential customers make these commitments to help them make buying decisions.

The future of sales:

The best days of sales are in front of us because of science. For the first time, we have objective evidence based on our buyers to align how we sell. Most sales is opinion-based. Without real data, you’ve got to come with your A-game and you’re just guessing your way to success.

David’s Major Takeaway:

There is a science to selling and the way something is presented shapes how they perceive and whether or not they will be acted on. The closer your way of selling is aligned with how the brain makes buying decision, the more effective you will be. Anyone can get better at selling by adopting these behaviors. Embrace this science and you can get better!

Episode Resources:

Check out David’s book, The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch Influence Decisions and Close a Deal

For more information about David and his awesome work, visit www.hoffeldgroup.com

Connect with David on Twitter @DavidHoffeld, YouTube, and LinkedIn

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham

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