Oren Klaff calls sales an art form. A lifetime of raising money taught him that it requires the same process as selling: find a buyer, get his attention, hold his attention, convince him to trust you, and then convince him that what you have is scarce. Once he discovers that others want what you have, you can get him to want it for himself.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we discuss why selling is a blueprint and how you can succeed at it regardless of who you are.
Develop a format.
Every salesperson needs a format. Being good at sales simply means knowing what to do and say to get people to pay attention to you, trust you, and want what you have.
Sales professionals don’t have to be charismatic. They don’t have to be aggressive.
Think of it this way: football players get paid to drive people into the ground. That doesn’t mean they aren’t nice people; they have a job to do.
Once a sales professional understands the mechanics of sales, he can turn the presentation into a performance. Like a TED Talk, he can turn it into infotainment and leave the prospect feeling like he’s in the hands of an expert.
Once you understand the format for selling, you can deliver the presentation in your own style. You don’t have to try to be someone else. You can simply be the guy who has a presentation that works for selling.
Stop being a chameleon.
Sales professionals who become chameleons every time they make a sale end up exhausted. Reacting to the buyer’s needs leaves you feeling schizophrenic.
Instead, develop a pitch that works every time. Once you do, you’ll know that when your pitch doesn’t work, it’s because the prospect wasn’t really a buyer.
Instead of supplicating yourself to the buyer, you can learn to bring your own energy to the transaction.
When you enter a sales situation and you’re reactive to the buyer (you’re laughing at bad jokes or ignoring the fact that they are checking their phones during your presentation) you have a weak frame.
Your frame is your information, your personality, your agenda and your value. Your buyer has a frame too, and those frames will collide during negotiations and deals. The stronger frame wins.
Frame the situation correctly.
Oren doesn’t believe in win-win situations in sales. If there’s no tension or conflict, there’s probably no sale.
Think about a person with a power frame.
It’s the person who believes salespeople are there to provide free service and information and cater to his whims.
“What do you have?” “What else do you have?” “I know we set aside an hour but I only have 15 minutes.”
That frame must be broken in order for things to progress.
The buyer’s perceived control over the seller’s destiny makes the buyer seem dominant. If the seller perceives himself as a lower social order than the buyer, he must reorganize the hierarchy in his mind.
You must change your thinking to realize that you are more important than he is. All he has is money, which is a commodity. You can get money anywhere.
He has a problem that you have a solution to, but he can’t get that solution anywhere. He needs you.
Try the following phrases to reframe the situation:
- “I’m glad I could make some time for you today.”
- “If I can help you with your problems, I will. Otherwise, I’ll make a recommendation.”
Be the Navy SEAL of your business.
Oren tells of a philosophy the Navy SEALs use in an attack: close distance on the attack and shut it down.
In sales, that looks like this: when a buyer asks for something unreasonable, like a price that prevents you from making any margin, you step into the moral authority frame.
Don’t play nice.
You’ve done everything you can to help the buyer and provide value, and the buyer asks you to forego making any money. Say something like, “Why would I ever do business with you? That makes no sense.”
Either your buyer will realize that he is outside the lines of moral behavior and apologize, or he’ll stand his ground and insist that the buyer has the right to decide the price.
If he does the latter, he wasn’t really a buyer anyway. He might have even been looking for a reason to walk away.
As you strive to do this, you’ll eventually miss a sale. You’ll create some anxiety for yourself, but you’ll also stop seeing yourself as the lesser person in every transaction.
“Oren Klaff” episode resources
Oren Klaff operates by three values:
- People want what they can’t have.
- They chase what moves away from them.
- They only value that which they pay for.
Connect with him on pitchanything.com and he’ll send you information that will help you frame your sales this way, regardless of industry.
The book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen from our sponsors at Wiley provides a fantastic blueprint of all the things buyers say they expect and want from sellers. I’m offering a free excerpt of the book so you can learn how to sell by leading rather than supplicating yourself to the buyer.
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