Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Making a sale in person...
Chitchat for Better Sales
The people who study such things say that answering a question makes you vulnerable to the persuasion tactics he’s eventually going to use on you. You become open to doing what he wants you to do. In that state of diminished self-control, you are ‘softened up’ for what comes next.
I read recently about a salesperson who was involved (very successfully) in commission sales. He reported that if he spent 30 minutes with the client, about 20 of those minutes was spent in just getting to know them, asking them questions about all aspects of their lives. He was really interested. For instance:
“How did you get the idea for your business (farm, logo, etc)?”
“Where did you go on your vacation?”
“What kinds of fish do you catch?”
What’s the profit margin on the __________ you sell?”
His questions were what we sometimes call small talk or chitchat. So twenty minutes were spent listening to the potential customer telling stories, about five minutes were spent telling his own stories, and about five minutes were spent asking for the sale. He sold a lot!
It’s the same idea that I started out with. That innocuous question the telemarketer asks at the start makes the selling resistance go away.