Tip #5 Walking in the other’s shoes

You will notice this tip and several others have somethings in common. All these points can be distilled into one, for the most part, secret skill, and that is to get out of the way.

That’s right, once you remove yourself from the equation all that is left is the other person. As an observer, you have the ability to do three things: enhance your ability to build rapport, communicate well, and improve your sales. Even if you aren’t in sales you are always selling, if only yourself.

Listen to what the other person is saying and listen between the lines. For example, if you are in sales and a person gives you an objection you ought to know that what they are saying is a front, a straw man to deflect your attention from the real issue. You might respond with a softener such as, “I understand, but I’m curious….” Or “Okay, I’m wondering…” and then probe deeper for the real reason they aren’t buying. You might just respond with, “Why?” or “in addition to that?” Remember your objective is to find the person’s basic need or want. Focus on the point (the sale), and then zero in on their issue without becoming sidetracked into a morass of detours leading to a lost sale.

What does this tip have in common with the others? Listen to learn, not to engage in a speedy answer. Put yourself in the other person’s position and listen to what they are actually saying. If you have trouble doing this, then shut up and wait. People do not like silence, and your potential customer will give up the real objection. It is usually that he or she does not see the value, the perceived value.

Here is a formula that might help you refine your focus to a laser point. PV=B-C. Perceived Value equals Benefits minus Cost. Now you can increase the Benefits or reduce the cost to balance the equation.

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