Jacky Lim | Blog on Personal Coaching & Sales Training
Jacky Lim transforms your ability to communicate with greater impact and master true influence over others. Follow this blog to keep yourself informed with the latest news and updates and get useful tips on sales.
If prospecting is the lifeblood of selling, what are you doing this year to generate more business opportunities this year and build your sales pipeline?
In this article, I would love to share with you 2 proven ways to create more business opportunities for yourself and your organization and increase your sales significantly. And they are to GENERATE new opportunities of solving your customers’ unknown problems or to IDENTIFY opportunities which already exist in the market and learn ways to pitch your products/services better than your competitors.
Generate new opportunities: While this approach might take up more effort and time at the beginning, it tends to reap remarkable results in the long run. As you invest time and effort to study your customer’s industry and market, learning to identify what their hidden or existing problems are (you will need to have the solution to their problems too), your customers will end up seeing you as a consultant rather than just another salesperson or vendor. Moreover this means your customers are more likely willing to pay you a premium for what you have to offer since they need you and value your “expertise”.
For instance, if you are an insurance agent, instead of just running through your day-to-day prospecting and setting appointments with your customers to conduct a “standard sales presentation”, think about the problems that you might be able to solve for others that they may not even be aware of at the present moment. I remember this was exactly what my friend did when he created a new market for his insurance business more than a year ago. Instead of targeting the mass market, he decided to refocus his attention on finding ways to solve the common challenges of a group of people whom he identified as his target audience. Today, he is thriving in the market because he is perceived as an expert who is able to offer solution to his customers’ problems.
Remember that today we are living in an era where relationship selling by itself will no longer guarantee sales success! We need to find ways to differentiate ourselves from the competition and be perceived as the expert who is able to best solve our customers’ problems. And this is what generating new opportunities are all about.
Identify existing opportunities: Unlike the first approach that we discussed earlier in this article, this is the approach where we may tend to see results faster. Instead of having to “educate” our customers about the hidden problems they have, here our customers are already conscious of the problems they are facing and are actively seeking solutions to resolve them. Thus, our main role here is to approach our customers and present to them the benefits of our offering and more importantly, WHY they should choose us over our competitors. What is your differentiating value proposition and what makes you special?
At the end of the day, success in modern selling requires you to master both these strategies of generating and identifying new business opportunities. For the higher “G.I.” you have, the better your sales performance is likely going to be.
Celebrating your Awesomeness!
How to find more business opportunities and increase your sales? - YouTube
Are you aware that there are 3 critical pain points or buying objections that you would need to learn to address with confidence and competence if you’d like to take your sales to the next level? And here they are:
Handling the 3 Major Buying Objections - YouTube
Price concern. While price does play an important role in the customer’s decision making process, it is often not as important as what most salespeople think if you are able to convince your customers that they are deriving value out of purchasing your products and/or services. In other words, the more you start focusing on the value, emphasizing on the value your customers are able to get out of investing in your products and services, the less attention your customers will put on cost. In fact, we should always avoid using the word “cost” when speaking to our customers as this may have a negative impact on our selling abilities at the subconscious level. Always use the word “investment” to replace the word “price” or “cost”. For instance, whenever your customer asks you, “How much does the product cost?” Your reply should always be, “The investment of the product is…”
Concern about the functionality of the product. If there’s a question that you can be sure which is constantly bugging your customer, it must be: What if this product doesn’t work for me? In the eyes of every customer, every buying decision he/she makes tends to come with a risk. In fact, the fear of failure is one of the biggest barriers to closing the deal which every salesperson has to learn to overcome. Nonetheless if you are able to show them enough testimonies and references of how you have helped other clients to solve similar problems through the use of your products and/or services, they are more likely to believe you and buy from you. At the end of the day, stories will always sell.
Time concern. While this objection may not even be brought up verbally during the sales presentation, it is often found at the back of many customers’ mind. There would always be that doubt whether the investment is going to be worth his/her time. After all, time is often associated to risk. The longer the time one has to invest in a project, the bigger the perceived risk. But if you could give them the assurance and tell them confidently, “Could you give me a chance to prove that this project is not going to take up much of your time?” If you could even offer them a guarantee, your customer is likely going to have the peace of mind to go ahead with the buying decision.
As you learn to handle these 3 major sales objection and concerns, you would be on your way to improving your closing rate and hit your sales target. All the best!
According to bestselling author and financial coach Robert Kiyosaki, the richest people in the world look for and build networks, while everyone else looks for work. If you want a great life, isn’t it time for you to learn to build a network?
Take a look around you, and you will realize that everything great was most likely borne out of a network. The internet is a network of servers and computers. Successful companies like Walmart were made possible by technology and a sophisticated network of logistics systems, while advanced medical facilities were made possible by a network of educational and research institutions, and establishments sharing and exchanging knowledge and so on. New businesses are referred by networks of friends and business associates. The list goes on and on. If we desire to do more than what our physical limits dictate, we must learn how to network.
While most of us are highly competent and intelligent individuals, we can produce far better results when we decide to work together. In his book, ‘Many Communicate but few Connect’, world-renowned leadership coach John Maxwell illustrated this best by highlighting that we are born dependent of others for survival; but as we grow older and become more independent, we can only excel when we learn to achieve interdependency with others. As John explains it simply: A baby is dependent on its parents. An adult strives to be independent and competent in their own field, and only when they become sufficiently competent to contribute to others, will others seek them to partner or work with. Only then can interdependency be achieved. And that’s what networking is all about.
So if networking is critical to the success of our business and career, how could we take our networking skills to the next level?
First Impression Counts!
I am sure you have most probably heard of the old saying ‘We should never judge a book by its cover!’
Yet, you and I know that nothing is further from the truth. In fact first impression counts and in many cases you can never make a second first impression. Numerous studies have also proven that we human beings may even form an impression of someone within the first 20 seconds of meetup. This is why you might be puzzled to realize that you do not like someone even before they have said anything.
Thus it becomes crucial for us to leverage this first 20 seconds and create the impression we desire, because should we fail to do so, a subsequent positive impression would require significantly more effort. So here are 5 simple tips you can follow in building a positive first impression with someone:
Dressing to Impress and Influence (A special interview with celebrity tailor Amos Marcus) - YouTube
1. Be on time for every appointment.
This is especially true when we are working in a western culture, where people generally have a “through-time” timeline orientation. This means that people will tend to store their memories from left to right or from right to left or in any other way so that all time is in front of them. These are people who are likely to be very well-organized in whatever they do and very particular about time management. By being late for your appointment, you would have destroyed the rapport with them.
On a side note, I remember once having an unpleasant experience with an insurance agent. Not only did she arrive late (almost 20 minutes late), she did not even show any signs of remorse. Worse, she did not even offer to pay for my drink and was just determined to deliver her ‘sales presentation’. Of course, she did not end up getting any business from me.
2. Smile while maintaining eye contact.
While this may sound like a cliche, it is surprising how many people that I meet in several networking events do not even practice this! While revealing a sincere smile is a powerful way to break the ice in cold social situations, learning how to maintain eye contact with the person while doing so can further enhance its effectiveness as it tends to make the person feel more recognized, understood and validated. In fact its said that the simple act of holding someone’s gaze has the power to ignite or deepen a relationship.
3. Dress appropriately for the occasion.
Perhaps one of the most important questions you may need to first ask yourself is: Are you dressing to impress or dressing to blend in?
Personally, I would often opt to be slightly more well-dressed than the majority in the networking event that I am attending. This ensures that people are more likely to perceive me in a positive way, yet they do not feel so distant from me if I were to ‘overdress’.
4. Shake hands firmly and confidently.
A good handshake is like a good resume. It can set you apart from the rest and leave others wanting for more. In fact a handshake can tell us a lot about a person- his/her level of self esteem.
Ever received a handshake which felt like a dead fish? How did it affect your perception of that person? No matter how good looking the person is, it must have affected the impression he/she left you, isn’t it?
5. Remember the name of the person you are being introduced to.
According to Dale Carnegie, a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.
One way to help you remember a person’s name is to find a way to repeat it a few times after you first learn it. For instance, if you have just been introduced to someone named Kevin, simply follow up quickly with a statement like ‘Nice to meet you, Kevin. By the way, how did you get to know about this event, Kevin?’ By doing so, it forces you to focus and pay attention to the person’s name.
Remember to apply these 5 simple tips during your next networking event and become a master networker.
In his best selling book ‘Unlimited Power’, world-renowned motivational speaker and coach Anthony Robbins shared his experience of often meeting prospects who complained that his course was too expensive. However, rather than getting defensive with the attack, Mr Robbins would confidently respond to his prospect’s objection with a question like, “To which course/s are you comparing my course?” When his prospect responded by citing the names of many other seminars they had attended, Mr Robbins would continue with a question like, “Great. How’s the seminar like mine then?” At this juncture, the question would have caught most of his prospects by surprise, as they would not have expected such a question. Finally, Mr Robbins would go on to demonstrate to his prospect how different his course was from the others and added, “What would happen if you felt my seminars were really worth the time and money?”
Questions are the Answers
Indeed, questions are the answers. While most salespeople tend to deal with objections by attempting to evade them or play them down, they fail to recognise the potential of using the objections received as a means to close the deal. For when you learn how to use the right questions to answer your clients’ objections, you can turn virtually every objection into an opportunity to ask for the sale.
Known as Meta-Model, it is a set of precision questioning tools you can use to counter any form of objections as it enables you as a sales professional to recognize and recover any information loss your prospects could have experienced in the form of a deletion, distortion and/or generalization. The Meta-Model will assist you to drill down for the details you have to be able to react rapidly and accurately address your prospect’s real concerns, objections or levels of interest. For instance, take a closer look now at the earlier example given of the participant raising the price objection during a Tony Robbin’s event. Isn’t that a form of deletion? Obviously, the prospect wasn’t comparing apples to apples. Yet by compelling his prospect to draw a clear comparison between his course and the courses of his competitors, Tony was able to effectively reframe his prospect’s buying objection through the recovery of lost information.
Thus here are 5 other examples of how you can use the meta-model tool and questioning skills to turn a sales objection into a buying opportunity:
5 questions to ask and overcome a sales objection
Objection 1: Your product is too expensive. I don’t think my wife would be happy if I were to make the purchase.
Language structure identified: Presupposition
Question and Response: How do you know your wife is not going to be happy when you purchase this product, given that the product brings with it countless benefits?
Objection 2: I have lost lots of money in the stock market over the past few months because I made many wrong decisions.
Language structure identified: Unspecified Verbs
Question and Response: Where did you lose your money in the stock market? How did you make those wrong decisions?
Objection 3: Your products are too expensive.
Language structure identified: Lack of referential index
Question and Response: What products are you specifically referring to as being expensive?
Objection 4: I can’t afford this programme.
Language structure identified: Modal operator of possibility
Question and Response: What happens if you can find a way to afford this programme?
Objection 5: I need to make more money before I can begin investing.
Language structure identified: Modal operator of necessity
Question and Response: What happens if you start investing what you already have and make more money in the future?
As you can see from these examples, using questions effectively can help us to clarify important information with others in communication by recovering the lost information. It is also useful in helping us to uncover our prospects’ deeper concerns and needs when selling so that the objections that they raise will no longer be perceived as valid. The question is: Are you ready to ask more and argue less?
Imagine mastering 3 proven traits that will enable you to get more sales, connect with the people around you and increase your influence.
If there is a lifeskill which is more essential than others in determining your personal and professional life, it must be the art of persuasion and influence. As you master the psychology of influence, you are more likely get your desired new job, obtain the job promotion, make better business deals and sell more products. You can improve your community when you persuade people to support your proposals and ideas.
In fact, we are all born masters of influence. Since the day we were born, we are already equipped with the ability to influence by communicating our needs through crying. Whenever a baby is hungry, he simply sells his needs and seeks attention by crying! Yet as we grow older, we seem to have lost our natural skill. It seems that the fear of getting rejected by others prevent us from stepping up to tap into the influence skills we are already gifted with.
So in this article, you shall rediscover 3 simple strategies to improve your ability to sell. They are also the 3 proven ways that countless leaders have used to influence the people around them.
3 Elements of Persuasion
Ethos: The Greek origin of the English word “ethics”, Ethos represents an important element of influence that deals with credibility. Since everything counts in the area of personal credibility, everything that you do or don’t do either adds to or takes away from your credibility and your capability to influence someone.
People tend to believe in people whom they admire or respect. If the communicator is trustworthy, has his listener’s best interests at heart, knows his subject well, and practices what he preach, he’s likely to be persuasive. Integrity is first and foremost.
For instance, a public speaker who practices ethos must be able to portray himself as a master or an expert in the topic or subject that he’s going to present on. It is important for the audience to recognize him as the appropriate person to deliver the expected value.
If you are a parent who is attempting to teach your kids certain life’s morals, you will have to be able to walk the talk yourself first.
If you are a sales professional or an entrepreneur, you will have to be passionately in love with the products and/or services you are promoting.
Pathos: Perhaps the most critical component of influence, this is the area that deals with our emotions. It has been demonstrated time and again the great influence that emotion has over logic on a person when it boils down to making a buying decision. For example, most of us never buy a sports car based on logic. Instead it is our emotions that tend to get the better of us.
In modern selling and marketing, pathos is the ability to communicate with the deep, subconscious needs of a customer. Human beings are largely emotional, in that everything that we do and say, all our decisions are determined by our emotions. Therefore, to have a great influence on others, we need to be able to connect with whatever causes them to feel strongly one way or another.
When you are attempting to study and understand the perceptual position of another person, you are identifying their buying values; you are making an effort to understand what he/she needs and desires. By learning to match the needs and wants of the people around you, you tend to stand a greater chance of influencing and selling anything to them.
Logos: Finally, there is a part of influence which deals with logic or reason. When applying logos in enhancing our persuasive power, logic is used to back up a claim. Engaging logos as your tool of influence involves “making sense” of what you say. Since people are constantly trying to analyze the decisions that they make in their lives, it is also important for you to work on the logos appeal when trying to influence them.
In essence, we have just learned that there are three means of selling and persuading others. These are the ethos, the pathos and the logos of motivating someone. Learn how to integrate and incorporate all of these three elements of influence and become a persuasive salesperson.
Are you currently a team leader who don’t seem to be able to steer your team forward, inspiring high sales performance? Or perhaps you are a sales professional or business owner who have hit a plateau in your sales because you aren’t closing as many deals as you desire? Would you like to learn how to increase your sales in 3 simple steps?
Used to be a struggling salesperson, I never knew there were secrets to selling that we cannot afford not to know. And when I finally chanced upon these secrets by studying how some of the top sales performers did it, I have developed my own sales process which I teach today which has not only seen my own sales skyrocket, but I have coached thousands of other business owners in these secrets of successful selling that have got them the results in the number too.
In this article, you are going to learn the 3 main reasons why your prospects aren’t buying from you and how you could apply my 3C Instant Close™ framework to start selling more:
Your prospects do not trust you.
If you have ever wondered why you are not getting the kind of sales you desire even while you possess the “best products” at the most “competitive price”, the answer is most probably this: Trust issue.
Without trust, it is impossible for us to make a sale. Yet most salespeople tend to make the mistake of jumping the gun and attempting to close a deal before trust has been built.
As you learn to invest time and effort to connect (which is the first step to mastering the 3C Instant Close™) with your prospects first by attempting to build some common grounds with them, you will realize how much easier it is for you to sell anything to them in the later stage. After all, rapport builds trust. Thus before moving hastily to close the deal in the future, always ask yourself: Have I connected enough with my prospect and build sufficient trust yet? The greater the trust, the fewer the objections.
Your prospects are not being sold the way they loved to be sold.
Ever heard of the saying “different strokes work for different folks”? If the lack of trust is the first reason why your prospects are not buying from you, the second reason why you could be missing the mark is that you are not selling to your prospects the way they love to be sold.
In our sales training program, we teach business owners how to recognize certain buying traits of their prospects so that they can sell more effectively to them by conforming (which is the second step to mastering the 3C Instant Close™) their sales approach to the different buying strategies.
And the result: one of my clients who was in an online marketing business was able to achieve close to a 100% sales revenue increase within a month! While a sales increase of 100% is not usually the norm, our sales can certainly improve by leaps and bounds as we learn to adapt to our prospect’s buying style.
For instance, one of the things I usually coach my clients to do is to engineer their sales pitch in a way that appeals to their prospects’ lead representation systems and lead them to be more open and receptive to their sales proposal. While there are generally 3 ways how people think and process information in their mind, everyone has a preference.
There are individuals who are more visually-oriented and tend to respond better to certain words or phrases like “see,” “look,” “picture this,” and more illustrative words. They are people who will respond very well to visuals and thus you should never miss out the visuals in your sales pitch.
Again, I used to have a client who often struggled to sell her ideas to her boss because she tend to dwell a lot into the details. While my client was a highly detail-oriented person, her way of presenting to her boss was not working since her boss who was more visual-inclined tends to prefer my client to draw out the big picture instead of touching on the details.
Then again, there are others who may resonate better with you based on what you say and how you say it. These people are known as the auditory people and often prefer you to engage them using words such as “listen,” “hear,” “sounds like,” and even phrases like, “Can you hear what I’m saying?” They are generally good listeners and tend to focus a lot of what was being mentioned during a negotiation.
The third kind of prospects are more kinesthetic-inclined and prefer you to speak to them using words and phrases that connect with their emotions. Several years ago, I had an interesting revelation when a very close friend of mine gave me honest feedback and told me how I rarely use the phrase “I feel” during our conversations. He did not feel connected to me whenever I used the phrase “I think”!
Realize how the habitual words we use in our daily communication can affect the way how people perceive us and respond to us. Thus identifying the preferred representation system and preferred language of your customers can actually work wonders in your ability to connect with them.
You are selling based on logic, not the emotions.
Finally, here’s the reason why you could be missing a lot more deals you could have possibly closed: You haven’t been able to sell at the emotional level.
While most of us are aware how powerful emotional selling is, few of us have truly mastered it. So how could you truly sell at the emotional level and overcome your prospects’ natural buying resistance (Nobody loves to be sold).
Once I was in Turkey for a holiday when I learned a great lesson on the process of emotional selling. It happened when I visited a site with a replica of the Trojan Horse.
According to Greek mythology, there once lived a group of people known as the Trojans. They lived in the city of Troy, where it was surrounded by huge tall walls and heavily guarded by capable soldiers.
For a long time, the Trojans’ greatest enemies (the Greeks) have been trying to conquer the city but to no avail. Eventually the Greeks came up with a brilliant plan to take down the city of Troy. Pretending that they had been defeated, they left a huge wooden horse outside the city gates, and retreated to the nearby mountains.
Believing that they had emerged victorious, the Trojans eventually opened the gates and brought the huge wooden horse into the city. Unknown to the Trojans, the Greeks had actually planted some of their most capable soldiers in the wooden horse.
When everyone was sound asleep during late night, the Greek soldiers came out of the wooden horse and opened the city gates, allowing the rest of the soldiers to flood into the city of Troy.
Now you might ask: Jacky, what has this story got to do with improving my ability to sell?
Just like the huge tall walls in the story that have prevented the Greeks from entering the city, our prospects tend to resist buying from us because of the presence of part of mind known as the Critical Faculty. Unless you are able to find a way to bypass the Critical Faculty and sell to the unconscious mind (which is the emotional part of our mind), you will constantly find yourself hitting the wall when attempting to ask for the sale.
Thus the key to convert (the final step to mastering the 3C Instant Close™) your prospects into customers lies in your ability to communicate to them in what I would term as “Trojan Horse language” or convert influence.
And while there are many ways to achieve the Trojan Horse Influence™ effect, one example will be through the use of stories. Stories are great tools we can use when selling since they allow us to convey our message to our prospects at the emotional level. No wonder the use of testimonies is one of the most powerful methods people use today in marketing and selling their products and services. Essentially facts tell but stories sell.
NLP and Art of Storytelling - YouTube
To summarize, success in selling requires you to master the 3 steps known as the 3Cs. As you learn to connect, conform and convert effectively, you will begin to improve your closing ratio and skyrocket your sales.
Personal branding is vital component if sales people are thinking of the long term. Establishing a personal brand is a sales strategy used by many sales people especially now that digital media paved the way to make it easier and faster for you to reach your target market. You can now create an online reputation and image that could translate to sales and help you develop techniques on how to increase sales.
“Brand” is defined by Webster as “a kind or variety of something distinguished by some distinctive characteristic.” From this perspective, “personal branding” simply means an effort by a professional to distinguish them — straightforward, smart, and essential in today’s ultra-competitive market. Having a personal brand can be tremendously advantageous for your career and it can open doors of amazing opportunities for you.
Building Your Brand
Building a personal brand allows sales professionals to relate with prospects and make real human connections. By having a personal brand, you can build emotional connections and authentic relationships, gain credibility, increase the ability to leverage your network across channels which will eventually lead you to leadership opportunities.
A solid personal brand can also increase an individual’s visibility in their industry, improve their reputation, leave a lasting impression during online and in-person networking, and sell more to target prospects.
As a busy sales professional, your focus is squarely on your prospects and customers — and that’s great. However, taking time to cultivate your personal brand has benefits for both you and your clients.
Why Personal Brand Matters in Sales
According to sales experts, the reputation is the primary differentiator in sales today. No matter what they are buying, prospects know that they can get a similar product or service from another vendor. However, what they cannot get from just any provider is the sales experience unique only to you. Therefore, by presenting a distinct personal brand, you will make it easier for your buyers to choose your company or your products and services over another vendor.
If you are wondering how to take the first step to creating your own personal brand, you can start by watching this video.
3 questions for effective storytelling and build your personal brand - YouTube
It can be as simple as creating your personal brand by telling your life stories and the lessons you have learned so far that can add value to other people’s lives. This allows you to create a picture of how your life has changed so people can see how you have enhanced yourself.
This video will serve as a guide for sales people in plotting a personal branding roadmap for themselves.
Your Story, Your Brand
In telling your stories, you must first identify your strengths and weaknesses and demonstrate how you have amplified the things that make you stand-out. This is what we call a “value differentiator.”
The importance of personal branding for career development not only starts with an understanding of who your audience are, but more importantly, is how to reach them. In most cases, your target audience will be engaged in multiple social media channels. Pick two channels (three at most), in the beginning, and really focus on those (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) as you are getting started.
When building up your personal branding plan, it is vital to understand what outcome you are trying to achieve. What are your short-term goals? Some recommended short-term goals to help you in getting started in growing your targeted following, and to develop and expand your connections.
Your goal here is to turn your short-term victories into habits that will help you get to your long-term goals faster. Long-term goals should incorporate building real expertise in your field that captures the attention from your employers based on association and wisdom.
All About Your Position
If you are in sales, you are no stranger to positioning statements. Smart representatives always have a positioning statement about their product or service on hand to combat the inevitable, “What is this about, anyway?” buyer brush-off. A personal value proposition should answer the question: “What are you about, anyway?”
When crafting a personal positioning statement, keep your target audience in mind. Your value proposition might be about you, but it is not for you. Express to your target audience what makes you different from others in your industry, profession, or role. If you are not sure what makes you different, spend some time researching your peers and reflect on your individual beliefs and passions.
Basically, in creating a personal brand, you must do the following:
· Tell a story. This wraps up your purpose and what makes you different into a narrative.
· Make it personal. Put your passion on display.
· Borrow brand value. Associate yourself with other strong brands to bring attention to your own.
· Repeat your positioning statement. Reiterate it to emphasize it.
· Be consistent. Pick the one or two ideas you are trying to convey about yourself, and reference them on all your social and online profiles.
· Research. You miss out on the opportunity of setting yourself apart from the competition if you do not research your space. Do your homework.
Your Brand: Fair and Square
In establishing your brand, remember not to badmouth competitors as part of your sales closing techniques. The entire point of a personal brand is to separate yourself from the pack, but you do not have to do it by putting others down. Express your value in terms of your target audience. Your story should be as much about them as it is about you.
Today’s sales landscape has changed. For a salesperson, an undefined personal brand will make you miss out on the opportunity to stand out and attain a higher perceived value in the eyes of your prospects. When you are competing in the digital age, the element of human connection is far more valuable. Building and maintaining strong emotional connections to your personal brand, as well as your company brand, can mean the difference between winning business with a client and being kicked out the door.
Unleash your sales potential and join us in one of Jacky Lim’s Sales Training Courses. Jacky is one of Singapore’s NLP Practitioner and Sales Coach. Learn how to incorporate the different NLP techniques in your sales practice to unleash your potential.
Wouldn’t you just love it if every prospect you ever faced said “yes” to everything you ever said?
Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world, and more often than not, you have to work a little harder at convincing potential clients to agree with you and to close deals.
Fortunately, it is possible to make prospects more amenable to your propositions by incorporating five powerful language patterns into your sales strategy. These patterns combine the power of persuasion and influence, enabling you to sell more effectively to even the most resistant prospects and clients, whether in a one-on-one or group setting.
One of these patterns was even used to great effect by Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. Imagine being able to win your clients over using the self-same tools!
Win Them Over With the Milton Model
The language patterns that follow are based on the work of renowned hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson, who had a long and distinguished career working with people placed in trances, and using cleverly structured sentences. Dr Erickson used these sentences, which were full of ambiguous meanings, to help his patients discover the solutions to their problems themselves, by using resources they already had.
The NLP Milton Model is a linguistics framework that has been proven to help many telemarketers, sales professionals and business owners achieve a manifold increase in their sales income. The framework works on the basic presupposition that the language we use is just one filter that affects our perception of the world.
By understanding how this filter works, we can use it to capture and hold other people’s attention, and direct it towards a conclusion that we want them to make. These conclusions include getting your prospects excited about making buying decisions, bypassing objections or even changing people’s beliefs. This is why the Milton Model is one of the most successful sales strategies you can use.
Here are the five powerful language patterns you can use to lead and influence your clients with ease and elegance.
1. The Double Bind. Using this language pattern involves limiting your clients’ options by giving them two choices to pick from, either of which will still lead to your desired outcome. For instance, a Double Bind commonly used by many sales professionals is, “Would you like to meet on Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon?”
In his efforts to win the hearts of voters about a decade ago, Barack Obama employed a high-level Double Bind by saying, “Do we participate in the politics of hope, or do we participate in the politics of cynicism?” To find out more about how the former US President and Steve Jobs used the Double Bind, check out the video below:
[Embed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfQC_Vtn4gI here.]
2. Presupposition. With this language pattern, we generally make an assumption about something and suggest that it is true, even if it may not actually be true. For instance, you may direct your prospect towards making a buying decision after your sale presentation by saying, “Now that you’ve seen the benefits of using our product, I’m sure you’ll want to seriously consider making this wise investment now.”
The power of presuppositions lies in their ability to get your message across with minimal judgment.
3. The Tag Question. Using a tag question usually involves including a question after a statement with the intention of displacing resistance. An example of a tag question is, “I’m sure you want to retire before you reach the age of 60, don’t you?”
This pattern is especially useful when applied in situations where someone responds to a request by doing the opposite.
4. Comparative Deletion. This is one of the most popular tools used by advertisers to put their brand or products in a favourable light. This pattern makes a comparison between a product being advertised and an unspecified alternative. An example of comparative deletion would be, “XYZ tastes better.”
5. The Conversational Postulate. This is one of the most effective tools you can use to influence someone’s decision-making process. It’s a great way to pace a pitch or a presentation and lead a prospect to a desired outcome, which has been employed by some of the world’s top sales performers.
In using the Conversational Postulate, you phrase any questions you plan to ask your prospect such that they may only be answered with a “Yes” or a “No”. This tool is powerful because numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to answer “Yes” after five to seven consecutive “Yesses”.
Using this pattern consistently throughout a presentation can help you to lead your prospect towards closing the deal.
When used with caution and discretion, these five tools can take your ability to influence and persuade your prospects and clients to the next level. With regular practise, you should be able to get outstanding results in no time.
Let a Sales Coach Show You How
Knowing the five powerful language patterns is one thing; knowing how and when to use them is quite another.
To help you make sure that you are using the patterns in the best way possible, and that the patterns are aligned with your sales strategy plan, a sales coach can be your guide. Your sales coach can give you pointers for working the patterns into your presentations, and take you through possible scenarios where using the patterns will come naturally and won’t come off as forced or contrived.
The use of these Milton Model patterns can be included on your list of sales strategies, and before long, are bound to make it to your list of sales techniques that work. Coupled with strategic sales training that will show you how you can use storytelling and walk you through the use of a consultative selling framework, these language patterns have the potential to revolutionise your sales career.
Get in touch with us at Jacky Lim to find out how you can boost your confidence, win the hearts of your prospects, achieve your personal and business goals, and raise your overall sales game today.
If you are a sales person who is driven to make that significant leap in your career, then you must have tried several techniques to produce your sales targets. You might even have attended trainings to hone your skills in navigating the competitive world of sales. It comes with your line of work because it constantly demands that you be up-to-speed with the strategies that can help increase your revenue. Creativity, a unrelenting drive, and cognizance of what your clients want are key attributes that you can hone through NLP.
Why don’t you try to understand or learn the thought processes of your clients to be more responsive to their needs? Expand your cognitive capacity. Instead of mainly using your conscious awareness as most people do, you need to tap into your subconscious mind. By doing so, you can become nine times more powerful and convincing.
This is where Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) comes in. It is a study or discipline which analyzes an individuals’ perceptions of the world with the goal of making people more successful. NLP emphasizes both verbal and non-verbal communication. It encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language, and programming. The neurological system regulates how our bodies function, language determines how we communicate with other people, and our programming determines the kinds of models of the world we create. NLP describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behaviour (programming).
NLP is like a user’s manual for the brain. It is a set of tools and techniques, but it is so much more than that. Richard Bandler and John Grinder developed this highly effective cognitive method to reprogram the subconscious to tap and develop human potential into human excellence.
In school, we did not learn much about how to intentionally feel good, change our state easily, improve the impact of our communication, or to have great relationships which are some of the essential skills in sales.
What Can NLP Do?1. It can help you in building rapport.
NLP teaches you how to quickly build rapport with anyone to establish a positive ongoing business relationship, bypassing the first and biggest obstacle faced by most salespeople. The practitioner tunes into the person by matching their physical behaviours to improve communication and response through empathy. By matching the speed and tone of voice, language structure and body language used by a client, rapport is built quickly and maintained easily. Rapport allows the development of trusting, ongoing, win/win relationships.
2. It provides you with a guide on how to effectively communicate.
Of the three major communication styles (based on the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic representational systems), most people use one style more heavily and more naturally than the other two. As an NLP-trained salesperson, you will be able to assess which style a client is most comfortable in and adjust your own style to match it. This produces a profound improvement in communication effectiveness and the level of rapport with the client.
NLP also helps in allowing you to articulate effectively what you offer to your ideal customers, how they can benefit, and how you are better than your competition.
3. It teaches you how to read your client’s buying strategies.
NLP teaches a different way of listening to people so that we can really hear what they are telling us. By understanding a client’s manner of communication, you can determine how a sale or business transaction needs to be structured for them to feel comfortable about proceeding. Being able to detect a client’s meta-programs means that you can present to them relevant sales information in the most effective manner for them.
NLP also allows you to discover a client’s frames of reference to better understand their decision-making process. For example, a client with an external frame of reference will probably need to talk to a previous satisfied client or talk their decision over with someone else. If a client has an internal frame of reference, you’ll be able to detect this and know that they won’t need to consult a third party to make their decision, because they trust their own judgement.
NLP helps you in prospecting, qualifying potential clients, establishing value, handling objections, moving the sale forward (including closing), helping clients implement and achieve value, testimonials, case studies and referrals.
4. NLP will help you understand what your clients truly value.
NLP techniques allows you to delve deeper and know a client vale and then link your product or service back to these values. This is the single most important step that convinces a person to agree or buy.
People are motivated in different ways and by different things. The two main ways we are motivated are: towards a goal or result that we want to achieve away from a situation or thing we do not want. Losing motivation will lead to inconsistent performance.
5. It will break your self-limitations.
Powerful belief-transforming techniques enable salespeople to replace limiting views with positive, empowering ones that will deliver an immediate, measurable increase in sales results. As they replace their limiting beliefs, salespeople become much more positive and motivated towards their goals.
Any successful person in business or sales will confirm that they must be in an empowered, positive, resourceful state to achieve their goals.
NLP skills are valuable for gaining a better understanding of your prospect and for helping you to be more persuasive and influential with anyone anywhere. This is true with any communication medium – through mail, on the phone, face-to-face, or in a group presentation.
All of us react to situations and make judgments at a subconscious level. Salespeople would do well to increase their skills in non-verbal communication and in perceiving people’s presuppositions. This is the strength and advantage of using NLP — it amplifies your sales skills.
Every salesperson knows how hard it is to make a sale, especially when the financial and economic status of companies and industries are so erratic and hard to deal with. Companies are more scrutinizing and have become more careful with their purchases, sometimes to a fault which leaves them frozen when purchasing decisions are to be made. With this challenging scenario in our heads, every successful salesperson would tell you that it’s just all in the way you handle the job and, in this post, you will find the five essential skills that any salesperson should learn to break away from the pack and start selling like nothing ever mattered.
Skill Number One: Know the Buyer Inside-Out
Knowing the customer is essential in creating a relationship that you would like to last. However, understanding your customer’s behavior is not so simple.. The foundation of effective selling is knowing your customer very well, not only to sell your product, but to create an experience that will leave a lasting and indelible impression. In that way, they will look for you when they need what you are selling.
When expectations are met and surpassed, it would be easy to create that special bond with the customer, and it is not going to happen without good knowledge of your customer’s persona. By doing this, you would be able to provide buyer-responsive selling which is basically being able to provide what the client needs when the client needs it. For example, instead of just giving a free product to the customer, walk the customer through the experience and make the trial as trouble-free as possible. This way, the only thing the client will remember is how valuable your product is and how wonderful it is to deal with you.
Skill Number Two: Make the Buyer Trust You
Trust is important in any relationship and this is also the case when selling your goods to your clients. It is very important for the client to feel that level of trust with you and it all begins with knowing exactly what you are doing. When you exude confidence in yourself and your product, the client will feel safe with you, knowing that you are able to provide what is needed when it is needed.
Once they get this from you, the next part is to use your knowledge of the customer and apply it to what your cause. By doing this, you show your capability to present the product in the best way possible and it shows how great you are in customizing the product to the needs of the customer.
The final step is to make them feel that you are there to help them. It means a lot for a customer to know that you sincerely want to help and it’s not just to get the sale, but it’s just who you are. Such interactions make the biggest mark in the industry and allows you to deal with customers and peers alike in the most productive manner possible.
Skill Number 3: Sell the Product the Best Way You Can
With a lot of competitors actively trying to outsell you, your approach to selling should be the most efficient in terms of getting the attention of the customer. A lot of salespeople think that the more words they put in, the more the client knows about the product. There is some truth in that situation but nowadays, the customers in general appear to favor conciseness, preferring the short, meaningful, and engaging selling materials over the superfluous ones.
Always remember to avoid communicating more than three points in a conversation with the buyer, that would be just too much. Also remember to make your sales pitch compelling. Think of the big picture and how it weaves into what you are selling and what the client is looking for. Such an insight often gives a bigger reason for the customer to act on what you are selling.
Both rules apply to copywriting. Short and compelling material always beats the long and complicated ones. For you to really get your customer’s attention, customize it to their needs and personality. Nothing beats customization if you aim to create that bond with your reader or customer.
Skill Number 4: Engage Your Customers in All Available Platforms
With the onset of technology, the face-to-face approach to selling has evolved into teleconferences. This recent development has underscored the need for salespeople to learn how to maximize the use of phones and other communication gadgets in effectively reaching the customers whenever and wherever they are.
Some of the concerns would be the tone and the cadence of their voices. Communicating the words should always be done in a clear and exciting manner – and these factors are important in making your point come across clearly.
Another medium that needs to be tamed is social media. The interactions and participation of individuals and companies on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedln are completely mined and used as leverage for future deals with your clients. By engaging your them on social media, you make yourself more available by presenting to them everything they need before they even get the chance to call you.
Skill Number 5: Be the Wise Salesman
Aside from enabling you to engage your customers online, technology should be seen as an ally in getting that sale off the ground. With the increasing number of duties and responsibilities that salespeople need to face aside from selling to the customer, the need to learn new technology has become a prerequisite in achieving sales targets. There are now a lot of apps and programs that will help you do your job efficiently and you should really take advantage of that.
Focusing your time on creating opportunities for you to close in on is also a good strategy because it allows you to see things from a bigger perspective and helps you achieve your objectives by knowing where you are in terms of targets and where you should be to achieve them.
These five skills are but a stepping stone to unleash breakthroughs in closing a sales deal. But reach your full potential by complementing these skills with the use of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Join us in one of Jacky Lim’s Sharing Sessions to learn about NLP and how it can be beneficial for you as a sales person. This two-hour session will give you a preview of many NLP techniques that you can use in performing sales calls.
Call us now or simply fill out our inquiry formto book the seat reserved just for you!