Can’t you tell when somebody wants something from you? I certainly can. And it usually feels inconvenient and intrusive.
So you can understand, then, why potential clients will often run for cover when they can sense your initial sales contact is for the sole purpose of “making the sale.”
Most potential clients sense that being approached by a sales call is for self-serving purposes only. You can almost hear the unspoken thought, “You want something, right? Otherwise why would you be calling?” This triggers almost immediate resistance.
For selling to be done in a non-intrusive way, based on trust, we must shift the perception away from “you want something,” into “you are being helpful.” When your sales conversations no longer feel intrusive to you and your prospective client, people naturally are more open to speaking with you.
Shifting this perception in others is all about shifting our own mindset within ourselves.
Focusing 100% on “their” issues and challenges takes us away from the traditional sales mindset. In the old mindset, we talk about ourselves and our product or service. In this new trust-based selling approach, we’re focusing on them and how we can help them.
To be perceived as helpful, we must actually be helpful. If we try to use “being seen as helpful” as just another sales technique, people will think we have a hidden agenda and react with suspicion. The key is to stay sincere in your approach and desire to help the other person.
Here’s how to begin to shift away from your agenda to theirs:
1. Make It About Them, Not About You
We’ve all learned that when we begin a conversation with a potential client, we should talk about ourselves, our product, and our solution.
But this self-focus almost always feels intrusive to the other person and shuts down the possibility of a genuine conversation.
Instead, step directly into their world. Open the conversation with a question rather than a sales pitch. For example, “I’m just giving you a call to see if you may be in a situation where unpaid invoices have become a priority to address in your business?
Never let the person feel that your focused on your own needs, goals, or agenda. Communicate that your calling with 100 percent of your thoughts and energy focused on their needs.
2. Avoid the Artificial Salesperson Enthusiasm
People feel pushed along by artificial enthusiasm. This triggers rejection because it feels very intrusive to be pushed by someone they don’t know.
Artificial enthusiasm includes some expectation that your product or service is a great fit for them. Yet, we’ve never spoken with them before, much less had a full conversation with them. We can’t possibly know a huge amount about them or their needs.
And so to them, we are simply someone who wants to sell them something
That perception can shift almost immediately when you allow them to guide the conversation, even when it means getting “off track” a bit.
3. Consider “Where Should We Go From Here?”
Let’s say the initial conversation turns into a positive and friendly conversation. The other person feels you’re offering something valuable, and wants to know more. Both of you feel there may be a match.
Rather than focusing on making a sale at this point, you can simply say, “Well, where do you think we should go from here?”
This question reassures potential clients that you’re not using the conversation to fulfill your own hidden agenda.
Rather, your giving them space and time to come to their own conclusions. You’re helping them create their own path, which is one of the core ingredients to creating genuine trust.
To your success,