13 Aug

There is nothing worse than having to endure a "sales pitch." I absolutely hate to be sold to, and I'm pretty sure you do too. In my opinion, the absolute worse form of this is when we are bombarded by an "interruption" sales pitch.

I've almost decided to completely stop shopping at Sam's Wholesale Club because, every time I walk down the left hand isle, I get accosted by the Direct TV sales people who jump directly into my path and ask me if they can ask me a quick question. "Sorry, man, you just did. No thank you . . ." and, more importantly, "how dare you?" In what world do they think people still respond to that crap?

If that wasn't enough, I have to get a sales pitch about Sam's Cash Back program every single time I check out. Every damned time! I think some people give in just to avoid future sales pitches.

We all know that nobody likes to be sold to, but that everyone loves to buy stuff. The difference is obviously who's idea it was in the first place, and the way we are assisted in the buying process. In other words, I make an emotional decision that I need or want something, I proactively seek out a solution and then and only then am I open to a sales person helping make that purchase.

Most of the time I don't need anyone's help at all. However, let's just say I did. At that point, how does the salesperson do their job effectively without pissing me off or making me second guess my buying?

Well, it's the exact same way we should all sell ourselves and our ideas, products and/or services. Authentically! Here's how it looks . . .

1. Serve - You must determine in your mind, before you even have a conversation with your potential "buyer," that no matter what the outcome, you're going to give your face off. You're having the conversation for one reason only - to give. When you approach your "selling" conversation this way, the other party feels it, and it begins to lower their sales resistance organically.

2. Ask good questions - The best way to do this is to be fully present in the conversation, give the ball to the other person, let them have control of the conversation, and ask the next logical question that will help you understand what they value, and what exactly they're looking for.

3. Listen - When you honestly and fully let go of your own agenda for the conversation, many serendipitous things begin to happen. Among them are the little insights and opportunities to add value that you may not have come to the conversation anticipating. Another is that, very quickly, you begin to understand what it is that they value as it relates to the potential purchase of your stuff.

4. Add value - Once you understand what it is they value, you must immediately do two critical things:

a. Scrap what you had originally planned on offering them.

b. Give them what they've just told you they value.

b. Partner with them to see what they may and/or may not be open to trying.

5. Have a partnering conversation - at this point in the conversation, you'll have a pretty good idea of what your potential buyer values as it relates to your offer, but you'll still need to clarify a few things so you can land your plane on their runway. This is where a "suppose that, what if, would you consider, how about" conversation needs to proceed making an offer. For more detail on how to have that conversation, read this.

6. Put the buyer in control - once you've discerned the "must haves" from the "nice to haves," you can add value to their buying experience by connecting the dots as to how what they really value can be met by what you're offering. Once you've done that successfully, you simply put a gentle offer on the table and let them decide what their next course of action will be.

If you've done a good job with steps 1-5, more times than not, they will make the decision to buy what you're offering - as long as it is of value and meets the needs/wants they were looking to have met.

If you will follow those six simple steps each and every time you get the opportunity to "sell" your ideas, products, services and/or yourself, you will see your efforts amplified immediately.

When you do, please come back to this post and share the results so we can share in your success and give you a virtual high five!

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