Wanna sell more? DON’T do this!

Hi, Everyone!

The differences between top sales professionals and the rest of the crowd isn’t just about what they DO – it’s about what they DON’T do as well! Over the course of more than 20 years developing the MasterStream Method, we’ve identified over two dozen traditional selling approaches that, upon closer examination, cause more damage than good. In this article, we’ll begin exploring several mistakes sales professionals make, starting with:

Why “Feel … Felt … Found” is a Foolish Thing to Say

The essence of every sales call is to complete three basic tasks: 1) help your prospect identify a situation in need of their immediate attention; 2) prove you’re the solution they need; and 3) secure their commitment.

Let’s focus on the first task.

Here’s a common situation sales professionals encounter: Let’s say you’re a financial services sales professional.  You’re meeting with a prospective financial planning client and as you’re asking some basic fact-finding questions, your prospect reveals that they are worried about their retirement.  There are only three ways you can respond to their statement  — you can normalize their concerns … ignore their worries … or pursue their issue.

Traditional selling strategies would recommend that you take the edge off of the prospect’s worries and connect yourself more strongly to your prospect by using the “Feel … Felt … Found” technique.  You’ve all heard it – probably even SAID it – before:  “I understand exactly how you feel.  Many of my clients felt the same way.  But by working with us, they found the answers to their greatest concerns.”

So what’s wrong with that?

If you say that – or anything to the effect of, “Everyone is concerned about their retirement” or, “That’s what we hear people tell us every day” or even, “You’ve certainly come to the right place.” you’re normalizing what your prospect is experiencing. Stop and think about it: You’re actually telling them that their situation ISN’T as unique as they thought it was — that you deal with similar situations all the time … that their situation is commonplace.  That awareness reduces your prospect’s level of productive tension as it calms their worries.  In turn, that reduces the likelihood of your prospect confronting their situation and doing something about it, so STOP normalizing what your prospect is experiencing!

If you completely ignore your prospect’s statement and let it pass by without any acknowledgement  whatsoever, you’re communicating that their concern is so unnecessary and their situation so inconsequential  that it doesn’t even deserve a moment’s attention.  If you dismiss your prospect’s concerns — directly or indirectly — you are robbing yourself of an ideal opportunity to help them solve a problem and could very well be harming them in the process, so STOP ignoring what your prospect is experiencing!

If you want to sell more, remember that whenever a prospect says they are worried about something, PURSUE the SUBJECT in greater detail.  Questions like, “What troubles you the most about your retirement?” and, “What’s causing you to be so concerned?” and, “What are you afraid will happen?” are likely to reveal much more useful information, get to the true source of your prospect’s issue and open the door wider for you to be of service to them. The more you support your prospect in focusing on the uniqueness of their situation and the validity of their concerns, the more closely they will listen to what you have to say, the more valuable they will view your solution and the more quickly they will take action on your recommendations.

Happy Selling!

-T-

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