Did you know there are certain sales principles that get right to the subconscious part of the mind of your prospects? I’m not kidding or exaggerating.
As we’ve been learning for the past couple weeks, sales is all about persuasion and there is no better way to persuade someone than by using words that lead their subconscious in the direction that you want.
In fact, Ross Jeffries, one of our resident guests on Coffee Is For Closers, has a book titled Subtle Words That Sell, all about teaching you how to get your prospects to convince themselves to buy without a pitch.
Guys! It’s all about the language you use, and how you use it. And, as entrepreneurs we’ve all signed-up to be 24/7 sales people. So why don’t we make it easy on ourselves and use Ross’s sales principles to make the sale happen without having to push?
Subtle Sales Principle 1: You are never actually selling your product or service. You are always selling decisions and good feelings about decisions.
The first step to becoming a subtle sales word guru is to stop calling yourself a sales person. Take it out of your vocabulary! From now on, you can call yourself a “Decision Service Technician (DST).”
Doesn’t that have a great ring to it? I love it!
The very first thing you need to remember when you are talking to a prospect is that you are not trying to sell a product or service. You’re always selling good decisions and then good feelings about those decisions.
Nowadays people don’t know how to make good decisions. It used to be that you had to get people to trust you, but that’s no longer enough. You have to get them to trust themselves in their own decision-making process.
Here’s why. First and foremost, people are distracted. They don’t have the focus that they used to have. They don’t have the time to think things through.
Secondly, when it comes to any decision involving money, people have a button on it because money equals survival. Most people do not understand how money works and they certainly can’t project into the future, so they have no idea whether what you’re offering will actually benefit them in the future.
Finally, you should be proud of what you do and believe in it 100%, but what you’re selling is a commodity. You need to understand what you’re TRULY selling is the decision your prospect will make AND that they’ll feel good about.
You basically want to create a loop in someone’s mind so that every time they think about the decision they made with you, it brings up a good feeling.
Not only does that keep them with you, but it’s likely to get you some referrals as well!
Shifting to this way of thinking takes the pressure off of you to make the sale and instead allows you to help your prospects feel good about the decisions they are going to make.
Subtle Sales Principle 2: Capture and lead your prospect’s imagination and emotions before you present the facts, data, and figures.
Ross says, “If I were to take you to a forest and show you all the things you can’t eat, by process of elimination you’re going to know the things that you’re able to eat.”
But the problem here is that you are delving into the data, giving specifics and data points, which activates the left brain. Instead, what you want to activate is the part of the mind that wants to believe.
To do that, you have to be vague!
When you’re vague, the person will fill in the blanks with their own imagination (which is precisely what you want).
If you’re an accountant, you could try this example. “Before we start today’s consultation, I’m not sure at which point you might stop and find yourself thinking that this is the direction you want to go in, but can I ask one favor? Can I ask that you please share with me any of the questions that come up for you, when a great decision is going to be made?”
In that statement, two things happened, one, you asked the prospect to promise they’d tell you when they had questions.
Promise is a relationship verb, and since we only promise things to people that we trust, we are helping the prospect to pre-frame the relationship that you want to build with them.
The other thing that we used in that example was to ask, “Can I ask that you please share with me any of the questions that come up for you, when a great decision is going to be made?”
This implies that they’re going to make a great decision, and says to the unconscious mind that every time you raise your hand or ask a question you’re going to making a great decision.
The behavior reinforces the meaning and the meaning reinforces the behavior.
You are basically putting suggestions in the person’s mind, but you’re getting them to repeat those suggestions over and over again on an unconscious level.
Once you’ve programed their mind to receive the facts, data and figures, you should release that information.
Subtle Sales Principle 3: Your prospect no longer trusts their ability to make a good decision, and with good reason.
People have WAY too many decisions to make.
When you go on Facebook, how many ads do you see in the span of 10 minutes? There are just so many! And with those ads come decisions that need to be made (to buy or not buy).
We live in a world that’s increasingly more and more complex, and we as humans were only built to hold MAYBE seven bits of data in our conscious mind at any given time. People are just overwhelmed!
We as salespeople and business owners need to create a state of focus for our prospects.
Subtle Sales Principle 4: Your prospect NO longer has the focus and concentration they need to make important decisions.
You want to embed a command. Something like “listen carefully” is perfect example. This might seem like it would be complicated, but it’s really not.
Embed that command in a sentence like this, “As we’re working together today, if you find yourself listening closely…”
Let’s pick apart that sentence. “Find yourself” is a very powerful phrase that will help increase your business. if you toss everything else that Ross teaches in his book, at least keep this phrase!
“Find yourself” implies that it’s going to happen whether they want it to or not. It also allows your prospect to relax because they don’t have to make something happen.
Here’s an example of using this in a sentence: “As we’re working together today, I don’t know at what point you’ll find yourself listening very carefully to what I have to say in a way that serves you, but as that naturally takes place feel free to ask questions that are going to arise when you’re making a great decision today.”
That sentence is packed FULL of suggestions and techniques!!
Subtle Sales Principle 5: Any and all objections are just cries for help to make the decision to buy.
Anyone who has ever owned a business or works with clients has heard an objection. If you’re not sure what that means, it is just a client telling you NO or not right now. They have questions or they might want to think about it. They may come back with things like “It’s too expensive” or “I need to talk to my significant other” or “I’m just shopping around.”
You’ve likely heard them all, but these are just cries for help. This is where you step in and help people make the decision to buy.
Let’s say you have a prospect who is telling you that your program is too expensive. The best way to handle that objection is to use a counter-example, also called objection amnesia. You could say something like…
“Expensive?” Expensive is when you lose out because you didn’t have the right guidance to maximize the profits that you want in your business.”
Ultimately what you want to do is feed the client back what they said, with how you can help them overcome that objection.
After you’ve fed them what they said, you would want to end with a line like, “So, with that in mind, what do you need to have clarified for you, so that you can feel good to make that decision today?”
When you reframe the objection to be about what it is REALLY about for them, the whole original thought just disappears from their mind. They’re now more primed to purchase. This is objection amnesia.
Why does this work? The brain is a meaning making machine and humans are evolved to look for patterns in thinking. When you shift the pattern of what they’ve been thinking, you create a temporary window where you can start suggesting things that are cleverly used to guide them to think the way you want them to.
Remember! An objection is just something hiding what the truth really is. We all naturally do it. We live in a world where so many of us are just on autopilot. Your prospect may not even know what the truth is, so your job is to guide them to that truth.
Subtle Sales Principle 6: Empathy for your prospect should be avoided at all costs.
Let’s start by defining empathy. Empathy means you’re feeling what the other person is feeling.
This so important because if your prospect is feeling hesitant, you’re going to start feeling hesitant.
Basically the prospect takes over the emotional control of the conversation, and that is the last thing you want.
If you’re able to understand where the prospect is emotionally without also going there yourself, you then have the capability to guide the interaction the way you want it to go.
One great way to stop yourself from getting sucked into your prospects emotions is to ground your feet. If you start to feel triggered emotionally, put 20% of your attention on the feeling in your feet (or your butt in the chair if you’re sitting). This helps to ground your nervous energy.
Another thing you can do is defocus your vision. This means that you’re only looking peripherally. This DOESN’T mean cross your eyes, simply just soften your vision.
When you get involved in what someone else is saying, in this case your prospect, your vision narrows and we put all of our attention on them. When you allow your vision to soften, it backs you out of that and allows you to better focus on the conversation, without stepping into the emotions.
There’s an incredible amount of information here, but it is also so valuable so I didn’t want to leave any out!
Here’s my advice. Read through everything again and then start unpacking these sales principles, bit by bit. Put one thing into practice each day, and pretty soon you’ll be a pro at using subtle words that sell.
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