The human being is both a very complex and very simple construction. As a sales person you can benefit from this if you adopt the right behavior. Remember: Sales is all about trust and feelings. All decisions that a human being makes are 80 – 90 % based on feelings, not facts. The facts are often used afterwards to motivate your emotional decision.
Since all decisions are based on feelings it is important for you that work with sales (influencing) to realize and start using that rather than working against that scientific fact!
We all know this but it can be good to remind oneself sometimes. It is people who are doing business with other people, not a companies doing business with other companies. This means that you as an individual really matters, you can make the difference between success and failure.
Here are a few tips on what to think about.
Clothes = authority = trust
People have an inbuilt respect for authority, i.e. Police, Military, Judges, Doctors etc.
People who work with professions that have a uniform tend to disappear in front of a person, the person only see the uniform and the authority it represents.
People tend to respect what an authority says and seldom question the statements made by an authority.
You can benefit from this by starting to think of how you dress. A suit or strict dress gives you authority and makes people listen more to what you have to say than if you show up in a different style.
Even if you have a suit or a dress it is also important how it suits your body. A to big or to small suit or dress will not look nice. A common mistake many people do is putting on a too big suit; the arms are to long, the jacket ends too far down the thighs etc.
That gives a very sloppy chaotic impression! A well-made and shaped suit fits your body perfectly and that signal sharpness. Fit is a powerful indicator of professional success.
Here’s a test… what’s wrong with this guy’s jacket?
Yes! the sleeves are too long. Okay, so it’s not the end of the world, but can you see how much crisper – how in sync with the pocket square it would have been to see a crisp slash of white at the bottom of the sleeve?
If we had to make a broad sweeping generalization, it’s that women wear their clothing too small and men wear their clothing too BIG
This last picture is a great example. It’s a person wearing a wicked expensive suit he got from a nice and expensive store. It’s too long in the body, the sleeves, the trousers, it swamps him.
Wearing a suit that is too big does not make you look larger – rather it diminishes you. Got a few extra pounds? Wearing a shirt or jeans that are too big does not slim you – it makes you look heavier.
You should never visit a client in anything else than a suit or a dress, that is not professional.
Faced with a hard choice, we would rather suggest buying a cheaper suit with after-tailoring rather than an expensive suit with none. What constitutes some money in tailoring? Correct, it is more than the jacket and trouser cuffs.
The body of the jacket may need to be taken in if you are athletically cut. The seat of the trousers may need to be adjusted to fit your seat more precisely. The width of the trouser legs may need to be slimmed down.
Taking the time to work with a “real” tailor (not the one at the department store or dry cleaner’s ) to make these kind of adjustments to your garments will create an appearance of close to a custom suit.
When others perceive you as successful – either socially or professionally it is a magnet that will draw them closer to you.
If you meet a well suited sales rep. would you believe he/she is successful? There is an old expression saying “success breeds success” and that is true. If you want to be successful start dressing, acting and talking as if you are and it will eventually become true.
YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE
TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
Another expression is fake it till you make it, that is also true. We don’t mean that people should be dishonest or anything like that but it is about changing your behavior.
It takes approximately 20 – 30 days to change a behavior and during that period it is important to fake it and trick yourself into a successful behavior.
We can also promise you that you will feel the difference when dressing in fitted clothes; it gives you confidence and a feel good mood.
ACTING = THE WORLDS SHALLOW VIEW ON YOU
How you walk, talk, gesticulate and your posture influence other people around you. This is happening whether you like it or not. That is why it is so important to think of these things actively.
WALK: When you walk down a hall, all should here that you are coming, walk with authority.
POSTURE: Keep a straight back when you stand and walk that signals authority and confidence. People do not want to do business with a non-confident person.
TALK: When you talk, talk with a clear and loud (not shouting) voice. Think of the words that you use, do not use excessively complex words, and keep it simple.
Remember, your task is to make it as easy as possible for your client to understand you, how you can help, your offer etc. not to make them feel inferior.
EYE CONTACT: Remember to look the other person in the eyes, that shows confidence and creates security. If there are several people in the room, switch eye-contact so you do not stare.
This is also important in your first meeting if you don’t know which person will lead the meeting from the customer’s side. Follow all the people’s eyes equally until you know who it is.
Then you give this person your main focus, without missing the others.
HANDSHAKE: Have a firm grip, not over firm. steady and firm grip shows confidence. If you have a weak grip it shows sloppiness and a weak character.
If you exaggerate it will be perceived as if you compensating for something or lack confidence. Gesticulation and body language: Your body language must reflect what you say, otherwise you lose trust in front of the client.
Also remember to be enthusiastic when presenting your solution and company, if you are not enthusiastic about it, is it then any good?
SMILING: Also remember to smile a lot, people are getting happy when meeting someone smiling, that creates a nice atmosphere and increases the chances that they want to do business with you.
It is also a fact that feminine looks are more trustworthy than typical male ones. By smiling a lot you increase your chances of getting your client’s trust.
IT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAY AS MUCH AS HOW YOU SAY IT
Scientific studies have proven that people only remember approximately 1-5 percent of what you say. They do therefore forget the rest, 95 percent. As a sales rep. you should draw two main conclusions from that.
It is not what you say that matters most, it is how you say it and how you act in the meeting that they remember. If you are enthusiastic, energetic, trustworthy, competent etc. it is your abilities that they mostly remember.
Since the audience do remember 1-5 percent it is important that you take control over those 1-5 percent. You need to secure that those 1-5 percent are filled with your differentiating parts.
The way to do it is to list what differentiates your offer and keep coming back to those words or topics throughout your presentation.
MANY CLIENTS = CAN’T BE WRONG = GOOD = SAFE
Since people are a social animal we tend to act in the same way as others. Therefore it is
important to use stories about other clients that have bought from you and what benefits
they have got from that.
Then your leads will feel secure and think “if they can do, then I
can as well”, “if they do it, that must be good”, “If so many people use it, it can’t be wrong”.
HOW TO PERFORM AN INITIAL MEETING WITH A NEW LEAD
There are different types of meetings. Therefore it is important to know what approach to apply for these different types of meetings, so both you and the one you meet gets the most out of that time.
People are in general very busy and do not want to spend time in meetings that do not give them any value back.
This is especially important when it comes to sales meetings, a customer do not want to take a meeting with you if you cannot convince that the meeting will give them value.
Here are some suggestions on how to approach customers in different situations. We have described three different types of meetings,
- The 5 minute meeting. This often takes place in a lobby, the fair, outside an elevator or if the customers CEO shows up 5 minutes during the meeting. For these meetings you should have a 1-2 minute pitch describing the problem you solve and the value you deliver.
- It should tell what you offer on a high level and trigger the customers curiosity, so want to take a longer meeting with you. Try to schedule a longer meeting.
- The 15 – 20 minute meeting. This meeting is good when you know the client or have had several previous meetings. This type is good for strengthening relationships or as something in between a lobby meeting and a in depth meeting. If you focus on selling something, remember to be to the point and summarize the customers problem, how you can solve it and what differentiates you from the competition.
- The 45 – 60 minute meeting. Remember to always ask – How much time do we have? Do we still have … minutes, half an hour, an hour? To many sales reps. forget to ask this question. The result; the customer tells you in the later part of the meeting “I need to hurry to another meeting”. Then you risk missing to summarize and schedule the next step or even risk missing to close the deal if that’s the goal of the meeting. It also shows you are professional. Sticking to a time plan signals trust and respect for the one you meet.
Please create your own agenda for these different meetings mentioned above. With a prepared structure for each type of meeting you can focus on influencing.
If you want to learn more about sales meeting you can always read our article. Sales meeting are our passion at 20NINE !