Selling may seem a useful thing only to someone who is a salesman by trade, but this is not the case. Each of us, in our life, is in a situation where we have to “sell” something to someone, whether it is to sell an idea to our partner or to propose a strategy to our employer.
The “Straight Line” system
It may seem impossible, but all sales are equal. Every single sale that we manage to manage can be represented by a simple straight line, which proceeds from left to right. On the left we find the moment of first contact, on the right the moment in which we conclude the sale.
In every sale there are three elements, three basic requirements, also called the “Three Ten”, without which the customer will never arrive to confirm the transaction. The customer must have:
- trust in the product and certainty that it can satisfy its needs;
- trust in us and in our knowledge and competence, and certainty that we care about your needs;
- trust in our company.
Each of these elements, in our client’s mind, must reach a level of 10 on a hypothetical scale of certainty.
When it comes to shopping, people don’t just use logic, they also use emotion. Indeed, in most cases, emotion is the driving force that leads to the decision to buy, and logic takes over only afterwards, to justify the choice made. For this reason it is important to immediately present an impeccable logic, in order to leave the customer free to be guided by emotion.
When we stand in a straight line, we have to guide the conversation. If we fail to do so, we run the risk of going too far, leaving the customer to lead the transaction. This often happens through objections that the client presents to us. It is important to remember that any objection that is presented to us is nothing more than a cover, a veil that hides the real obstacle: uncertainty.
To ensure we are always on the straight line, it is essential to start with a phase of information collection, in order to be able to create a good relationship with the customer and to conduct sales in the best way.
First of all, it is important to understand who our client is and there are seven things we need to know about him:
- his primary and secondary needs;
- his beliefs and beliefs;
- past experiences that can influence his choices;
- its moral values;
- its financial standards;
- the source of his unease;
- your current financial situation;
Once these elements have been identified, we can define the five fundamental principles of the Straight Line method .
- The customer must love your product.
- The customer has to trust you.
- The customer must trust your company.
- The client must have a high level of certainty in the Three Ten – this is his threshold of action.
- The client must have a need or experience discomfort that causes him to act – this is the pain threshold.
The most important four seconds
When we talk to someone for the first time, it takes us a few seconds to decide if we like this person and if we trust him / her. The first seconds of conversation with a client are therefore fundamental, and we must use them to convey three ideas:
- that we are awake and “on piece”;
- that we are extremely excited;
- that we are experts in our sector.
The customer doesn’t want to deal with people who don’t know their product or market; he wants to make sure he is in the hands of the person best suited to satisfy his need, by presenting him with the best possible solution to his problem.
To strengthen this idea, we can present to the customer facts and ideas that can only derive from a strong knowledge of their sector, highlighting the characteristics that make us the right person.
Lead a conversation with tonality and body language
Much of our communication takes place through the words we say, but that’s not all. The intonation with which we pronounce our sentences can profoundly influence the way in which our interlocutor perceives them, and consequently, on how he perceives us.
It is extremely important to have a fluent speech and to pronounce words correctly, especially the specific terms of the sector in which we are operating. A clear and decisive diction serves to strengthen our image of an extremely competent and secure person of one’s own work.
How we can (and why we must) learn to manage our “state”
Human interactions are based on emotion, and the way we deal with a customer. The outcome of our conversations is therefore deeply linked to our ability to activate an emotional “state” that is suitable for the situation.