How to Influence Sales in 7 Simple Steps.
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Sales is about influencing others to make a decision to buy what you are offering. So how do you influence sales? This needs to be very intentional on your part. Set your intention and carry it through using this simple 7-step process.
But before we start, let’s look at my intention statement. The one I just stated for this blog post. I do that for almost every article.
In my mind, I already know the outcome of each article. To teach you one technique or new skill every article. That’s my secret to staying on topic, not adding too much fluff (unless it’s intentional) and sharing that technique or skill with you in as simple and as easy a way for you to understand as possible.
That’s my intention. To influence you to take the new technique or skill and use it to increase your sales. To influence you, not manipulate you. There’s a big difference.
When you influence someone in sales, you are showing them why your solution will work and is the best possible solution for them.
That is why it is so important to spend time with your prospect and learn about them. How can you give a stranger a good solution if you don’t know what they are trying to achieve? The level of importance that this outcome is to them? Or how emotionally attached they are to the outcome?
Sales Influencers don’t manipulate.
When you influence people in a sales meeting, you guide them through a journey, learn about them and their needs. You help them close the gap of where they are now and where they wish to be. And you help them achieve their outcome as quickly as possible.
Boom. Not to be glib, but sale made.
Yes, I am proudly and unapologetically a sales influencer. I find and create solutions for problems.
So today, I am going to share with you the 7 steps to influence sales. If you would like to know more about becoming an intentional salesperson, which is the mindset you need to be an influential salesperson, check out this article, too.
Okay, so we know you must have the mindset of being intentional. Both in your sales presentations, and in the intentional mindset that you are going to make a sale, right?
Now you’re ready to talk about how to be an influential salesperson – let’s go with the seven simple steps: oh, and one more thing, do these in order. Don’t skip any of them. No shortcuts.
The 7 steps to influence sales.
One – Be Fearless.
Don’t be afraid to ask those sometimes difficult questions that you need to ask to close the gap between where your prospect is and where they want to be. You are not being nosey – you really need to know this so you can help them.
And don’t be afraid to say that – “I know it seems like I’m asking you quite a few questions, and you are probably wondering why”. Expose that elephant in the room. It’s okay – and it’s probably what they’re thinking anyway.
Expose the elephant, expose the objections.
After I listen to them for a few minutes I say “I’ve been working with my company for about 11 years, and I’ve helped many people with exactly what you are explaining to me. But because every situation is a little different and unique, I’d like to ask you a few more questions about you, is that okay?”
Another way to address that elephant in the room before it even appears. Trust-building statement and permission to ask questions.
Two – then, Create the Need.
Repeat back to them the need you have just uncovered by asking your possibly difficult questions. Confirm that you understand where they are, confirm the problem, and confirm where they want to be.
Listen to the tone in their voices – what part do they seem more excited about when they speak? Where they show excitement is where their emotion is.
Three – Show Them The Way.
Present your solution to their problem. Include emotional points and facts. People buy based on emotions and justify their decisions with facts.
Four – Create Urgency.
One of the difficult questions you should ask in Step One is, “When are you looking to make a change?” or, “When are you looking to have this done by?”. Now, take their answer and repeat it back to them in Step 4.
“If you are looking to have this done by ___________, you will need to take the next step by________. “
You don’t need to say what the next step is. In fact, most people will ask you what the next step is which leads to …
Five – Help Them Feel Involved.
Allow them to feel involved in the decision-making process and in control of their decisions. One way to keep them involved and interact with you is …
Six – Gain the commitment.
As you go through this conversation with them. I say conversation, not sales presentation, because a sales presentation, in my opinion, is really better explained as a conversation, don’t you agree?
Each conversation, when you have your prospect interacting with you and involved, is really just a series of mini – closes, where you are asking questions, confirming their answers, pivoting where necessary, and gaining mini – commitments. So that when you get to the end of the conversation, you’re both already in perfect agreement.
Another way to keep things interactive is to have your prospects take notes with a pen as you are talking. Say to them, “You might want to write this down” or “You might want to take a picture of this”, if you are giving them a demonstration. Get them writing and interactive.
This works really well when you show them a dollar figure of a proposal, too. Give them a pen and let them interact.
My final step on how to be an influential salesperson is …
Seven – Show Them R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Through this series of steps, you are learning about your prospect. You may not like everything they tell you, and you may even find their ideas, how do I say this gently… Stupid.
But, they have a right to their opinions, no matter how much you disagree. With their ideas, opinions, and answers to your questions, they are giving you the framework of what you have to work with. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if you can work with what they are giving you.
Actually, if I can determine this early on, before I even offer them a solution – it’s even better. Because the last thing you want to do is offer them a solution and have them take your expertise to a competitor, right?
So, if in steps 1 and 2 you are realizing that, for whatever reason, you and your company are just not a good fit, be ready to walk away.
Apologize, explain that you don’t feel you’re the best fit for them, and let them walk – respectfully and nicely.
You can say, “We have some really great options that I think would work for you, but based on the information you’ve given me, I don’t feel we’re a good fit at this time”.
This will either allow them to leave, or become more interactive and possibly more reasonable. And allow you to help them by offering a solution and making a sale.
To review: How to Become a Sales Influencer in 7 Simple Steps
- Be Fearless
- Create the Need
- Show Them The Way
- Create Urgency
- Earn Their Trust
- Gain Their Commitment
- Show Them Respect
Until we meet again, go out and start being a sales influencer, and happy selling!
Just For Fun –
As I was writing this article, I found myself singing songs related to each of the 7 steps. Corny, yes. But just because it’s a blog about sales doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Here are the song’s that came to mind:
Step 1 – Roar, Katy Perry
Step 2 – I’m So Excited, The Pointer Sisters
Step 3 – We Can Work It Out, The Beatles
Step 4 – Whatever It Takes, Imagine Dragons
Step 5 – Just What I Needed, The Cars
Step 6 – Sandy, Bruce Springstein
Step 7 – R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin, of course!
Let me know a good song for step 2 in the comments below. Thanks for playing!
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