By Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins is the author of 17 books, including "How to Master the Art of Selling™," which has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide. This mega-selling book is considered a must-have reference guide for top selling producers in every field of sales. He has also authored three selling-skills books in the popular "Selling for Dummies©" series. In this program Tom will give you his secrets to selling success.
A message from Tom:
What is the emotional process that leads to a purchase? It begins with a new development in buyers' self-images. That is, buyers see themselves in a new way. If the projected purchase is small, that change need only be small, but if the purchase is a large one in relation to buyers' income, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large.
Such a change can come about very quickly. It can take place within a few minutes or even within a few seconds. Champions are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales interviews. They are quick to reinforce the buyers' new idea that they can have and enjoy, will look good in, and be complimented on, deserve, need, and are worthy of, the marvelous new goodie they like. When you see that eagerness, reinforce their self-image. Do this and they won't just like your product, they'll want it, need it, realize they can't get along without it, and then they'll buy it.
A few words of caution are in order here, because this is selling's most common and most abused technique. It's automatic in the old-time bazaar, overused in the boutique, and heard too soon almost everywhere that apparel and accessories are sold at retail. "It really looks good on you," they say about everything you try on. Sometimes they'll say it without even glancing at you. It's sad when a fine technique is beaten into a total turnoff by total insincerity and carelessness. Yet when used right, this is a powerful technique. It requires attention; it requires discipline, but given that, it delivers the results.
Here's how to do it: First, be genuinely interested in doing your best for clients, and show this interest by asking questions that will tell you what they're seeking to accomplish. Rise above the limitations of your own taste and preferences. Recognize that what's right for you isn't right for everyone, and make an intense effort to see the world through your clients' eyes. Second, use your expertise to guide clients to the best solution for them that your inventory provides.
Third, wait for positive stimulus from clients. When you get it, if you believe they've found something that helps them achieve whatever effect they want, reinforce their image about that purchase. Avoid the worn-out phrases they've heard a thousand times; stay away from the words they stopped believing years ago. Concentrate on your customers.
Say sincere and positive things that reflect your customers' uniqueness, and you'll not only make that sale, but also create clients who'll send you referrals and buy from you again in the future. The key is to discipline yourself to wait for their positive input. Unless you do that, you'll find yourself bragging about something they don't like and, before you know it, you're caught in a web of obvious insincerity.
If you stick to the facts, if you constantly work on your buyers with logic and avoid arousing their emotions positively, what will happen? The mere fact that you're a salesperson will arouse their negative emotions, and they'll start fighting you. Your prospects are either emotionally for you, or against you--and you can divide your chances of selling them by a hundred if they're against you. At my seminars I ask my audiences to give me emotional reasons that cause people to buy. Things like this will usually be suggested first: "They can afford it." "It's the right size." "Prices are going up." "It meets their needs." Most audiences will give me several logical reasons why people should buy before they'll give me a single emotion that will make people buy. This makes me believe that salespeople in general put too much emphasis on fact and too little on emotion. If we weren't the jangling bundle of emotions that we all are, everybody would buy everything based solely on logic--and then wouldn't the world be a dull place?
Become aware of the emotional process behind buying decisions and learn to help those decisions along--with emotion!
Wishing you greatness,