Problem: In the parking lot on the way out of the sales meeting, Sid shook his head and said to his manager, “If I would have only asked about _______ the call would have taken a favorable turn. Why can’t I think of those things while I am in the middle of the meeting?” Asking yourself these questions after the sales call is just as effective as having a parachute that opens after the first bounce.
Analysis: Salespeople get emotionally “hooked” by reacting to what a prospect says during an interview. The emotions could be anything from despair (“I’m losing this”) to exhilaration (“things are going great”). For example: a prospect denies that they have a problem that you may be able to solve or challenges your credibility. This triggers an unconscious thought pattern that generates a feeling of frustration or defensiveness. This emotional response happens unconsciously and occupies our thoughts for a period of time. During that period we can’t ask questions, listen properly or be objective. When a salesperson becomes emotionally involved in a meeting, he has lost control and will not be able to function effectively.
Solution: Visualize yourself looking down on your meeting. There is a scientific term for this called dissociation. Dissociation can be learned and it starts long before you show up for the sales meeting. First, learn a system that will provide you with an overall strategy and set of tactics to handle any selling situation in an optimal way. Practice, rehearse and review it so you can follow it faithfully (like you would any other skill game or sport). This gives you the ability to focus on the process of the meeting rather than the outcome – a key element of dissociation. Secondly, build your conviction and understanding by affirming these key concepts:
- Approach a sales call as if you had just won the lottery and you don’t need the business. You need customers that value what you do.
- Remember that people buy things for their reasons and not for your reasons, so find out what their reasons are.
- “No” is an acceptable result of a sales call (provided you have qualified properly).
- Selling is no place to get your emotional needs met – get your emotional needs met from those who love you and support you.