So many people incorrectly believe that sales is a dirty word.
They feel that you have to be pushy, aggressive and “like to talk” to be a good sales person.
Many also incorrectly believe that putting in the effort to develop their sales skills are a waste of time because they’re “not in sales.”
These beliefs are so blatantly wrong it’s either humorous or sad… we’re not sure which.
Everything you do, every day, is a sales situation.
You’re selling your ideas to your co-workers, you’re selling the rental amount on a property, you’re selling the idea that your kids should study, you’re selling the fact that you deserve a large discount on your misplaced dry cleaning… you are in sales situations all day—every day.
The very best sales professionals I’ve come across are not loud, they’re not aggressive, they’re not smooth talkers.
Many of them are introverts, have little sense of humour, and don’t have big egos.
I watched year over year, in several large sales organizations, how the most successful and consistent contributors worked their craft.
Over the years both Nick and I have worked to understand and implement these strategies into our own lives.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO SALES?
Yes, there actually is one single secret to selling.
Are you ready for it?
It’s this …
The secret to sales is understanding your prospect’s motivation and then appealing to it.
Do not dismiss the simplicity of that sentence.
Most people will try and force their product, idea, or service down the throat of whoever they’re talking to.
That’s a recipe for a life of frustration.
So many people INCORRECTLY try to motivate whoever they’re talking to about what it is they’re trying to sell.
For example, have you ever tried to motivate a neighbour, a family member, or a friend about the benefits of real estate investing?
Wasn’t very fun, was it?
Here’s the thing, people cannot be motivated very easily.
The very best sales guy I ever had the privilege of working with had this one question he used on all of his sales calls:
“Hello Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, what’s the biggest problem facing you right now?”
That was it.
One simple question.
That question often resulted in the prospect opening up with massive amounts of information around the problems they were facing.
SPEAKING WITH POSSIBLE TENANTS
Imagine engaging with a possible Rent-to-Own tenant with, “Hi, here’s how the Rent to Own programs work….”
Versus saying this, “Hello, do you mind if I ask, what has brought you to looking at properties today?”
Which question gives you some insight into the life of the person you’re dealing with?
We can’t tell you how often that second question has let us explain the property and the rent to own program in a way that meant the most to that particular prospective tenant.
If they told us that they were living with their parents with their three kids and had bad credit we would then spend a lot of time exploring if that property … in that area … would suit their kids, their schooling needs, the parents’ commute and proximity to their parents for babysitting.
We’d then ask more questions about their credit and after fully understanding their situation explain that the rent-to-own process may work for them and share why.
And if the property or the program was not a good fit … we would tell them.
That’s it, we’d just say we didn’t think it was a good fit for them and explain why.
We develop incredible rapport quickly by just taking the time to understand people’s motivation and then appealing to it.
We didn’t try and “motivate” them to like the rent-to-own program and promote how good it was. Instead, we took the time to understand their situation.
We’ve learned that trying to persuade people is exhausting.
But by spending the time to search for someone’s motivations the process of selling becomes more like a conversation between friends than a “sales battle.”
Understand that everyone is already motivated.
Your role in sales is to uncover what that motivation is and then explain how they can achieve what they want through your product or service.
Most people hate sales or aren’t very successful at it because they attempt to present their “solution” before the person they’re speaking to is ready to hear it.
EXAMPLE OF TWO CONTRACTORS…
I can’t tell you how many times a contractor at one of our jobs has told us the price of the work instead of truly understanding what our motivation for the work was.
At one property we had a contractor quote us under $1,000 for some minor repair work. The next contractor explained how with some extra work he could create a second entrance to the property to make it easier to rent the basement.
We didn’t even think that was an option on that property. We spent over $10,000 on the work.
I’ve personally watched as one contractor presented a complete basement renovation quote for $25,000 get rejected only to have another contractor win the job with his $40,000 quote!
The second contractor understood that the homeowners wanted to have a basement “retreat” for relaxation and escape.
He then explained in great detail how an expensive steam shower with “spa-like” pebbles and travertine would provide a spa-like experience.
And how a multi-level home theatre would make their Disney movie watching with the kids feel like they were in a real theatre.
Not only that, these unique upgrades would differentiate their home enough in the neighbourhood that if they ever sold they would more then get their money back.
The first contractor sold the quality of his work and his “prompt service.”
The second contractor sold the lifestyle that the homeowners were looking for.
I don’t even think the second contractor realized what he was doing!
The important thing to note was how he started his conversation with the homeowners.
He simply asked, “What do you consider the most important aspects of your new basement?”
That was it.
With that question, he learned about the need to create a family escape for both the adults and the kids.
He learned that the kids were huge Disney fans and he learned that “good service” and “quality work” weren’t even discussed.
Those are important as well of course, but they weren’t critical to making the sale.
The key to all of this is not exaggerating anything and explaining both the pros and cons of your solution.
Being honest and upfront with people leads to incredible trust and long-term profitable relationships.
“WELL, THAT’S GOING TO BE A PROBLEM”
OK, here’s the next important issue.
Naturally, at some point in your discussions with people, they’ll focus on one aspect of what you’re discussing and explain how it’s a problem for them.
This is an absolutely critical point in your discussions.
Most people fail miserably at this.
Never, ever, be afraid of objections to what it is you are selling.
In fact, you should expect them. It often shows that the person you’re speaking with is interested in what you’re offering.
When you’re being open and honest with people about the pros and cons of your idea/product/solution you’ll often get honest concerns.
Most people quickly try to shut down objections by blurting out something like, “Oh, don’t worry about that, it’s all handled for you like this….”
We found that doesn’t work very well.
Instead, if you listen to the person and let them fully explain their concern and then agree with them (or at least acknowledge their concern as valid) and then proceed to suggest a possible solution—you’ll have found the key to success.
When someone throws an objection at you:
1. Listen to them completely.
2. Acknowledge that it’s a valid concern.
3. Proceed to suggest a possible solution.
We’ll often let people fully explain their concern with rent-to-own or real estate investing or whatever it is we’re discussing and give them enough time to completely get their thoughts out.
We then acknowledge that they’ve brought up a good point and explain that we understand where they’re coming from.
Next, we’ll suggest that we go over a couple of points together to see if we both feel it addresses what their concerns were.
And once we do, we’ll openly and sincerely ask them if what we discussed gives some comfort around that concern.
This process of uncovering someone’s motivation and then honestly presenting our solution to them is magical.
We can’t tell you how easy sales has become to us with this simple strategy.
And it feels much better than forcing your ideas down someone’s throat.
Over the years, we’ve been exposed to countless sales strategies, tactics and techniques.
From our experiences, absolutely nothing beats uncovering someone’s motivation and then mapping your solution to it.
Sales is a wonderful process—or it can be horrible, the choice is yours.
Until next time … Your Life. Your Terms.