The key to successful selling is understanding a client’s buying criteria and building your presentation around them. It is common knowledge that nobody likes to be sold to, but people love to buy, and because your prospects feel resistance towards salespeople in general, you need to present your product or service in a way that glides right past any resistance. If you can do that properly, your prospects will want to hear more and they will take action in response to your suggestion.
Stop using Features and Benefits!
How are you going to do it? Well, here’s the way to overcome it. Instead of naming features and benefits of your product and service, why wouldn’t you start with asking questions? You need to find out your client’s hot buttons, and they’re all located in the unconscious mind with their emotions, and their values.
When you know what someone’s criteria is for any given specific situation, you hold the key that unlocks the door to closing the deal. You have this piece of information that will open your prospects up, and you will be able to talk to their conscious and to their subconscious mind.
This is one of the really easy skills you could learn, but still people are not learning them, and there is a big advantage for you to use this newly acquired knowledge to book more appointments and, ultimately, to sell more.
When you start with your presentation, your messages will not only be right on target, they will be focused to the one thing and one thing only and that is what is really important to your clients. Here we are talking about not features, not benefits, but their hot buttons.
All humans are the same. We all have needs, we all have wants, we all have drives, and we need to connect to those wants and needs and drives. People love to buy. People love stories. People love to be led. Your role is to lead people, not to name features and benefits. Everyone can be persuaded.
This should be your mantra. You need to believe in that, that you can persuade everyone. But to start doing it, you need to uncover their hot button that will make them buy. Forget about selling logically. Forget about focusing on a logical rationalization of objections people have and to handle any objection they have logically.
Stop using features and benefits. Start talking to your client’s unconscious mind. Here I’m talking about their emotions and their values.
What is a Hot Button?
This is something that’s important to your client. It could be a problem; it could be a need, an interest, maybe even a passion. it is what motivates your client’s decisions, and your role is to find this hot button. Let your clients talk. Your job is to ask open-ended questions, and then you listen. But more importantly, you have to touch on the important stuff.
If you just use same old questions with each and every client you have, you will always get the same answer, and probably not be successful as you could be. Every person has things which are really important to them. At a high level, we refer to these as values, like security, adventure, freedom. But people also have values within a different context. In a sales environment, you have to uncover the values that are related to the situation they have, and these are referred to as criteria or buying formula.
Now, if you ask a person “What is important to you in your work?”, they will tell you what their criteria are for their work, like doing a great job, making lots of money, helping other clients. And if you ask the same person what is important to them about the place where they live, you get to talk to a different criteria because the context is different, and criteria are really context-dependent.
So your client’s hot buttons are dependent on the context of the communication. Your client’s criteria in an influence situation are their hot buttons within that context.
For example, if a person is buying a home and he or she says, “I’m really interested in a safe and secure neighborhood,” that’s what’s most important to them. Then those specific words are their criteria in that context, their hot buttons. When you start presenting, you have to use those same criteria to let them know that you understand them. It’s a part of reflective listening, where you use the keywords that people are mentioning to you during the questioning phase of the sales process.
Remember, you need to frame your questions in the EEE Representational System. Some people are more visual, some people are more auditory, and some people are more kinesthetic. It will help you to minimize mismatching in communication by asking the right question at the right time and in the right language, so people will understand you.