Category Archives: sales

How to Sell to Internals

How to Sell to Internals

My coaching client Brenda, the owner of a web design
and google ads management company, had done an analysis of the current web strategy for one of her prospects.Skeptical
She had unearthed valuable information but had
no way to present it
.
And her prospect, also a business owner could be difficult to deal with. Continue reading

The Motivation Triggers Behind the Scottish Referendum

On Sept 18, 2014, 85% of the Scots got off their duff, and went out to vote in a referendum on the future of their country. They had different desires, fears, unknowns to face, promises to evaluate, and over 300 years of history with Britain behind them.

Wouldn’t be interesting to look behind the positions, the emotions, etc to uncover the LAB Profile Triggers driving each side? This kind of analysis is useful to understand some of the forces driving political, social and military movements around the world.

The Yes Side used a combination:

First moving Away From the inequalities and lack of autonomy over the past. Then moving Toward the aspirations of an independent Scotland. They end with Difference and Options language to talk about the new opportunities of an independent Scotland, including oil revenues etc.

And of course, painting the pictures so that people can See compelling images.

This order is important to create movement. People who are dissatisfied have lots of emotion and energy; they are angry about the injustices they experience and want to move away from these. This is the bus stop where you can pick up them up, using Away From language: don’t want, never again, problems of the past, unacceptable, etc.

This is Push Power: Using words and images that help push people away from the things they believe are unacceptable. Here is an example where a celebrity commentator starts with a positive example to set up the Away From critique of the current UK status.

“Swedes, Norwegians and Danes remain on amicable terms; they trade, co-operate and visit each other socially any time they like. They don’t need a pompous, blustering state called Scandinavia, informing them from Stockholm how wonderful they all are, but (kind of) only really meaning Sweden.” – novelist Irvine Welsh.

If you only use Away From language several issues arise which can prevent this momentum from gaining traction. At some point people will be asking about the alternatives to the past, something to rally behind and move toward. When politicians use only Away From language, as in attack ads, they have no control over what viewers move away from. Often they just don’t vote as a result of the very negativity of attack strategies.

Following Away From words and images with Towards helps people see a desired destination. This is attractive and reassuring and creates Pull Power, pulling people to the outcome. Here is an example of both Pull and Push Power, combining Toward language while reminding people of the negative past in Away From language:

“Scotland’s Future is an exciting, informative and insightful vision of what an independent Scotland will be, without the controls, mistakes and unwanted one-size-fits-all policies of Westminster governments.” – Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland.

And of course the Yes campaign is all about selling change (Difference) and possibilities (Options). Check this Yes ad out; even the visual design is filled with Options.

Yes

Their campaign and the polls before the actual vote were convincing enough to panic all three British political parties into making last minute offerings that had never before been put on the table.

The No Campaign

The No Campaign had a different approach to ensure the votes of people who had already decided for No and more importantly to convince the undecided.

Even though their primary slogan was “Better Together”, they used Away From language fairly consistently throughout the campaign, coupled with Sameness and Difference in combinations.

Away From and Difference: for people who are afraid of change and unknowns. “Why would you take a chance with no guarantees and risk your pension?” This is from a video ad from the “Better Together” campaign:

 “I will not be gambling with my children’s future.”

This is from the controversial ad showing a Mum thinking about the referendum.

And of course appealing to people who want things to stay the same; the Sameness Pattern. Here’s an ad that shows all these patterns:

No thanks

The No Campaign also encouraged people to be External (needing outside guidance), by having economists and other authorities clearly state the dangers of independence.

The Scottish people will take a “massive risk” with their economic future if they vote for independence, former chancellor, and leader of the No campaign, Alistair Darling has warned.

In an interview with the Observer, Darling says that if the Scots vote to leave the 300-year-old union and then keep sterling, adopt their own currency, or join the euro, the country will be plunged into unparalleled economic uncertainty.

“The downsides are immense, the risks are amazing, the uncertainties I just don’t think are worth gambling on, Darling said.”There are times when you should gamble and there are times when you shouldn’t.”*

*From The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jan/14/scottish-independence-alistair-darling

We know the end of the story: 55.3% No, 44.7% Yes. This tells us that moving Away From the risks and uncertainties was more popular, but only by a little over 10%.

And perhaps there will be change after all, if the British politicians keep their last minute promises for more devolution of powers.

I was so impressed with the civility of this campaign! An inspiration to dysfunctional democracies everywhere.

Top Sales Questions – Shelle’s Top Tips – Shelle Rose Charvet

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If you’re a salesperson, there are five questions that will let you know exactly what your customer wants, what they don’t want, and how to propose and position what it is you have to offer.

If you’re not a salesperson these questions will be useful every time you really need to understand what’s important to someone.

So here they are.

Questions #1 & 2 – What Do You Want? and What’s Important To You?

Many salespeople just forget to ask these questions.  A while ago, I went to buy a new luxury car. I decided to abandon my old mommy-mobile and get a new car for me. My kids were grown up.  It’s my turn for a beautiful luxury car.  We went to seven dealerships.

Out of those seven dealerships only one salesperson said, “Shelle, what do you want? What’s important to you about this car?” How are you going to position anything to me or show me a car, for example, if you don’t know that one of the things that’s important to me is that when I drive my new luxury car up to my prospective client’s place of business that they’d be impressed by my new car.

Now, I know that sounds superficial but that’s one of the things that was important to me.

I felt a little bit sorry for one of the younger salespersons and I said to him, “You didn’t ask me what was important to me.” Okay, he got a little defensive. I would have gotten defensive too. He said, “Well, I tried to find it out in the conversation. I think I did okay.” I said, “Oh, really? So what do I want? What’s important to me?” and he didn’t know.

Now, all of those salespeople asked me, “What car are you presently driving?” I said, “I don’t want to talk about it.” So it’s hidden in the back somewhere.

Write down what they say because the words the customer uses are the words that have a resonance for them.

If you want more information on Top Sales Questions and how to use them, check out my
Sales Booster Package – Increase Sales, Marketing & Customer Retention »

Question #3: Why Is That Important?

 Here what we’re trying to find out is one of the important motivations for you. Is the person trying to achieve or gain something from that or are they trying to prevent or solve a problem?

So if you say, “Shelle, why is it important for you to impress your customers?” I might say, “Because I want to feel successful” or “Because I want to look successful.” Those are things I want to gain. The Toward trigger.

Or I might say, “Well, I don’t want to look like I’m not successful,” and that would be moving Away From, and you may have heard me say this before, the trigger that’s moving away from what I don’t want.

This gives you an indication of how to speak to your customer. Either you show them what they’ll gain, this will enable you to look more successful with your customers, or what they’re trying to avoid. This way you won’t look like you’re unsuccessful with your customers.

Question #4 – How Will You Know if You’ve Made The Right Decision?

 “Excellent question,” you say.  With this question you’re trying to find out does the person decide for themselves, by their own criteria and their own judgments and we call that Internal or did they decide based on outside criteria or outside influences?  

“So Shelle, how will you know you’ve made the right decision about your car?” Shelle might say, “When it feels good. When I’m behind the wheel and I love it.” Well, that’s clearly Internal. So although I did seem to have some external influences, I know I’ve made the right decision myself.

Now, I could have answered the question, “Shelle, how will you know if you’ve made the right decision?” by saying, “When all those people I’m driving by smile at me and look like they’re impressed.” That’s more External.

So this gives you more information about what’s going to help that person decide or buy.

Question #5 – Why Did You Choose To Look For A Car Now?

The question, “Why did you choose..?” is going to give you two kinds of answers.

If the person gives you a list of reasons: an old car was rotten; I want a new car; I want something that fits me; as a salesperson you need to talk to them about all of the options that the car you are selling comes with.

If they don’t tell you why but instead they tell you the story of how it happened that they ended up needing a car, so for example, they’ll say, “Well, my old car broke down for the last time and it was going to cost a lot of money to fix it. So then I realized it probably wasn’t worth my while to fix it so I ended up having to look for a new car.” If they give you one of these stories that has all these events in it, they’re not so interested in all of the options with the car. They want to know how does it work and what do you have to do to buy it, what are the steps in the buying process.

So those are the top sales questions. What do you want? What’s important to you? Why is that important? How you know you made the right decision? And why did you choose to look for or to search for this thing now?

If you want more information on Top Sales Questions and how to use them, check out my
Sales Booster Package – Increase Sales, Marketing & Customer Retention »

For more “Shelle’s Top Tips” visit
http://www.ShellesTopTips.com »

I’d love to hear your feedback.  How was this article useful to you?  You can leave a comment below or message me directly at shelle@wordsthatchangeminds.com

Hope to hear from you.

Cheers,
Shelle

Dealing with Upset Customers

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It’s really important to know how to calm down your customer quickly, get to the root of their problem, solve it, and nourish the relationship for next time.

If you’ve had a chance to look at my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, you’ll get this all laid out for you, but there’s four key steps.

1)     Treat the Emotion First
Most people cannot do these two things at the same time; they can’t be upset and be logical. If you’ve got a customer that’s upset and you try immediately to solve their problem, they probably won’t co-operate because they’re busy being upset and they need you to understand that. So treat the emotion first.

The key is to meet your customer where he or she is. My strategy may seem a little silly because most people are taught to stay calm. But if you think about it, when you are upset about something and the person you are speaking to stays calm, and doesn’t acknowledge either verbally or in their tone of voice that you are upset, it can feel like they are not really hearing you.

Instead, I suggest that when your customer becomes upset about something and they raise their tone that you raise your tone to almost the same level, but you say something helpful and we call that getting upset on behalf of your customer.

This is not the same as yelling at your customer. Step number one is to get upset on behalf of your customer, show them that you are surprised and upset with them. If you don’t sound like you’re surprised when they are upset, your customer may believe that this problem is normal, you don’t care, this happens all the time and your whole company doesn’t care about what happens. Remember, everything you do determines what your customer believes about your whole company. So for step one, treat the emotion first.

Click here to find out more about how to match your customer’s tone, and what kinds of things you can say that will be helpful.

2)    Clarify What the Customer Actually Wants and Take Action

Whether or not you agree that it’s a problem, if the customer thinks it is a problem, we need to sort out what it is they need.  You can suggest two options here that will solve their problem. In my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, there is more information on exactly the wording to use with upset customers.

It is important to make a suggestion at this point, as if you ask the customer “How would you like me to fix this?”, they may become angry again since they will be expecting you to be the expert and to know what to do to fix the issue. So step two, clarify what the customer wants and take action.

3)    Make Amends

Many people don’t think about this, but if your customer is upset, to him or her it is as if they have been hurt. So our third step is to make it up to them. It is not enough simply to say, “Well I’m sorry”. Remember when you were a child and your parents told you to say you’re sorry, your siblings knew you weren’t really sorry. Your upset customers know you are not really sorry either. So what can you do to make amends? Does your company have a policy so that the person actually dealing with the upset customers can make amends right on the stop without having to ask for permission?  So step three, make amends.

4)     Nourish the Relationship for the Future
Make sure that you communicate to your customer so that whenever they contact your company again for any reason, that you have set them up for a positive experience. You can do that by saying, “Listen, any one of my colleagues will help you find what you want and if there are ever any issues, we’ll do whatever it takes do to solve it.  We are your personal fix-it people”.  Make sure they can see a picture in their mind’s eye of how it will be next time, (such as “fix-it people”) That’s how to nourish the relationship for next time.

If you want more information on strategies for dealing with customers and creating a great customer experience, check out my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, available as an EBook or available in paperback form.

Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know if you got any great ideas from Shelle’s Top Tips.

Shelle

Click here for more of my blog posts
http://www.theshelleblog.com

Click here for my articles
http://www.shellesarticles.com

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http://www.shelleinaction.com
Contact Us:
+1-905-639-6468
melody@wordsthatchangeminds.com

How Visualization Can Create Bad Judgement and Alternatives to Self Delusion

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My coaching client Sophia had explored a business opportunity with a franchising organization and was very excited to tell me about it. It combined many of the activities that she found motivating; it would enable her to work from home, set her own schedule, work in a people job and use her communication skills.  It seemed great. She could see herself doing all those things and being happy.

Sofia contacted them to arrange attending their open house and was dismayed to find that there was no room left in the one next week and she would have to wait a month before  being able to attend the next one. Then two days later they phoned to say a space had opened up and she could go right away.  She also told me about another similar business opportunity but up to this point had yet to explore it in any great detail, because she was very motivated by the first one.

Here’s where I intervened. “Did you have an image of working in this business?” I asked. “How did it feel?”  “It was great!” she replied, “I could see the whole thing.”  “Did you have an image of the second business opportunity and how that might be?” I asked.  “Well no” she said, “but when a space in the open house for the first one opened up, I thought it was a sign this was the opportunity for me.”  “Perhaps it was a sign” I said “that they really want you to buy this business.”

One Image Can Create a Commitment

The purpose of visualization is to make something real, and it is a very effective technique.  When Sophia visualized the first business opportunity, she not only saw it in detail, she lived it.  She jumped into the image and had the experience of what she imagined it would be like.  When she had done this it was very difficult for her to consider any other opportunities.  She began to interpret events as signs that this was the right thing to do.

Having only one image, she became committed to it. I did the same thing a few years ago when I visited a house that I was considering buying. I could see my family living there; saw us hanging out in the living room, was able to walk around the kitchen knowing that I could cook there, the back yard was a great one to be sitting in, etc, etc. The same week I put in an offer on this house, interest rates went up two points, and I lost my contract with the local college. Buying this house was not to be.  But because I had already imagined us living there, I felt a deep depressing sense of disappointment, as if my dream home had just been taken away from me.  At the time I thought that was such a weird reaction to have since I’d never actually lived there.

That’s the problem with having a vivid imagination.  Having conjured up an image of living there made it feel like I actually had or that I was going to live there.  Having imagined what it would be like to work for this franchise made Sofia commit to the idea.
A friend of mine said that many women do essentially the same thing when they first meet a potential partner. They immediately visualize, sometimes in great detail, their whole future unfold with this person. No wonder this puts enormous pressure on the new person in their life!

Your brain, in need of closure will do it’s best to complete the image and then the handy-dandy process of self-justification jumps in to find reasons why this image is the right one*.

Bad Judgment

Once you have a clear image it is as if your brain has shut down and stops being open to other possibilities. For instance, imagine you are sitting in a chair in front of a large window, looking out at a large beautiful pine tree.  Look out the window towards the tree. There may be other trees around, but notice now how prominent the pine tree is in your image and how it takes some voluntary effort to bring the other trees into focus.

In and of itself this is not a problem, but when you have not clearly defined your decision-making criteria or considered alternatives, this ability to become focused on one sole image can lead to bad judgment simply because you took the first available option.
This means that you had no real choice.  Or, there was no opportunity to evaluate the choices against what is important to you and therefore make the best choice.  In this system, where you visualize and then choose the first option, you miss the opportunity to:

  • learn from your experience,
  • analyse risk, as well as
  • analysing potential opportunity

and you may end up making a bad decision.

Real Choice and Great Decision-Making

So what is the alternative?  Different people, of course, have different decision-making strategies.  Good decision-making strategies
however all have a few points in common.

They:

  • Define outcomes,
  • Identify criteria for knowing when an outcome is reached and
  • Present a minimum of three choices.

Three choices are better than two, because two choices tend to be the extremes of an either/or kind of relationship.  “Either I leave or he leaves.”  Not many options there. With three choices you have a real opportunity to see and experience alternatives against what is important to you without only considering the extremes.

Here is a decision-making process that keeps you real choice and will help you make great decisions:

  1. Define the outcome you would like to achieve.
  2. List your criteria for what is important to you about your decision.
  3. How will you know, what evidence will you use for each of the criteria?
  4. Imagine three choices.  One at a time, see each choice in your mind’s eye, holding your most important criteria in your heart. Step in and out of each choice, exploring them one at a time as if you were there.  What happens in each situation?  How do you feel each situation?  What are the future consequences of each choice, as you explore them through time?
  5. Step outside these three options.  Which of them most closely matches your criteria, your outcome and feels the best? Are there any downsides to this particular option that you need to take into account?

Example Outcome: I would like to have my own business.
Criteria: target annual income $100,000, with the take-home income of $50 – $75,000, by the end of three years.  Work in a consulting role with both individuals and teams of people, using proven methodologies for IT solutions in small business enterprise software work and maximum of 40 hours per week, based from home, with visits to local businesses.  Well-defined successful sales model with lead generation to be part of the business.
This is an example for someone who wants to start their own IT consulting business.  He or she could then try out 3 different models or opportunities.

Imagine walking along the road in the country, with beautiful scenery on either side and you come to a place where the road branches in three different directions.  At first, you are not certain which road to take and you realize it is because what you want is not yet clear.  You pause, reflect, and come to understand that the thing you want most is now clear in your mind.  You can see it , hear it, smell it, touch and taste it.  You look at the three paths in front of you and imagine taking each one, exploring where the path leads you, knowing what it is you truly want.  You come back and now you know which of the paths is for you.

One image is no choice; three or more helps you have great judgement.

***Let me know what you think – shelle@wordsthatchangeminds.com

* In Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (2007) Harcourt Books, the authors detail the exact process by which human beings reduce conflict (dissonance) and then justify whatever they think and do.

Have a look at other Shelle’s Top Tips http://www.ShellesTopTips.com

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at shelle@successtrategies.com. Please visit my speaking page too.

How to be Credible – Shelle’s Top Tips

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I created this blog while in San Francisco at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Health Annual Conference. That’s the conference for NLP and Health. It’s been fantastic. 

Here is something that I do not recommend  if you want people to believe what you have to say: being too enthusiastic. When you are too enthusiastic, some people will believe that you are telling them what to think. 

“You’ve got to see this movie, you’ll love it!” That sounds like you are deciding for someone whether or not they will love it. If you want to become more credible, tone down the enthusiasm a little bit.

 Tips

Look and sound confident, as if you believe what you’re saying, but use the “Language of Suggestion”. You could say something such as, “What do you think?” or “In my opinion” or “In my experience.”

 “In my experience” is a great phrase for establishing credibility. Try “In my experience, I find… What do you think?”

If a person uses too many statements of fact, the listener may feel like they are being talked at or told what to do.  That is another hint – I suggest avoiding “should”, “you must” and “here’s what you’ve got to do.” Instead, you may wish to say “It seems to me that…”

If you make a suggestion and invite the other person to think about it. Those are great ways for establishing credibility.

Here is one more way to help you to establish credibility.  Douglas Adams, the wonderful author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, in the last book that was removed from his hard drive after his death, said that one can establish credibility by saying, “It turns out.” “Establishing credibility seems to be hard, but it turns out that if you know what you’re doing, it’s pretty easy.”

Those three little words seem to give some kind of credence to your ideas.

Again, the tips on how to be credible: 

  • tone down the enthusiasm,
  • look and sound confident but use the Language of Suggestion
  • invite people to decide for themselves,
  • use phrases such as this “it turns out, in my experience.”

If you want a tried and true process for increasing your credibility, check out my MP3 “Presenting Ideas to Skeptical People”. It’s only $9.97 and could give you the edge next time you need to be convincing. Click here.

Check out  www.ShellesTopTips.com if you would like some tips on communicating and solving some of the problems.

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at shelle@wordsthatchangeminds.com.  Please visit my speaking page too.

Sales in the New Reality – Shelle’s Top Tips

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Things are not the way they were before. Since 2008 with the financial crash that went around the world, we’ve had disaster after disaster; and nothing will ever Continue reading

Get People to Read Your Email – Shelle’s Top Tips

Almost everyone now gets too much email and they don’t want to read it. But what if you have an email that you want to send that is important? Here’s the bad news. Continue reading