One of the most common e-mails that I receive in my consulting business are from entrepreneurs looking to increase their sales efficiency. In answering all of their questions at once, I want to share with you 4 simple things that you can do right now to dramatically increase sales within your own organization. Stop Lying […]
One of the most common e-mails that I receive in my consulting business are from entrepreneurs looking to increase their sales efficiency.
In answering all of their questions at once, I want to share with you 4 simple things that you can do right now to dramatically increase sales within your own organization.
If you are having trouble in your sales process it is probably due to the fact that you are telling a lie.
The lie might be to your prospects.
Unlike what most product creators of “how to sell” systems want you to believe, the majority of the human race is pretty good at detecting B.S.
Over-promising, making things sound too good to be true, and just blatant dishonesty are some of the fastest ways to shut down a potential sale that I know of.
It’s okay if your product isn’t perfect. It’s okay if you don’t have a 10,000% success guarantee with the products or services that you are selling.
We live in an age in which authenticity and transparency are gaining value within the financial transaction between prospect and sales person. You don’t HAVE to make your product sound better than what it really is anymore.
The lie might be to yourself.
You might be telling yourself that the problem lays with the prospects. That they “just don’t get it.” That they need more “educating”, or that the market is too saturated.
The reality might just be that you are simply prospecting to a group of individuals that do not need your product or service (did you do your research beforehand?).
You might be on the flip side of that lie and be telling yourself that your product isn’t good enough, that nobody would be interested in what you’re offering.
I happen to think that this lie is ten times more powerful than any of the others when it comes to destroying your sales success.
If you are approaching prospects with the idea of trying to deliver as much possible value as you can, then you have the foundations to be able to expect a decent flow of sales – that alone should be enough to squelch the idea that you aren’t good enough.
There is a principal within the psychology of persuasion called the reciprocity rule. This rule simply states that if I buy you a Pepsi, you will feel obligated to return the favor at an equal or greater value than the gift that I gave you.
This principle can be seen in Internet marketing through the use of freebie giveaways in exchange for e-mail addresses.
Why then, aren’t you increasing the value of the gift that you are giving to prospects in your own business if you know that a free PDF yields you e-mail addresses?
In other words, if you knew that every time you put a quarter into a slot machine that you got back $.27, why wouldn’t you put four quarters into the slot machine? Why not ten quarters?
Why do fortune 500 companies allot their top sales men and women massive spending allowances?
Because they know that if those sales men and women take their clients out to dinner, golfing, buy them gifts etc. they will increase their sales efficiency.
Ask For Small Favors First
During the Korean War, the Chinese treated POWs differently than their North Korean counterparts did. The Chinese knew that they could achieve the same results in control of their prisoners as the North Koreans without having to resort to physical violence.
They relied on a commonly used tactic in sales.
The way that they did this was by minute manipulation that snowballed into the eventual pro-communist statements that many American POWs made in writing during the war.
They first would ask, “Is America perfect?”
The POW would respond, “No, of course not.”
The guard might then ask, “Tell me how it is not perfect.”
The POW, not thinking he was committing any crime, would go on to make complaints.
The guard would then ask if he would like to write those complaints down in exchange for a bag of rice or piece of fruit.
Because the prisoner had already started down the slippery slope, it was all too easy for him to say “yes”.
And this was how the Chinese were able to release many written statements from American POWs claiming pro-communist sentiments.
While this example might be extreme, the point is if you want to make a high ticket sale, it starts with small favors.
For example, if you have an e-mail list and you start sending out e-mails for high ticket webinars within the first week, your conversions are going to be embarrassingly low. But, if you start your list off by sending free information and asking them to simply click the like button or tweet the blog post, you begin the snowball effect.
Once you see that your list is responding to these requests, you can then ask for small ticket sales (perhaps $7 – $17). An interesting thing will occur here, just like it occurred with American POWs in Chinese controlled prison camps during the Korean War.
The people on your e-mail list will have become conditioned to doing what you have asked, so much so in fact, that they will have convinced themselves that they should buy.
The snowball will have started rolling.
Let me try to explain this a different way.
When you meet someone for the first time, particularly in a business scenario, it is common for you to put less weight on the words that they say and more weight on the actions and how they conduct themselves. This is an incredibly common response amongst human beings, as we feel that true authenticity comes from action.
But the interesting thing about this concept is that we also believe this to be true for ourselves. In other words, even though we know the inner workings and desires of our own minds, we judge ourselves by our actions.
Just think about the last time that you told a lie.
You probably (like most people) like to think of yourself as an honest person, but once you told that little white lie you began to doubt your own honesty and character.
So, back to the example of our e-mail list. Because they have acted in your favor already, their actions indicate to themselves that when you ask them to do something, they will do it.
Excellent salespeople are able to use this principle in ways that are beneficial both for themselves and for the prospective client.
For example, if you were to sell SEO services, you could kill two birds with one stone by requesting your prospect to look over their own link profile. If they oblige you, they will not only discover the complexity of search engine optimization, but they will have also submitted to your request.
You can see how a natural progression of more requests would eventually yield the signing of a long-term contract.
Whenever you ask for high ticket item sales without this process, you are missing out on a massive advantage.
Remember Statistics Class
One of the things that I see so often with new entrepreneurs is that they will test methods and techniques on sample sizes that are simply too small.
The other day I was reading in a forum where someone was trying to make decisions about their funnel success rate based off of a single 100 click solo ad. The problem is, that there is simply too many unknowns in the world of human psychology to be able to make any sort of statistically relevant conclusion based off of 100 clicks from a freebie seeking list.
The same is true for those entrepreneurs trying to sell products or services outside of the Internet space.
I can’t tell you how many business owners I have spoken with who have complained that direct mail doesn’t work – only to find out that they didn’t even mail out more than 75 flyers.
The key to tweaking and testing your sales process is to have patience enough to test your methods on a statistically significant sample size – even if you are self employed. Then, and only then, will you be able to successfully draw conclusions about the efficiency of your sales process.
Four Simple Steps To New Sales
Hopefully you were able to pull something from these four quick and easy steps. In all honesty, each one of these could be broken down into several hours worth of webinar content, but I think that you will get the idea enough to be able to get out there and start testing some of these principles on your own.
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