Make no mistake, if it feels like the client or the buyer is in control of the sale, that is because they are. And the reason they are in control of the sales is because you let them. Power and control are usually developed behavioral patterns that we learn from a young age and then perpetuate themselves as we get older. We generally choose who has power over us whether we realize it or not and there are some cultural norms where we find power is inherited. Age, race and gender are just some of the examples, but the ones that affect the process the most is the perception of wealth and social standing.
We are easily intimidated when someone else is in control of the money, and why wouldn’t we be? The decisions they make will impact your performance and income. And you’re all too eager to do whatever it takes to get that sale up to, and including, relinquishing all the power. This power dynamic becomes even greater if you are selling to C level decision makers because they not only hold the money but the title as well. In other words, it appears as if we need them more than they need us. In some cases, because of this, the sales process is reduced to nothing short of begging, and that barely qualifies as a sales process. They can play hard to get all day long and get every aspect of the sale in their favor. Here are 10 easy things you can do to help be in control of the sale
- Give and take no’s – Sometimes you have to stand your ground. Giving concessions is a slippery slope on a hill that is hard to get back on top of. Be willing to say no when you know something is unreasonable. If you get a firm ‘no’, then leave it as it is. Don’t default into discount price mode just to say that you won because you did not win.
- Maintain good eye contact – This is a dead give away for who is and is not in charge. This is harder than it sounds for a lot of people and I am not suggesting engaging in a staring contest, but always maintain eye contact when you are speaking.
- Be prepared and rehearsed – Nothing gives away control quite like being unprepared. Being prepared means more than just bringing along the estimate and samples, it means knowing what objections you may face and both preparing and rehearsing your responses.
- Speak slowly – You don’t know you are doing it until it is too late. You’re babbling because you got nervous. So many times the more we speak the less intelligent we sound. Getting your point across is not a race. Slow down and think carefully about what you are saying.
- Do everything with confidence – Even if someone is put off by your confidence, they will always respect it. Confidence lets people know that you are in control and ready to be in charge.
- Come with a desired outcome – Sometimes we execute meetings without knowing the real purpose. If you don’t come with a desired goal, someone else will insert theirs and happily lead you to it.
- Mind your appearance – Looks aren’t everything, but they mean an awful lot. There’s nothing worse than going to a sales appointment and feeling underdressed. If you struggle with confidence, get the fashion portion right and you’ll find how quickly the confidence will follow.
- Mind your body language – You know, the stuff they taught you in school. Don’t fidget, cross your arms, slouch, etc.
- Silence is power – Whoever speaks the most loses, but they think they have one because they controlled the moment if in noise only. Know when to be silent and keep the other person talking because they are revealing everything to you. Silence with direct eye contact can be both powerful and controlling.
- Always be professional – Professionalism makes mistakes, but rarely does it actually fail. Never drop your guard of being a professional. Professional equals respect equals control. For mentoring, sales coaching, and professional sales tools, visit us at www.scorecardsales.com. Together, we can make the world a better place through sales.