In very simple terms, sales is the transference of emotion. That is why it is near impossible to sell a product or service that you don’t believe in or gets you excited. There are sociopaths that can sell like this, but for the vast majority of honest salespeople it cannot be done. You must transfer your emotions about the product or service through your own belief and excitement about it. This is why communication is so very important to closing a sale.
The quickest and easiest skill to learn is the art of mirroring and matching. This is one of the key skills in neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. Some Star Wars fans call this Jedi mind tricks. You’ll need to learn that from Master Yoda. Obviously, just the name alone suggests a lot involved with learning the skill. But, mastering mirroring and matching is a huge first step to being effective in the sales process.
Pay close attention to how the prospect is communicating to you. Are they speaking loud and fast, using their hands to gesture? Or are they speaking softly and slowly, carefully keeping their space between you open? When someone communicates to you in their modality, what they are actually saying is, this is how I like to communicate. Pay attention.
For the professional salesperson, listening is the most important tool in the toolbox. By simply paying attention to the smallest detail of communication, the sales pro learns how the prospect communicates and is quickly mirroring and matching their prospects style. This creates quick rapport which is key to making your sales. People do business with sales people they know, like and trust. This key step accelerates the sales process and gets you to the desired close.
Last, it is important to study body language, which is 55% of communication, if you wish to be a sales pro. I believe a great book to read to help understand body language is actually a face recognition book by Mac Fulfer called Amazing Face Reading. He was the consultant on the television show Lie to Me on Fox a few years ago. The later chapters deal with sales and jury selection by reading faces and gestures. This is a book you will want to read over and over. It has been a huge help for me personally in bettering my communication skills. For example, if a prospect touches or rubs their brow during a crucial part of your presentation, that is a sign of worry or doubt. Meaning you may be selling, but they are not buying. Somewhere in your presentation you created doubt about your product or service.
I wrote about this concept in my book Methods to Mastering Sales which I believe will also be of great help. Polish your communication skills and become the sales pro you always dreamed about, here’s to your success!
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said”. – –Peter F. Drucker
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.