One of the most critical yet overlooked principles in the selling process is the power of self-discovery through customer involvement. Regrettably, many salespeople use a “show and tell” presentation style and babble on hoping they might say something that will generate a sale. When you show or tell your prospect about your product or service they have a tendency to doubt the information and mentally disengage from your presentation. On the other hand, when they participate in the selling process and are guided to discover a feature or benefit on their own, they will be inclined to believe it.

Car salesmen truly understand the value of self-discovery and prospect participation: the hands-on-the-wheel experience of the test drive that sells the car, not the colorful brochure full of options and features.

Obviously, not every product or service lends itself to a hands-on demonstration; however, there are always ways to increase prospect involvement. Any time there is a choice between whether you or your prospect should so something — let them do it. When it’s time to demonstrate the benefits and features of your product, don’t just show them, find creative ways to keep them actively engaged during the entire selling process.

Several months after Bill’s presentation, the company shattered its previous records for safety glass sales. The president was extremely pleased with the company-wide results, but was surprised that Bill’s production was still significantly higher than the rest of the sales force.

When he asked Bill if he had discovered any new techniques, Bill replied that he had recently made a subtle change in his presentation. “I still use the hammer technique,” Bill said, “except now when I get to the part in my presentation where I demonstrate the strength of the safety glass, I hand the hammer to my customer and let them beat on the glass.”

By handing the hammer to his customer, Bill discovered the secret of successful selling. He took his sales career to the next level by finding a way to keep his customer actively engaged during his presentation.

Are you keeping your prospects actively involved? If not, I encourage you to take a lesson from Bill and find a way to put the hammer in your prospect’s hand.

Don’t miss John Boe at Senior Market Advisor Expo, Aug. 20-22. Visit www.seniormarketexpo.com for more information.