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How to sell the way people want to buy

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Xerox research has shown that the average sale includes three rejections and objections. Most salespeople will stop asking for business after the first objection. They also stop closing when they feel they are being pushy, not when the prospect feels pressed.

The surprising truth is that salespeople stop pushing long before the prospect feels pressed. Top producers, on the other hand, read the prospect constantly and sell the way people want to buy, not the way the salesperson wants to sell.

Here are three signals people use to let you know when you are closing too hard:

  1. When people are feeling pushed, they will rub their forehead back and forth.
  2. When prospect feel pressed, they will break eye contact for more than a couple of seconds.
  3. When people feel stressed, they will blink their eyes rapidly, more than 40 times per minute. FBI research has shown when people lie, they feel stress. When we feel stress, we most readily show it in our eye contact and eye movement.

If you could learn how to determine when people are feeling pressed too hard to close, you could then back off on the spot, gain more information and close at a better time.

You may be thinking, “I don’t get that close to prospects to notice what their eyes are doing.” You should. Most salespeople sell everyone the same way. The problem is that we are all different. So the sales process is usually the way the salesperson wants to sell, rather than the way the prospect wants to buy.

If you saw a prospect rub his forehead, blink her eyes rapidly, or break eye contact altogether, what would you do? Like most salespeople, you wouldn’t notice these nuances in the first place. But a top producer told me years ago a prospect used those same signals. He said he stopped the conversation on the spot and said, “Something about this is bothering you. Tell me what it is.” The point isn’t using those exact words. The point is knowing when to use these kinds of words.

If you can sell people the way they want to buy, no one will ever say no to you. But if you sell the way you want to sell, you may only be able to sell those prospects who are just like you. 

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