So basically everyone hates salespeople. We like to buy, we hate to be sold. It’s funny how we forget how to be humans once we go into business for ourselves. When we’d hang out with our friends before we had anything to sell, we’d be normal and relaxed around them, you genuinely cared about them and their thoughts about life, lovers, and cocktail recipes. After we get in business and hang out with them we start acting different like suddenly they are just a part of your opportunity, someone on your list, a dollar sign. We try to find new and creative ways to slip in a pitch without them realizing it in hopes they’d join with minimal effort on your part. Then we try to maintain the relationship as it was before but eventually resentment builds because they won’t join you and they begin to associate you with the friend that is only a friend with an agenda. You start questioning their loyalty because they don’t want to support you and they question your authenticity of this friendship.
The first law of sales is to only present to those who are interested. Is it your job to pique their interest? Absolutely, but I will tell you this- you can never pique anyone’s interest by divulging all the information about what your offer is on their first exposure nor can you get them interested by giving them information they didn’t ask for. If they are not asking you questions about your new business venture, or the products you’re now using that are changing your life (hopefully) then keep your mouth shut. If no one is asking you questions about your new venture, you haven’t learned the art of seduction yet- which is essential to attracting people to you vs repelling them away from you.
Mystery is sexy. The ‘takeaway’ (playing hard to get) is alluring. Attraction is an energy force, not something you force. Put yourself in their shoes- what would make you curious about what they are doing on the side that has them so excited? First you’d want to know why they were suddenly happy, or why their energy shifted or why they were suddenly fired up every day now when before they behaved like hopeless droids slaving away at their 9-5 gig. If you’ve just gone into business for yourself, you’re going to be excited and people will want to know why. This is a crucial time in your business because it’s the chance to carefully deliver an answer to them that leaves them wanting more information. This is your one shot. If you give all the information away at first convo, they will decide right then and there on the spot if it’s what they want to be a part of or not. Chances are, especially if you’re new- you’ll have a bad case of word vomit and say entirely too much. If this is a network marketing business you’ve just become a part of, chances are you’ll describe this new business model in such a way that gives off red flags in the direction that this is in fact, a pyramid scheme. This will likely ruin your credibility as someone who can make sound financial decisions and before you know it, word will spread that ‘Johnny just joined one of them pyramid deals.’
How to avoid this:
Slow down. Focus on you. Cross your friends and family off your list until they ask you for information. When they do ask, give them a generic, vague response that’s enough to give them an idea of what industry you’re in, but not enough information they can decide if it’s for them or not. Then proceed to pretend you’re too smart to mix friends and business and that if they really wanted info, it would have to be during your ‘business hours’ and they’d need to make an appointment with you to go over the details of what you’re working on. You might also add that during a family event, or hanging out with friends is not the appropriate place to talk business and that you really just want to enjoy your time with them and not think about work right now. (This is the takeaway, by the way. They want info, you’re telling them no, not now. This makes them even more curious.) Focus on becoming the example of why this business is working vs someone that just talks about it. Operate from an abundance mindset, not desperation. You don’t need them in your business, but you may be willing to work with them should they prove to be coachable and able to set your initial relationship aside to work this. (Builds value.) Don’t quit your job just to prove a point. Don’t brainwash yourself to the point everyone is wondering what cult you just joined and how to now avoid you on your war path.
When the appointment is set, get your presentation prepared. This is your chance to make your opportunity appear impossible to refuse. You must first know why they were interested in learning about this to begin with. They were looking for something in their life already and it’s your job to discover what their reason is. Maybe it’s way out of their job they hate, a way to make extra money to save, a way to build a life around their own freedom vs around the parameters of what a job dictates. Whatever their reasons are, you must build your presentation around that. This creates an emotional connection to the opportunity and forces them to see this as a vehicle to get what they truly want. Share your testimony to help them visualize their own. Paint the picture of what their life can be like.
After they’ve divulged why and what they want you can proceed to enlighten them on what you’re doing that is changing your life. You can share with them your own goals and how you’ll achieve them. At the end of the day, people are looking for a blueprint. They want to know how to achieve something. Present your opportunity in a way that it makes it shine, but expect objections. People will always be hesitant to try something new. They will give you surface level reasons why they can’t or won’t take action today, this is simply a sign they are needing something more you aren’t giving them enough of.
They may need more trust in you, they may need credibility of the opportunity. This is when you bring in a third party that can vouch for the success that’s available in this business. Your go-to would be, “Don’t take my word from it, I’m just the messenger- let’s talk to ‘Dave’, he’s made six figures doing this, he’s the one you want to talk to, but I can’t promise anything, he’s very busy and doesn’t take every call that comes his way. Let me see what I can do.”
They may need more information. To handle this objection, simply ask them what they need more information on, ask them what is stopping them from taking action today toward building their dreams, toward their goals they just confessed to you. Give them the information they want and proceed to the close of the sale.
They may say they don’t have time or money, but these are typically surface objections that mean, ‘I don’t believe. I don’t believe I can do this, or I don’t believe you can help me.’ Whatever the objection is, use it against them to show them they have nothing to lose. “You don’t have time? How long do you want that to be your reality? What are you working on right now that can help you get more time in the future?” “You don’t have money? When will you be willing to work toward something that will earn you more money than what your job can give you?” Tie these rebuttals in with their original “why” statement. “You said you wanted more time with your kids but you’re at work all the time- How will you change that situation by not making any changes? By turning down the opportunity that can give you exactly what you want.” “You said you wanted to earn side income to help support your family and save for retirement. How will you do this in your current job without this business opportunity?”
“Treat objections as requests for further information.” -Brian Tracy
People like to say no. It’s what comes natural. It’s a knee jerk reaction. Get them to say yes. “If I can show you a way to help you earn money without quitting your job, would you take the first step at creating that reality?” “If I show you exactly how to earn extra income in your spare time to be able to live life on your terms, would it be worth it to take the steps needed to get you started today?”
This creates YES’s. These are yes or no questions, close ended. Don’t give them the opportunity to explain to you their bullsh*t excuses, ask them yes or no questions that they’d be a fool to answer ‘no’ to. This changes their entire psychology to say ‘YES’ to whatever it is you’re offering.
People don’t care about ‘features’ or ‘specs’ of the business. Give them enough to decide, but don’t drown out the point of the conversation with ‘schematics’, keep the conversation focused on how this opportunity benefits them. People want to know why it’s a good decision for them. Help them identify what they want, then offer that.
Sales is easy when you master people. You’re not selling an opportunity or a product, you’re selling a solution to a problem they have.
“Sell the results, not the nuts and bolts.” ― Richie Norton
By the time you get to the ‘close’ you should already know if they are in or out. The close is simply asking for their credit card, asking for the sale, telling them the next steps to getting started. Always assume this is what they want and need because they will believe it. “Okay great, let’s get you registered so that we can set up your business and get you earning that extra money you need to achieve your goals.” Always assume the sale. The confidence in asking for the sale is what secures in their mind this is a safe decision, a decision that is smart- and what they need to pursue their goals.
“To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.”-Patricia Fripp
When I’m closing someone, I’m offering them a plan for their future success and emphasizing this is simply the first step in helping them get what they want. Keep the focus on them, and what they are getting out of this- it should never be about you. You’re solving their problem, not filling your bank account. Some people will say “no” and that’s okay, because your job was to give them the information they wanted and as long as you keep the focus on them instead of you, you can build that relationship and keep the lines of communication open. Your goal isn’t always to make the sale, but to plant the seed and show them who you are. Once you remove the emotional outcome of the sale at the end of the presentation, you’ll be able to free that energy to allow the right people to join you- even if it’s not until later on.
”They will continue to watch you, until they are compelled to join you.” -Jenna Zwagil