Our Job in Sales: To Help Our Prospects & Customers be Comfortable With Us
We say it often; People buy from people they are comfortable with. It’s pretty hard to argue that. I’m sure we’ve all bought something from someone we weren’t completely comfortable with. Maybe they had it & we needed it – immediately. It happens. Maybe they were the only game in town & we couldn’t get it anywhere else. Less likely, but it also happens.
Fact is, given the choice, we would rather be comfortable with the person we are buying from.
It’s common for Sales Trainers, Authors, Coaches & all the thought leaders in the space to say, People buy from people they like. Or, People buy from people they trust. Both are also true. Are you waiting for the BUT? You should be . . . But . . . it doesn’t happen that way MOST OF THE TIME. It certainly doesn’t START THAT WAY most of the time.
Let’s draw out the “flowchart to a sale”:
Step one: We meet a prospect → Step two: We either make a good or a bad first impression → Step three: They determine that they are either comfortable or not comfortable with us → Step four: They determine if they like us → Step five: They determine if they trust us (like leads to trust)
→ Step six: They buy from us. If you break it down like this, that’s a lot of steps!
It’s a process. This is why strong referrals & introductions are so valuable in sales. The “like & trust “ steps come sooner due to the mutual connection. The mutual connection makes people feel comfortable.
So, let’s talk about that. How do we help people be comfortable with us? How can we help our prospects & customers say to themselves, Dave isn’t such a bad guy . . . he’s like me. This will make complete sense to some of you. Others will fight it. It’s up to you. Here’s how: You “be as much like them as possible.” There I said it.
Be like your prospect. Be like your customer. Give them a little bit of what they are giving you.
Some ideas that you can start implementing immediately:
- Mirroring & Matching is a great way to do this. Successful Salespeople have been mirroring & matching their prospects for hundreds of years because it works. At some point in a meeting mirror or match the body language they are exhibiting. Eventually . . . not right away – that would look ridiculous. In time they will come to believe, He’s not such a bad guy . . .he’s like me.”
- Take the coffee. What’s that mean? Most morning meetings at a customer or prospect start with pleasantries in a lobby or office. Often a cup of coffee is offered to the salesperson. People do this (in North America) out of courtesy – it’s a nice thing to do. It’s not a “trick question.” If you see your prospect or customer holding a cup of coffee (& you want to be like her) take the coffee. Give yourself an advantage – a subconscious advantage – & be two people drinking coffee together. PS: they’ll never know you are doing it.
If, your prospect is not drinking coffee it’s as easy as asking, “What are you having?” They will tell you. It’s either going to be water, tea, a soda, or something else. Unless that something else is Scotch . . .take it & be like them.
- Understand where you plot on the DISC profile. DISC is a wonderful tool to help you understand your Personality Style. Understand yourself so you know how much you need to “act” when you are around others that are not like you (that don’t match your personality style).
- Match their speaking patterns (Tonality). Have you ever had someone finish your sentence for you? Or worse, start talking & trying to impress you with their greatness before you are done speaking? People HATE THAT. Match people’s speed (slow talkers need to be talked to s l o w l y). Give fast-talkers speed (it’s their nature).
Does anyone other than me have someone in their family that is a loud talker? It’s hilarious! Give loud talkers volume – it’s what they do. Speak softly to quiet talkers. Be like them
If everyone were exactly like us life would be too easy. It’s not that way. Sales is an “acting profession” & you now have permission to give your best performance. Just be genuine. People can spot a fake or a poser a mile away.
Be you. At times, be them.