How Buying Motives are Expressed

“Success is turning knowledge into positive action.”

Often, your prospects will not come right out and tell you their reasons for wanting your product or service. With some prospects, a few carefully worded questions will elicit the information you need. In these cases, you will often hear their motives expressed in some of the following ways:

• I want to feel appreciated.
• I want to feel more secure.
• I want to be more confident.
• I want to have fun.
• I want to improve my self-image.
• I want to solve a particular problem.
• I want to grow or improve.
• I want to improve my appearance.
• I want to be like someone else.
• I have a lot of stress in my life.
• I need to feel important.
• I want to be respected.
• I want to be successful.
• I want to experience something new.
• I want to be liked by others.
• I want to make new friends.
• I want encouragement.


You just scanned though the list didn’t you? Take a minute to go back and highlight specific ones that move people to buy your products or services.

With many prospective customers the reasons are not crystal clear and must be pulled from them by a series of very specific questions. By questioning, and listening intently to the reply, you will discover your prospect’s true motives. Then you can structure your sales presentation to reinforce your prospect’s motives and provide the justifications that will meet his or her objectives.

When prospects can clearly see they have something to gain from what you have to offer, they will gladly buy from you.

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Making an Effective Presentation

The lavish presentation appeals to me, and I’ve got to convince the others.
Freddie Mercury

As you design your presentation, start by assuming that everyone who has qualified as a prospect wants to buy and buy now. This may eventually prove to be incorrect, but assume it anyway. Many people who are on the “edge” will make the decision to buy without your having to make a great deal of extra effort simply because you are so confident they want what you have to offer and today is the day they should buy.

Getting the Audience Involved in the Action
The more senses you can bring into play during the presentation, the better your chances of making a sale. Use sight, sound, feel, smell—anything you can to get prospects involved in your presentation.

Using Questions for Involvement
Questions can be an important part of your presentation by getting the prospects involved with your points. Prospects can’t just sit back and pretend to listen when you ask them questions. And often, even if they wanted to remain detached, good questions will “hook” them into considering your proposition more seriously. Open-ended questions—questions that can’t be answered yes or no—are best. Ask questions that get them talking about things that relate to features or benefits of your product or service.

The Points You Need to Cover
Many people think that giving a great presentation requires a gift of gab or a certain type of personality. Not so. There are many ways to give a winning presentation, the best of which is to write a script and practice it until you can deliver a legendary performance. A good presentation script will read a lot like a good direct mail letter. It will be full of features and benefits. While features are more objective, your emphasis should be on the benefits. There are usually more benefits than you think, and many of them are several levels deep.

List the features of your product or service that you want to cover in your presentation. Here is a good example from a country club to give you an idea of things you might include:

• history
• regional points of interest (for recent movers)
• types of members
• social activities
• the clubhouse
• the course(s)
• tournaments
• other facilities like tennis or swimming pool
• membership costs and financing programs

Now list the benefits that come from your features. (You may skip many features and go straight to benefits in your presentation.)

• family recreation and togetherness
• safe place for the kids
• relaxation
• new friends
• more social life
• exercise
• business contacts
• status
• meeting the “right” type of people
• a place to take customers
• money saved on vacations and entertainment

Simply spell out each benefit you want to convey on index cards or post it notes on your laptop and you have your basic presentation. Organize the cards from top to bottom with the lead benefits first (these may change depending on the prospect). Add a few testimonials from happy customers and you’re well on your way to a great presentation. Time to start practicing.

Script your presentation just like a great movie. Develop the perfect script and the perfect delivery.


Legendary Follow-Up

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.
Ed Howe

Someone once said, “It takes less effort to keep an old customer satisfied than to get a new customer interested.” The final element of a great sales system is the follow-up. No matter what you are selling, your job doesn’t end the instant the client completes the purchase. You want your relationship with the customer to continue and grow stronger, so he will buy from you again and recommend you to friends.

Reinforce the Buying Decision
After you have made a sale, reinforce the buying decision immediately. Compliment the buyer’s choice by saying, very sincerely, something like, “Based on what you have told me, I’m sure your new exercise machine is exactly what you need to get in great shape. I know you are going to be very happy with it.” In other words, reassure your customer that the decision to buy your product, rather than one offered by anyone else, is an excellent one. Be sure to thank them for their business; they had a choice and they chose you.

Reward the Customer for Buying Your Product
Consider rewarding your new customers with a little something extra that they didn’t expect. A coffee mug with your logo on it, a T-shirt displaying your company’s name, or some other inexpensive gift can help get your relationship with them off to a great start. The value of the reward would, of course, be commensurate with the amount of the purchase or size of the sale.
You are giving the customer something more than you promised during your presentation.

Send a Thank You Note or at Least An Email
Send your customer a thank you note. Usually the only letters a customer gets from people with whom he does business are bills or ads for additional products. Let your customers know you are different; you have a touch of class. People love to be thanked. The same is true of staying in touch with your clients. If you wait for Christmas or a birthday to come around before you mail them a card, you may well find you have to send them a “Where did you go?” card, instead of the greeting card you had planned. As Harvey Mackay said, “Little things don’t mean a lot; they mean everything.”

Follow Up with Calls to Insure Satisfaction, Upsell, and Ask for Referrals
In any type of larger sale, or in any type of service business, you should always follow up with a courtesy call. There are three excellent reasons for doing this. First, to insure satisfaction with the product or service. If there’s no problem, that’s fine. If anything is wrong, fix it at once and you’ll get a repeat customer. Second, you will often get the chance for an add-on or upsell once the customer has started to use the product.

Third, you can uncover new leads and referrals. For example, you call Bob and ask him how he likes his new Jaguar. Specifically you ask him what his neighbors said when they saw him in it. He tells you that Tom, his next door neighbor, is green with envy, and he wouldn’t be surprised if Tom came in to look at a new Jag in the near future. You, of course, cannot rely on such a chance encounter, and inquire if you might have Tom’s phone number, so you can give him the same great deal and service.

The fastest and best way to build total sales volume is to keep your present customers as you are adding new ones to your list. The easiest and most effective way to do so, is to constantly communicate that you care about them, both on and off the job. Take time to follow up in a way that will mean something to your clients. Don’t cut corners by taking the easy way out. You will find the extra effort you expend will pay big dividends in the future.

Develop Your Sales System
You should develop a system that you apply to your sales. They are the life blood of any business. Your sales presentation should be carefully scripted. However, you don’t need any special gift of gab to be a cunningly clever salesperson. You just need to involve your prospect and explain your benefits in a credible way.

Overcoming objections to your presentations is one of the most challenging parts of the sales process. Yet if you believe in your value, you help people to see the benefits more clearly. As you learn to deal better with objections, you will also improve your qualifying, presenting, and closing. The sales system works together to make you more effective. Just remember, your benefits can overcome any objections for the right prospects. Look for them, find them, and help them see how your offer meets their needs.

Develop a follow-up system to build and enhance relationships with customers.

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Legendary Closes

One of the reasons mature people stop learning is they become less and less willing to risk failure.
John Gardner

The professional salesperson knows that every prospect has a close that fits him or her—one that appeals to him on a most personal level. The secret is to find out which one will resonate most deeply with your prospect so you can obtain a favorable response and make the sale.

There are several closes below that have been successful for decades in selling. Although you might know some of them by other names, anyone who has been in sales for even a short period of time will recognize many of them. Others may be new to you. You might like some of them; you might hate others. It’s important to be completely comfortable with the closes that work best for your style and personality. As you go through the following closes, adapt them to match your style and selling situation. Whichever closes you choose to adopt, practice them, role play them, and perfect them. The more you practice, the more they will flow naturally. The one thing that is certain is that if you don’t ask prospects to buy, they won’t.

Very often a prospect’s question or objection gives you the perfect segue into closing the sale and you must be alert for such opportunities. This is also called the conditional sale because it sets a condition that if met results in a closed sale.

For example:

Prospect: How quickly will I learn French with your program?
Salesperson: How quickly do you want to learn it? Obviously the sooner you start, the sooner you will begin enjoying the benefits. Let’s get things going now.

* * * * *

Prospect: Do you have it in red?
Salesperson: If I can find a red one, do you want to take it with you?

The Straightforward Close

Mr. Miller, based on what you have seen, do you think that Legendary Country Club is the type of club where you would like to become a member?

The Assumptive Close

Always assume that the prospect is going to buy. The assumptive close handles the sales interaction as if you were certain that the prospect would buy.
Mr. Miller, based on our conversation it seems like this solution meets most of your criteria. Would you like to start using it at once before the price increase?

The Alternative Close

The alternative close is perhaps the best known of all closing techniques and has many variations, depending on the exact circumstances. Another common name for it is the “either-or” close. This close gives the prospect the choice between buying and buying, between yes and yes.

Shall we put an offer in on this property, or the first property we looked at today?

* * * * *

Would you like to start your dance classes tonight, or would tomorrow night be more convenient for you?

When you give the prospect a choice of free benefits, it is much more difficult to say no:

“Would you like the free gift or the free month of service?”

When your prospect is on the verge of making a buying decision, the most direct way of closing the sale is to ask how he intends to pay for it. This approach can best be used when a prospect has made the decision to buy, but is asking unrelated questions—the kind that prevent him from giving you the order.

At this point, “Will you be using a credit card or cash?” is the best way to take control of the sale and complete it.

Each one of the previous alternative closes offers the prospect a choice. No matter which one they choose, they will feel committed to buy once they have made the choice.

The Action Close

In the action close you ask the prospect to do something to accelerate the process and help them make a positive decision.

Shall we head over to the design center and pick your carpets?

* * * * *

Shall I get the car detailed for you while we finish the paperwork?

The Minute-or-Cents Close

If you have a prospect who is stuck on price, the way to handle it is to break it down to ridiculous proportions. This is how life insurance has been sold for decades, but this type of close works just as well selling any mid- to high-end product, especially to value-oriented prospects. When you show people how little your service will cost them on a daily basis, it makes it much easier for them to justify, or rationalize, the purchase.

Due to the efficiency of this machine, your copies will only cost about one cent per copy. I am sure you will agree the savings this offers easily justifies the investment.

* * * * *

This website, with all the features and benefits it offers, comes to just $9.95 a day.”

* * * * *
Membership in our health club is just a dollar a day.
Isn’t your health worth a dollar a day?”

The Puppy-Dog Close

This close is often used when a prospect is hesitant to purchase because of price. The “giveaway” close, or puppy-dog close as it is often called, allows the prospect to enjoy your product or service for a period of time before making a final decision on whether to buy. Once the prospect has experienced the product in a risk-free way and been treated well by your staff, he will almost always buy. He’d almost be embarrassed not to.

Here’s an example of a close with a copier machine playing the role of the puppy:

Ms. Prospect, we have already agreed that you need this new copier. The speed and sorting capabilities will enhance your business. With your permission, I am going to have a machine delivered to you on Monday and let you see first hand just how valuable it will prove to be for your business. If at the end of two weeks the advantages are not readily apparent to you, I will remove it with no questions asked. Shall we go ahead and set that trial period in motion for you now?

There are almost an unlimited number of ways to close a sale. I’ve covered just a few of most successful ones here. Try them, say them out loud, and role play them with your staff.

Find the closes that seem most natural for you and put them into action at once.

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Double Your Income; Train to Sell!

Double your income in 60 seconds! Sounds ridiculous right? I mean, if increasing business was that easy you’d already have thought of it and EVERYONE would be doing it, right? Actually, no. In fact, you’d be astonished at how easy it is to increase income. It’s so simple that no one ever seems to do it! Before I give you the answer, let me share one old and a couple of recent experiences with you.

Several years ago I toured a very high-end Florida real-estate community with my wife. During the 45-minute tour the salesman on four occasions told us what he thought of “rich” people. (Apparently, as we told him we were looking for only a million dollar house, he did not think us one of the evil rich people!) He trashed the president (Bush), which I know was a popular sport back then, but he should have found out which way I leaned before doing it. To top it all off, at the end of the presentation, he said, “That’s it, no high-pressure sales here!” FINE, and there are no sales happening there either!

Recently, during a membership tour of an expensive golf property in the Midwest, I asked the membership director—who had only been in the position for 12 months—how long it took to play a round of golf. She replied that it took six hours (it should take under four). The owner, who was also in the meeting, rolled his eyes and about dug a hole in the floor. But no one in management had ever offered her sales training, and the saleswoman in question had NEVER read a sales book of any kind! (I asked. And, it’s no longer true, I’m glad to say.) Now, let’s stand by the golf pro shop counter in Texas as the phone rings, although it could just as easily be any business anywhere. “How much are your green fees?” says a voice on the other end.“Fifty bucks,” the man at the counter replies. The prospective player says, “Thanks,” and hangs up! Will he come? Will he call back? Will he spend his money with you or are you just going to let him go down the street?

Sales training for ALL your front line employees may not increase your business 100% but it will increase it significantly, even when just booking greens fees, taking orders, or selling coffee. And the increase will be staggering if you’re selling memberships, rooms, real estate, cars, or any high-ticket item! YOU CANNOT afford not to TRAIN your staff how to sell! Leads are too precious to waste! Let’s look again at our pro shop counter scenario and, instead of merely responding with a price, let’s take the conversation in a different direction. As a good salesperson, YOU, not the customer, MUST take control of the conversation.

Caller: How much are your green fees?
Golf Pro: My name is Andrew. Sir, may I ask yours?
Caller: Fred.
Golf Pro: Fred, have you played our course before?
Caller: No.
Golf Pro: Well, let me ask you something, Fred. Do you like
fast, smooth greens?
Caller: Yes.
Golf Pro: Well-manicured tees and fairways?
Caller: Yes.
Golf Pro: And a challenging layout that allows you to use every club in your bag, with five different sets of tees so you can pick the ones you’ll most enjoy?
Caller: Yes.
Golf Pro: Great. Then I know you are going to love playing here at Wounded Frog. Were you looking for a morning or afternoon time?
Caller: Afternoon.
Golf Pro: Great. I have a 12:30 slot—or would 1:50 be better
for you?
Caller: Err, 1:50.

Now, does changing the 60-second conversation to something like that produce more green fee revenue? YES; at least 20%–30% more and possibly significantly more!! Notice that once you engage the customer in a conversation, price is not asked again. This will work in upwards of 30% of your calls (of course, there are other scripts that get you beyond price). Is this approach for everyone? No; it’s only for those businesses that want to thrive and prosper even in a down economy, those businesses that know they must do more to get their share of the market and who realize that discounting alone is a path of doom! Sure, sometimes callers will go back to asking the price, but if you build some rapport and add some value before you tell them the price, sales will rise dramatically!

Change your focus from simply quoting a price to something that builds rapport or value first!

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How 98% of All Retail Sales Are Killed in Just Four Words!

You have just walked into a clothes shop, antique store, golf pro shop, or specialty market because something in the window caught your attention, or perhaps just because you are bored. You might be looking for a gift. You might be looking for an item for yourself. But unless you are in the store with a very specific purpose in mind, you don’t expect to really buy anything. You go to the nice blue shirt and fumble around for the price tag when a friendly young girl comes up to you with a big smile and says those fatal four words that have killed more sales than any in history: “Can I help you?” (or “May I help you?”)

Your immediate response 98% of the time (when you are not on a gift deadline) has been preprogrammed since birth: “No thanks; I’m just looking!” This response kills any conversation, bonding, rapport, or further questions DEAD in their tracks! Instead the shop girl could have said, “Do you like blue?” or “We have that style in several sizes—what size are you looking for?” The best opener is often “Have you shopped here before?” If shoppers say yes, you can welcome them back and say you’re available if they need you. If they say no, welcome them and offer any help they need. Just about any question would be a better conversation starter then the killer words “Can I help you?” The cunningly clever salesperson knows that one’s choice of words can make the difference between massive success and dismal failure.

Since prospects are preprogrammed to say “no thanks,” don’t EVER ask them a question to which “no thanks” is an answer and your sales will be sure to rise!

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