As salespeople there are really only two ways that you can make your customer feel. The first is to make them feel as if all you want is their money; the second, is that you truly do want to help them. You see, the two really only have one difference and that is mindset.
Mindset, in today’s relationship-centric economy, is all that sets success apart from failure in sales. When your customer feels that all you want from them is a paycheck then the whole sales process becomes much harder. But, if you treat them with respect, patients, and spend your time trying to fill their needs and wants, the whole sales process becomes much easier.
This is nothing new, in fact many people have spoken about this type of approach in the past, but much like video email, which has been around for the better part of 10 years, this type of sales approach has landed on the “wow this is a game changer, but I’ll get to it later” shelf. Sad isn’t it?
I’m paraphrasing here but Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, if you help enough other people get what they want, you will get what you want. In other words, look at the products you sell and think of them as problem solvers. Take a look at most of the top performing salespeople at your dealership today, how do they treat their customers? Then, if you’ve been in the industry for 15 plus years compare todays top performers to yesteryears top performers. Do you notice a difference? Odds are that you do.
Take Trent Nichols of Tucson Subaru as an example. He is a top performing salesperson, selling 30 plus units per month, with each customer feeling as if they have bought a car and made a new friend in the process. Just take a peek at the testimonial section of his website and you will see exactly what I’m talking about. As a side note, Trent goes to great lengths to generate his own leads, he has his own website with inventory (we built it!), follows up religiously, and does an amazing job of generating repeats and referrals. All of this possible because he wants to help his customers… and it shows.
So, why does this approach work so well? It all boils down to one word, trust. Trust is one of those ambiguous words that we think we know the definition of, but grossly underestimate its power and difficulty to create. Trust becomes much easier to create when there is a foundation of familiarity and relationship built into it. Which takes me back to the main point of this post, when selling always be sure to play to your customers wants, always put them before your own.
This is the second post that I’ve written about attunement, it’s such a great word that I decided to bring it back! Attunement means to bring into a harmonious or responsive relationship and is a wonderful way to think about the relationship between you and your customer. You can’t do that if all you have in mind is your paycheck!
All things in life are better when attunement is present, conversations, relationships, your dealings with customers and just about everything else. The best way to stay in attunement is to ask questions. By asking the right questions, in an authentic way, you are better able to find out what your customers wants are (so you can sell to what they wants) and more about them… about them.
Maintaining attunement is about more than just mirroring. If you think of mirroring as a way to match your prospects body language think of attunement as a way to match your prospects mental behavior. Again, you do that by asking questions and connecting with your prospects around what THEY are most interested in.
Sounds elementary, and it is, because it’s something you’ve heard about before but I don’t want you to stop at just asking the right questions. I want you to have a conversation based off of their answers.
Just a few days ago (as I write this) I had a conversation with my 19 year old nephew Josh. He’s in college to be a school teacher and when I asked him what grade level he was looking to teach he mentioned kindergarten. A few questions later I found out that he feels like he can connect with the younger children better than he can with older ones. A few more questions and I found out that, while he can talk in front of larger groups, he has trouble keeping a conversation going one-on-one.
After hearing that I started asking him questions and conversing around what he was most interested in. I kept him talking about himself and showed interest in what he was talking about, because I was. I used questions and engagement to keep him talking about himself, his thoughts, his opinions and it was fascinating.
You see, everybody’s most interesting topic is themselves and as long as you keep them talking about their favorite topic, them, you are golden! Then, somewhere in all of that, once you have formed the right kind of connection, you will be better able to find out what their true motivations for buying are. From there, just sell to what they both need and want.
What are some of your most favorite questions to ask your customers? How are you creating attunement?