(This is persuasion article No7 from the YourSalesSuccess eZine.)
Several times in the newsletters I have previously written I have referred to criteria and said I would come back to that topic in a future issue.
In issue # 3, for example, I said,
“ I could follow that up with some other questions to determine what was important to the customer,
i.e. their reasons for buying, or not.
( a customer’s criteria is what is most important to them and if you can frame your communication about the benefits of your product around that your words will have greater impact. )”
Is the customer’s criteria really that important ?
How important ?
How would you like to know within the first three minutes of every interview exactly what your client wants or expects from you?
Then, with just a few simple, (yet incredibly powerful questions), know exactly what your client needs to hear in order to buy from you...
I'm not kidding!
That would change your career just a little, wouldn't it?
Or, perhaps, you would prefer to use old-school sales techniques?
You know what I'm talking about...
You walk in the door, chat up your client for a few minutes - struggling to find some way to get to your sales pitch...
Practitioners of "Old School" sales techniques say, (and this is a direct quote from one of the most oft-quoted, well-known, sales trainers in the industry)...
"Break the ice and attempt to establish some rapport at the beginning of your meeting... Try to establish some rapport. That should set the tone for the entire session...
"Try to determine what he wants. However, if you have a limited product range, you must quickly figure out how to sell the prospect with what you have to offer."
How do I establish rapport ?
(Take a look at Sales Rapport in the nav bar to your left)
What persuasion psychology do I use to find out what the prospect wants?
Learn the most simple, elegant technique to get inside your client's brain ever devised.
Continue to do your level-best to formulate the "perfect" question to elicit the answer you are looking for.
Worse yet, simply "pitch away."
Hoping they will eventually say,
"Stop! I'm ready to buy."
You could tell the client about everything they’ll miss out on if they don’t purchase your product or service.
The purpose, of course, is to create so much pain that you manipulate your client into a sale.
Unfortunately, you may sometimes get the sale with these tactics, but you have totally eliminated a positive connection.
You've done absolutely nothing to establish trust or rapport.
And, you probably won't keep the client for long!
Old School Method #2 - Features vs. Benefits...
Traditional sales training does not speak to how or why people buy…what their "hot button" is...
"Old School" attempts to convince you that the "only" way to sell is with features and benefits.
This is the "technique" that many sales people employ every day.
The underlying reason is that they haven't figured out that sales is more than just "presenting the options" and letting the customer choose.
This approach assumes that if you can talk long enough, sooner or later your client will give up and say,
"Hey, I want that!"
Instead of guessing what motivates your client, wouldn't it be nice to have them tell you what they want.
The definition of "Criteria" for our purposes is
"what you need to hear or believe you are going to get in order to do business..."
"Criteria Elicitation," on the other hand, is a power-packed strategy the enables your client to tell you right up front what they want!
The answers to these questions deliver you a map of your client's brain... exactly what your client needs to be fed in order for them to buy with zero resistance!
Sounds good doesn't it?
Criteria elicitation is the precise technology that you need in your business to insure zero resistance.
It shows you the precise path that you need to follow in order to gather from your client exactly WHY they buy.
The question that starts you on that pathway is,
"What's important to you about XXX ?"
And you fill in the blank with what you want to know about or sell them.
You ask that (on average) three times, each time filling in the blank with their previous answer.
Then you link their answers to what you are selling.
So, "is it that easy ?" you ask.
The answer is, no, not quite.
You have to understand exactly what direction to aim your questions to get the answers that will get you the results you're after.
And, you have to understand how to do it with finesse and elegance.
Criteria Elicitation can dramatically improve your sales results.
Here's to YourSalesSuccess.