I recently reposted an article I wrote for Manta about talking less to sell more based on my work with Dale Carnegie and the Prospex Inside Sales Team. In that post, I outlined four communication tips to keep in mind when opening your sales call.
I strongly believe that a big part of sales is the ability to structure your communication processes to achieve your outcome.
Realize that you will not achieve all of your outcomes in all situations. You are dealing with living human beings. They are complex and dynamic elements in the equation of achievement. Each word you use, every change in inflection, and every change in the environment will have an impact in their responses.
However, if you can take control of enough influential elements, you can direct the flow of the conversation and the sale.
Physically Position Your Team For Sales Success
In the latest repost, I outlined four tips to use when opening a sales call over the phone.
One of the elements from original Manta article but I left out of the repost was how you can physically positioned yourself to involve your prospect in the sales process.
I first learned about this technique when I worked in tech support. As a part of the technical sales team, I often participated in pre and post sales meetings put together by the sales rep. I noticed that when we had an important meeting with a major client or a sizeable prospect, the sales rep went through great pains on how he placed members of our team.
For example, when we had more members than the client and we were anticipating a tough meeting, he would group our members together and make our side appear unified in our position.
However, if we were anticipating a tough meeting and the client’s team had us outnumbered, then we dispersed our team members around the table to break up our client’s team, lessening their perceived power, and making us appear as a part of their organization.
Another tactic I used when I was in tech support was to get on the same side as the customer with nothing between us but a notepad, a tactic that transfers to sales quite well. When you sit across from your prospect with a big table between the two of you, the situation usually degrades into an adversarial “us vs. them” event.
However, when you sit on the same side of the table as your prospect, you become a consultant, someone who is helping them “face off” against a common challenge. You are “on their side”, literally and figuratively.
Positioning Yourself Verbally For Sales Success
How does this translate to the phone where you are on the other end of the phone and you can’t sit on their side? Again, it’s something I originally learned during my time in tech support and honed when I was in the inside sales team.
When you are on the phone opening a sales call, consulting, helping a customer resolve technical issues, or guiding a prospect through your sales process, use less “I” and “my”. Replace these words with “we”, “us”, and “let’s”. You then you become an insider, coaching them to make an informed decision instead of being an outsider trying to sell them something or making a change in their environment.
However, don’t make a habit of using “we”, “us”, and “let’s in every situation. In fact, you don’t want to generalize any of your communication processes to a one-size-fits-all mold.
Instead, increase your awareness and notice the responses you get in your conversations. There will be times when you will want the spotlight placed firmly on your prospect or client. In those situations, make use of “you” and “your”.
However, there will be occasions where you will want your prospect to think of you as a part of their team. In these situations, make use of “we”, “us”, and “let’s”.
Only you can know when these times arise. Don’t get locked into thinking that one method is better than all others for every situation. Stay flexible and change your language to accommodate the situation and achieve your outcome.
Remain aware of the power of inclusiveness and “position” yourself physically and verbally to achieve the best results for you and your prospect.
How have you used your physical position in the past to move the sale forward?