The profession of sales stirs up a variety of different emotions for the salesperson and the prospect.
As a salesperson, it is enjoyable to meet new people, discover details about them personally, and uncover their needs professionally. It can feel like a dance at times between you and your prospect determining who is leading the conversation and who is following. When the sales conversation flows smoothly and efficiently, the musical rhythm creates pleasure for both participants. Yet as quickly as the conversation picks up a melodic rhythm, one wrong note can hijack the conversation down an unwanted path. These experiences are what makes the profession of sales one full of uncertainty, not knowing what may happen next.
The core of any sales presentation is the people and the communication between two or more people, uncovering wants and needs, and how your products or services provide the desired results for your prospect. Every sale begins with a conversation. Too often, we salespeople can forget this fundamental fact, and when we do, we seldom achieve our desired goal – the sale!
My sales career spans more than thirty years of serving and providing products to corporate clients.
Talking to prospects and clients is now second nature to me. My experience has taught me that it is the subtle nuances that make the difference in whether the conversation flows smoothly or turns and falls flat. When your prospect is comfortable, and at ease, your sales conversations don’t have the appearance of sales at all but just a friendly communication between two people. It is friends helping out one another. Some simple techniques will assist your sales presentations in becoming conversations.
First, you, as the salesperson, must realize that you can create the tone of the meeting. It begins with what attitude you embrace when you meet your prospect. Our attitude presents itself before we say our first word in our body language and mannerisms. Think of your body as the canvas of your inner emotions. Other people will “see” what we sometimes feel before we do ourselves. If you approach your prospect with apprehension and nervousness, it will show up in your facial expressions, even though it is subtle, the other person will subconsciously pick up on it. It may be your posture, lack of eye contact, or nervous energy that your prospect picks up, and they, in turn, will begin to feel uncomfortable. And when we are uncomfortable, we won’t experience an open, casual conversation.
Technique – spend time before any sales presentation on yourself, making sure you are in the right attitude and emotional state beforehand. If it is your first meeting, you will want to be open and upbeat. You understand yourself and how to get yourself in that state.
Please do this BEFORE you enter their space or meet them. Once you have your attitude set, take a deep breath in and enter the room. This not only opens up your mind, it also creates a positive atmosphere. What better way to begin the conversation.
- When it comes to attitude, start with the end in mind. If your goal is to create rapport and trust, embracing a positive attitude will serve you best. If your goal is to negotiate a deal on your terms, then you will instead adopt an approach of confidence and competence. Not every sales conversation has the same purpose, so keep this in mind.
Seating strategies – whenever possible, sit to your clients’ left. Research shows there are more sales closed when the salesperson sits to the client’s left than to the right. Why? It is because you are mainly speaking to their right brain hemisphere, which is the emotional side. We make decisions emotionally and back them up logically. You will find that the conversation will be more casual and open.
The more comfortable your prospect is during the presentation, the better the conversation, which leads to trust
- If you are meeting in their office at the desk, instead of having your chair directly facing their desk, turn your chair to a 45-degree angle to the desk.
- This will open up the conversation and remove some of the formality. It still provides you good eye contact and the ability to use open gesturing. Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in every conversation, so you don’t want to hide your hands when speaking.
A few simple techniques you can apply and use immediately. These may seem too basic to you, yet I can assure you each pays big dividends in your conversation. It will help put your prospect at ease and yourself at the same time. In any communication, when you are comfortable, you can think clearly and present with competence, confidence, and enjoy the process.
Need more detail about sitting positions? Grab a copy of our book “Sit Your Way to Success” to learn how you can apply even more strategies. www.sityourwaytosuccess.com