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Counter-intuitive Sales Techniques that ACTUALLY Work-No.2
Counter-intuitive Sales Techniques (CSTs) are tactics we’ve seen work for ourselves and/or for delegates on various customised programmes.
I thought I’d share some of these CSTs with anyone out there who is interested. If you like the CST – or even if it just makes you think or rethink your approach – or realise that you unconsciously use it already but can now replicate it as a tactic – my work is done!
Here’s the second one:
Selling is a strange game, so strange that there are a multitude of well researched methodologies designed to maximise sales effectiveness at every phase of prospect and client engagement.
Yet sometimes simply giving a prospect an insight into what is happening in your world can be equally if not more effective in getting you the ‘hot’ meeting with that ‘C’ suite decision maker that could’ve got away!
Why does this work?
It works because it couldn’t be further removed from what the decision maker is accustomed to hearing from this type of call. The level of transparency is counter-intuitive from a sales perspective.
I’ve seen the following scenario work very well on a number of my clients’s prospecting calls:
This is Bruce bannister Managing Partner ofABC Associates specialising in QCT, you may have heard of us?
Prospect: Sorry, No I haven’t
You: Well it was just a quick one. Your name frequently comes up in conversations with my team as they’re surprised we haven’t met yet given my relationship with many of your peers in this sector.
Prospect: Oh really?
You: Yes I deal with quite a few of them, so I thought it would be worth having a coffee not least to get my team off my back -and because they’ve probably got a point!
Prospect: Well hang on a minute. Which one of my peers have you worked with anyway and what did you do for them ?
You: Well amongst others we worked with John Malkovich at ABC, Tim Houston at DEF and Davy Crocket at HIJ. We helped them with QBS and it did XYZ for them.
Prospect: Ah I do actually know Davy and Tim that’s interesting but we’re very different businesses going in different directions.
You: Well that doesn’t surprise me, in fact it’s one of the reasons my team and I were keen for us to meet and discuss how we may be of benefit to you.
Would you be free 2 weeks Thursday at 3?
Prospect: We’ll have to move it out a few weeks. I’ll meet you for a coffee on ….. at 2 o’clock. Ok?
You: Great see you then.
You’ll notice the reverse psychology at play here. The CEO pre-qualified the Partner instead of the Partner having to lay out his/her credentials with a valid business reason at the beginning of the call (which might normally be the case). The meeting then became more palatable to the CEO. It goes without saying you should be prepared for negative responses and we show people how to handle these in our sessions.
However the likelihood of receiving an objection at this point is significantly reduced because of the approach.
An almost identical call to this one, save some minor changes lead to an extremely productive meeting with the CEO of a top 5 global FMCG company that eventually became a client of my client.
The key is how you sound. If you sound confident, friendly, measured and calm the prospect will respond in kind. If you sound needy, servile or subservient it won’t work for you. Try it!
Let me know how you get on.
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