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Find Out What Emotions Are Driving the Driver

To Get A “Yes.”


By Jeff Slutsky


An understanding of the basic selling technique helps you get your customers to commit to the sale. There are many reasons where you need to use these persuasive communication techniques especially to get the advantage over the big box retailers or internet competitors.


Good Selling.  I always advise my clients that they understand the difference between good selling and bad selling. This is generally a misconception from non-professional salespeople that “selling” is a confrontational exchange where the salesperson is trying to trick the buyer into the sale and where there are a winner and a loser in the transaction. No doubt there is a lot of that going on in the marketplace, which is unfortunate.  Good selling, on the other hand, is when you solve your customer’s problem and you both are winners.


Don’t Volunteer Information.

The problem with most selling is that the seller talks too much. You have all this great knowledge and you want to share with your customer. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the more information you volunteer, the less likely it is that your customer will want to buy from you.  In fact, it is some bit of information you gave that wasn’t asked for that often comes back later to haunt you in the form of an objection. 


 Talk Less, Listen More.


The key to successful selling is listening to your customers. Don’t interrupt. Let the customer provide you as much information as he/she wants to.  This information is invaluable in helping them solve their problem with the solution you offer.  Also, when you let the customer do more talking and you do more listening you gain a real advantage. People think many times faster than they talk. So, if you’re doing all the talking, it means that your customer is thinking many times faster.  You’re giving your customer too much time to think about more excuses not to buy from you.  But, on the other hand, if you encourage your customers to talk while you listen, you then gain the advantage. You are thinking much faster than the customer is talking which allows you to begin to understand what you need to do to offer the best solution.


Ask more questions. 

When you ask more questions, you not only keep the customer talking more but by asking the right questions you gain valuable insights into what it is that really motivates this customer.


Customers buy based on emotions.

They will back it up later with logic.


That’s right, all decision making is emotional.  And, each customer is unique. He/she has their own combination of emotions that will cause them to buy or not buy.  So, if you can uncover those emotions, you are that much closer to getting a “yes.”


Use closed-ended questions to qualify.

In the early part of the sales process, you use “closed-ended questions” to determine if the customer is qualified to buy.  After all, you don’t want to invest your time and energy into selling something if that customer was never able to buy in the first place. There is nothing more frustrating than spending your effort on a sale only to find at the very end that the customer is not the final decision maker or doesn’t have the money or credit available to buy. 


You qualify by asking several closed-end questions that often require a “yes” or “no” or a specific name or number.  One of the trickiest qualifiers is finding out if you are talking to the final decision-maker.  If you ask, “Are you the decision-maker?” everyone is likely to answer “yes.”  And that’s because they feel that they are the decision-maker.  But if you phrase that qualifying questions in a special way, you are more likely to get an accurate response.  So, try, “Other than yourself, whom would you want to consult with before giving the go-head on this engine rebuild?”  If the customer answer with, “Well, I would like to run it by Joe.”  Then you know that Joe is really the person who can pull the trigger and you need to involve Joe in the discussions. 


Use open-ended questions to read their minds.

Once you have a good indication that you are dealing with the real decision-maker, now you need to get inside the customer’s brain to find out what emotions are going to drive this sale. This requires the use of “open-ended” questions.  These are the questions that usually begin with “who, what, why, where, and how.”   Uncovering, what physiologists call emotional drivers is even more important when dealing with the passion that racers have.

So, for example, let’s say that a customer wants a quote on adding a turbocharger.  If you give that customer a price without asking some emotional oriented questions first, the only criteria that customer has that price. It may be a lot more than the customer intended to spend or he/she may think it could be cheaper elsewhere.  Regardless, you’ll have more success by first digging deeper with opening ended questions and find out the customer’s emotional “hot buttons.” So, before you give the price you might ask a few open-ended questions. Here’s a hypothetical example just for the purposes of illustration from the Performance Racing Industry:


You:  “Just out of curiosity, why are looking to add a turbocharger?”  

“I really need to add a least another 10% more horsepower.”

You:  “Hmmm, I see. You think that will make enough of a difference in your performance?”

“You bet. I just need a little extra boost so I can finally have the advantage over Johnny Smith.”

You:  “Johnny Smith?”

“He’s been getting the better of me for the past five years and I’m determined to finally beat him and wipe that sh*t eating grin of his face!”

You:  So, it sounds like this is pretty important to you, right?

“If I could finally beat that guy, I would be the happiest man in the world. You have no idea.”


Of course, that example is a little extreme but once armed with that important emotional piece of info, you can now help that customer justify spending more than originally thought or even suggest an additional item that would help him realize his dream of beating the arrogant Mr. Smith.  Your customer is not buying a turbocharger.  He is buying the means of beating his rivalry. Now that you know what really is diving your customer, you can become the hero by suggesting solutions to help him beat Smith.  You not only make the sale; you may also suggest other items to help him solve his problems. Plus, you know have built a special relationship with this customer which translates into more future sales and referrals.  Win/Win. 

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