Tell the Story, Create the Experience and Close the Sale
Most people don’t like to be sold, but enjoy buying things, so much so that many folks see shopping as a fun afternoon activity. Stroll around Georgetown in the Washington D.C area and observe people buying clothes, fine chocolates, and so forth, all while smiling. They are happily interacting with sales people, thrilled to go to checkout and get “rung up”. In many cases, they “closed themselves” and the prospect was happy about it. People like to buy.
The faster you recognize this the easier you will learn to close the sale with confidence. Help people buy rather than push them and closing the sale becomes fun.
Learning How to Make Closing the Sale Fun
• Recognize Why People Like to Buy
People buy what a product will do for them. They buy the experience, the image, and the emotion. In every sales training course or sales seminar we hear “focus on benefits over facts”, or “sell benefits, not facts and features.” Intellectually, we understand this, but to actually do it effectively we need to remember each time we buy that we want the end result delivered by the item, not the item itself.
The best evidence is your own purchase experiences. Think about a significant purchase and what influenced one purchase over another. If it was a luxury item, the purchase was typically driven by the emotions of status, ego, connection to a certain group or individual, etc. If it was a significant purchase and selection was driven by price, you most likely wanted to control getting a good deal, wanted to get everything you need without be wasteful, wanted to be a smart consumer, or wanted to be the authority for your boss, company or household by getting great savings, etc.
Ad agencies have been doing this for years. Some of the best sales people and sales training lessons come out of the advertising world. They motivate or influence a buying decision often in 30 seconds or less.
Sales Tip: Tell a Good Story to Close the Sale
With Volvo you are getting safety. With Chevrolet, it was the “Heartbeat of America”, and with Subaru, you are purchasing love and adventure. Apple took on the PC world and mobile by inspiring you to “Think Different.” Whether you are thinking about your favorite retailer in Washington or a major ad campaign the best sales and marketing goes beyond the product or service.
• The Secret is Telling A Great Story
In each great campaign, the “sales pitch” was much more about you being great than the product being great. The U.S. Army leveraged this with “Be all you can be”. Their ads showed what you were learning, what you were doing, and where you were going, but the end game was about your greatness. About you being heroic. About you being the leader. About you “being all you can be”.
Whether you are selling products via a T.V. commercial or you are selling a big flat screen T.V. at a local retail store on Main St. in Washington, D.C., telling the story where your prospect becomes more significant or achieves greatness leverages your ability to close and inspires them to buy.
For example, the sales team we trained at an electronics store in Washington significantly improved both their close rate and how quickly they closed by learning to put each of their prospects in the story the prospect most desired. By asking questions early in the sales process, they learned what brought the person in, what pulled them toward a particular product, and what the prospect perceived was “cool” about the product.
The salespeople then painted a picture of how “cool” it would be to be “the man” for Sunday football and have the best house to be in for the Super Bowl. They shared examples of others that succeed at being the best place to watch the game, and then developed the story to have their prospect become “the king” of hosting Sunday games.
Each prospect was different, and thus the story of how their prospect succeeded was also different. Some prospects wanted their home to be their castle and watching the game on their own was the indulgence they deserved for themselves. Another was a dad that wanted to help their child be cool in their dorm as they headed off to college. Once again, they got to be their child’s hero by getting the more deluxe model. Dad got to be significant while purchasing something they perceived made their child more significant.
Each salesperson learned to tap into the motivation that directed buying behavior. Whether it was audio equipment, a household appliance or other gadget the more the sales reps focused on making the prospect the star of the show instead of the product the faster they closed.
For example, in the household goods department, one rep became the king of selling air fryers. With some prospects, he created the story of Mom making the best healthy meals for her family quickly. Mom was the star of the story, giving her family love and attention and being significant/recognized for all she did. For other folks, they became innovators as they entertained friends for dinner with great meals that were healthy and prepared in a unique way. Once again the prospect was the “Star of the show.”
1. Write 3 questions that will have your prospect open up about their main motivation
2. Pre plan what the most common experience and motivation is desired from purchasing your product or service
3. Write out the story for each of those situations and make sure your prospect is the hero and star of the show/story
This one shift will have you close significantly faster and more often. Make your prospect the star rather than you or the product.