Salespeople get put in mental body bags all the time. A mental body bag is where they check your entire life. Weaker salesmen will give up there but the strong ones persist so they can breakthrough to the client. In order to be successful, you need to continuously persist. Never give up on the client and stick with them as much as possible. All the greats hold them self accountable by doing this. If you ask the right questions you will be able to peal the layers back and get them to open up. Connecting with your client is one of the top priorities. Realize, people buy from people that they like. If a client is between two similar product, at similar price points, they are going to choose the one with the salesperson that they liked more. People want to help people out.

You have to grasp a couple of things. First, clients like to play hard to get. No one wants to come out and say they have to purchase something right then and there. That kills their negotiation powers. Instead, you should take someone that is extra standoffish or quiet as a challenge because they will buy if you are a sales assassin. Second, sometimes clients had a bad experience with a salesperson. They may hate or dislike you for past experiences (find out why that happens here). You can’t control that; however, you can control giving them the best possible experience with you to redeem all salesmen! If you are a professional there is no reason why you cannot do this. Third, sometimes people are having a tough week and don’t want to deal with salesmen but they are forced to. For example, I worked with this older guy who told me he hates dealing with salesmen. I let that roll off my back and ended up selling him a table. Later, I come to find out that his wife had just died that week and he was needing a table because he had to move into a nursing home. Sometimes people are having a terrible week. Instead of getting offended by that, focus on putting a smile on their face and having a fun time!

Successful Tips for Peeling Back Those Layers

I used to work at Starbucks and the most valuable thing I learned there was the power of connecting. If you connect with your client, you are going to positively impact their day or even life. People will even spend $6 on a cup of coffee every single day. First, the key is to only get your client talking about themselves. It is a bitter pill to swallow but no one wants to hear about you and your life. Clients only want to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. They are proud of these things and this is their chance to boast. Let them do it. I see this common sin all the time where salespeople are boring the client with their stories. Don’t do this. Now, there is one exception of this rule. You can talk about yourself when it comes to common ground. If someone has a dog and they are talking about it, connect with them by talking about your dog to keep the conversation going. Do not steal the conversation.

Next, you have to ask the right questions. Weak salespeople don’t see the need in connecting with the client. They just focus on business and never ask the client about themselves. This is how you can determine if you are working with a greed salesmen that doesn’t care. All this shows is a sales novice trying to get at someone’s pocket book. Don’t be that guy or girl. If you need help with your greeting check this out.

You can prevent this with the right questions. There has to be a perfect balance of business and fun/connecting questions. I have found it super successful to ask the client about their normal lives. This will get them to open up the quickest. Not only that but you will get them opening up more and liking you more. Once they start to open up, you can drop in more questions about business and their needs/wants. I challenge my team to find out 2-3 personal facts about that client. You can only do that by asking non-business related questions. These are essential for your success and engaging with your client more.

Questions That Will Help You

The business/fun balance need to be right. Remember that your client should be talking 60% of the time. You will need an arsenal of effective questions to breakthrough to the client. Here are some topics and questions that I have found to be effective with peeling back the layers and connecting:

  • Do you have any pets? People love talking about their pets! Great conversation starter.
  • Do you have any little ones? People love talking about their kids as well.
  • Do you know any good _______ (burger, steak, etc.) places in town? People love giving their two cents.
  • How’s your week going?
  • Have any cool (event like a holiday or summer) plans coming up?
  • Have any exciting weekend plans?
  • Where do you work? People take pride in their work… or they hate it typically one or the other for sure.
  • I’m trying to start a new TV series, what are your top two recommendations? Fun question to ask.
  • Ask exciting questions that are tailored to your business. For instance, in the furniture business, a great question to ask is are you updating your furniture or renovating your home? Remember that a big purchase is very exciting for your client. Be enthusiastic (here’s why) and it will catch on with their mood and behavior.
  • Get them talking about hobbies.
  • Get them talking about likes.
  • Get them talking about sports or fantasy sports.
  • Get them talking about food.
  • For the love of God just don’t talk about the weather. Weather is the worst conversation starter. Whenever someone is talking about the weather it means they have nothing else to talk about. Unless its a monsoon or Armageddon or something then that shit’s cool to talk about.
  • What do you currently have? How long have you had it for? How do you like it? These will gauge a lot about their current product or service and determine what you should show them.

You can have so many great conversations from all of these topics. A lot of the time your clients will bring up other topics that you can roll with as well. But it is up to us as sales assassins to get them talking. That’s not their job, it’s ours. Keep that in mind. Also, there’s two things to watch out for while doing this. First, don’t let the fun out weight the business. We call that making friends. Overall, we are here to get a deals closed. You need to make the business the focal point still. Second, don’t get sucked into the black hole. There are people that will talk you into your elder years if you let them. You have to know when to cut the head off the snake and get out of there. Watch out for these sages of chit chat. They will eat all your time along with the day’s productivity. Be polite and they will understand that you are very busy.

Always remember that you will have to keep coming back. Never give up. Don’t let your fears stop you from peeling back those layers. Ask the hard questions to get the answers you need and the results you want.

Comment below what you thought of this post! Do you have any questions that you find to be effective with peeling back those layers?

Happy selling!

-Cody