Question for you—what do a product demo and a candle-lit dinner have in common?
As it turns out, more than you might think. See, sales is a lot like dating. If you jump into a sales call by bragging and boasting about your product, your buyer is going to immediately lose interest.
But just like in the dating world, there are a few things you can do to make closing much more of a success. And today, we’re talking about three in particular.
So we’ve all been out on a nightmare date before, right? Think back—what was so bad about it? In all likelihood, it was that the person on the other side of the table just wouldn’t stop blabbing about themselves. How much they make. What they can bench press. Who they’re friends with. It’s exhausting just talking about it.
Or maybe that’s been YOU in the past?
But the thing is if you can get the other person talking, feeling good, and sharing what they’re working towards, you’re one thousand percent more likely to build a deep connection.
The same goes for saless.
So, let’s start with maybe the most impactful step you can take to boost your chances of success, both in love and in sales…
Ask, Don’t Tell
To be perfectly honest, your buyers don’t really give a shit about your company or your product. They may eventually, sure. But in the initial stages of the sales cycle, the ones that focus on awareness, the key is to turn the focus on them. You’ll have plenty of time to point to all that juicy social proof when it comes to the decision stage.
So instead of telling prospects about yourself, ask more questions. Now, there are three very real benefits to taking this approach.
1. You Better Understand Their Problem
You better understand their problem. When you’re talking, you’re not listening. And that means you’re not taking in as much info as possible about the problems your prospect is facing. As a result, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to understand their pain points. And an opportunity to find the RIGHT solution for them.
2. You Qualify Them As Ideal Clients
You qualify them as ideal clients. The more you learn about a prospect, the more info you can gather about them. What’s their budget? What kind of timeline do they have? Does their problem even match up with your solution? These are all critical questions you need answers to. Because these are the answers that let you know if this client is right for your business or, frankly, if they’re a waste of time.
3. You Connect Their Emotions
You connect their emotions. Logic plays an enormous factor in B2B buying decisions. But that doesn’t mean emotion doesn’t come into play too.
President and CEO of Whetstone Inc., Adrian Davis, put it to me like this:
“Fundamentally, we make decisions emotionally, and if all we’re doing is spouting features and benefits, we’re really engaging the logical part of the brain. The logical part of the brain does not make decisions. But analyses and captures information to weigh pros and cons, but decisions are made emotionally.”
When you get prospects talking about their problems, they get invested emotionally in solving those problems. And that means you’re engaging with them using both sides of the coin—logic and emotion.
The #1 Turnoff
The number one turnoff. And like I hinted before, this one overlaps pretty well with the dating world. So, what do you think it is? The top turnoff for both sales and dating?
No kidding! Now while the worst lingering aroma on your breath while dating is garlic or onions, in sales the worst smell is—commission.
Yep, commission breath. It’s sunk countless sales in the past. And if your buyer catches even a whiff of it, they’re bound to leave you high and dry.
Commission breath is basically when you come off too needy, too desperate. You NEED that sale. And it’s showing. When a buyer sees that desperation, they’re way less likely to trust you. And they’re way less likely to buy from you.
So, how do you kill commission breath? Well, there are three ways in particular.
1. Understand You’re Selling Value
Understand you’re selling value. Your product isn’t some throwaway piece of trash. It isn’t some waste of money. And it does in fact have value for businesses. So don’t come into a sale hoping, begging to close. Because after all, the only thing you’re doing here is trading value.
2. Build Your Self-Respect
Build your self-respect. Now this one isn’t a quick fix. And confidence doesn’t develop overnight. But what I can say is that we at the Selling Made Simple Academy have a framework dedicated specifically to helping reps like you be more confident and assertive on the job. So if you’re interested, I highly suggest checking that out.
3. Re-Evaluate Your Product
Re-evaluate your product. This one’s a tough truth. But it can make the rest of your career far more successful. Ask yourself, is this solution something you can really get behind? Do you really, truly believe it has value? If not, it’s time to start asking yourself some hard questions like, “Do I really want to sell this?” If the answer is no, you may want to find another employer.
Closing – Doing It Wrong?
In the dating world, it’d be just plain weird to end a great date by saying, “Whelp, that was fantastic. Email me if you’re interested in getting together again!”
Ridiculous, right? Instead, you want to seal the deal. Not like that. Get your head out of the gutter! But I’m talking setting up the next date. You want to close on the next steps. The next date.
Same goes for sales. Rather than leaving the next steps up in the air, you want to close on your next meeting—a discovery call, a product demo, a tech spec deep-dive, whatever!
And to do that, I have one little phrase for you…
“Does It Make Sense To…”
This is the ultimate closing phrase that’s perfect for any phase of the sales cycle. Does it make sense to draw up the paperwork, have a demo call, look at some case studies? It doesn’t matter what stage you’re in.
If things aren’t quite right on your buyer’s end, they’ll say no and you can follow up questioning why. Simple!
This is the perfect closing question because it keeps things mutual, it identifies any roadblocks, and it lets prospects know exactly where they’re at.
So give it a try.
And that, my friends, is a perfect recipe for winning your second date.
As you can see, dating has a lot more in common with sales than most people realize.