There are many myths associated with the culture of selling. The social sciences characterize a myth as a story or theme that embodies a particular idea or aspect of a culture.
Here's the “story" on which Sales Myth #14 is based:
An enthusiastic salesperson will make more sales than an unenthusiastic salesperson.
Your marketing and sales success will increase proportionately to your level of enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is contagious.
When you give an enthusiastic presentation about your company, your product or your service- your prospects will follow your lead, become enthused themselves, and buy from you.
Here's the problem created by Sales Myth #14:
Enthusiastic salespeople have a tendency to turn people off rather than on. Ooops!
Is that hard for you to swallow?
It was for me.
In the mid-1980’s I was plying my trade as a “traditional” sales trainer in the financial services industry. I remember hearing a fellow trainer yell out this next statement, and thought it was simply marvelous:
“Enthusiasm is like yeast… it raises the dough. ”
It made complete sense. Here was something that a salesperson could really wrap her arms around. It was an understandable and transferable sales tactic. It was easy for me to promote enthusiasm based selling.
Enthusiasm is like yeast…. I kept reminding myself to be enthusiastic. I encouraged others to do the same.
In 1987 I got hit with the “Big Ah-ha. ” That “Ah-ha” marked the origin of my Question Based Sales and Marketing system.
I discovered that a salesperson who is a calm, quiet, expert questioner and effective listener experiences a greater degree of success than her more enthusiastic counterpart.
On examination, most great salespeople follow this calm, quiet approach.
Don’t get me wrong: Some degree of recognizable enthusiasm is necessary to keep you in the sales game.
However, enthusiasm should exist as a background flavoring rather than a main ingredient.
Here’s the solution to the problem:
I define problem as “the difference between what you have and what you say you want. ”
I define business as “the ability to solve other people’s problems and make a profit. ”
Replace enthusiasm’s traditional role in the selling process with its internal counterpart, passion. Become a passionate, committed problem solver.
Prospects don’t really care about your enthusiasm.
Prospects don’t really care about you.
They don’t really care about what you do.
They don’t really care about your company.
All they really care about is… what you can do for them.
Before you enthusiastically tell them what you think you can do for them, I suggest you commit to asking the right, open ended, diagnostic questions, and follow that by listening to the answers.
The information you harvest will help you solve their problem.
Listen unselfishly and attentively so you can discover what your prospects really want and the problems they want solved.
Look at the situation from their point of view.
They want information or a product that will help them solve their problem- not an enthusiastic sales pitch.
Communicating with passion calls for a conversation of “being. ” Who are you “being” when you enter into a communication with your prospect?
You have a powerful choice.
Would you rather be seen as someone who is quietly and passionately committed to solving your prospect’s problem, or would you rather be viewed as a salesperson who sells with a lot of enthusiasm?
Here's an off-the-wall scenario… You’re at the doctor. You don’t feel well. The doctor comes into the room and proceeds to tell you enthusiastically about the organizational set up of his office. How would you respond? How much would you care? Why is he doing this?
If you really wanted to know about the organizational structure of the office- you'd ask.
Too many salespeople sell like this. If you walk into an appointment with the intention of sharing information about the corporate structure of your company, or other such information, you’d better make sure that this is something that the prospect cares about and really wants to know.
If they really wanted to know, if it was really important to them- they'd ask.
Your prospects don’t want an enthusiastic information giver. They want a diagnostician who can offer a solution to their problem.
They want someone who is passionate about solving their problems.
They want to work with someone whose immediate concern centers on their issues and well-being.
So, use your initial meeting to focus on your prospects’ issues and well-being.
Discover what they want. Find out what’s important to them. Be passionate about making that discovery.
Here’s the success tip - ratchet up your passion, ratchet down your enthusiasm.
This does not mean that you purposely lower your energy level.
I’m suggesting that you learn to recognize the enthusiasm level of the prospect and match it.
No more… No less…
To your success.
Copyright 2005 Ike Krieger
Ike Krieger is a business mentor, author and speaker. After nearly 30 years in the sales training industry, Ike is able to provide you with tips, tools, ideas, resources and programs that will help you produce more clients, more referrals and more sales. Ike has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, salespeople and professionals grow their business and do it with dignity. His Question Based Sales and Marketing System™ will help you turn your contacts into contracts, more easily and more often™. Subscribe to Ike's newsletter at http://www.BusinessSuccessBuilder.com