I’ve been selling for over 23 years and I probably should say closer to 50. If I asked a group of 100 people to raise their hand if they were in the sales business, only a few would comply, yet everyone in that audience is selling something. Want a vacation or a raise? You’ll be selling that idea to somebody.
You’ve been “selling” since you were 2 years old and wanted that cookie before dinner. Only back then you had no fear of “no” (actually you never heard it), and knew the power of persistence. You were most often than not rewarded for your tenacity.
Most people cringe at the term “Salesperson”. It conjures up pictures of snake oil, and lemon cars. So how do you build a successful “up line” of productive salespeople if the word has a dissatisfying taste? Easy, replace the “bad” pictures and words with honest and good ones. What you are building is NOT a sales force but a group of P.I.’s.
Turn your people into Private Investigators. Make every contact with a potential client/customer an investigative and interesting experience. They have a problem, YOU have the solution and as a P.I. your job is to put the two together for success.
To do this you must have tools like a road map or path to follow. Any good detective has tools to open doors that have been locked. What’s a locked door? “Oh, I’ve heard those triangles are illegal”…..“I don’t want a closet full of soap” ….”I don’t know a bunch of people to sell vitamins to.”
The tool I’ve created is a 7 step process in the form of an acronym….S O L V E IT! These letters are your road map as a P.I. Let me show you how they work:
S = Salutation. You’ve got to start with a greeting. If you start with positive response questions you get the person already thinking and saying “yes” from the start. Instead of “what do you think of this weather” you could ask “beautiful day isn’t it?” Make a list of 50 positive response questions so that you will have several choices to choose from. Other examples…”Isn’t it great to have extra money when you need it?” “I can tell your health is important to you isn’t it?” “Ever wish you could split yourself in two so that you could make double your income?”
O = Observe your People Puzzle© Look at people as if they were puzzle pieces. If you were to go to a store and purchase a puzzle, would all the pieces look the same? Of course not! Each piece is unique so that it will fit with another. Yet in our life we tend to put puzzle pieces around us who think like us, are motivated like us. Big mistake! In fact that is probably the FIRST mistake a person starting in an MLM (better to say networking marketing biz) makes. They pick and chose who they THINK would be successful instead of offering this opportunity to every puzzle piece on the table. All of us have different buying patterns and if you ask questions you can find out if the person is buying as a D, I, S, or C. Now I’ll give you examples and see if you can name some friends who buy this way.
D stands for Driver. They buy if they think it’s THEIR idea. They want things yesterday, bottom line results, and use short, quick phrases. They like to break the rules and they love a challenge.
I stands for Influencers. They shop till they drop. They buy emotionally and with their eyes. It’s gotta look good, smell good, and tell them the names of “rich and famous” customers that are already on board. I’s want to be Included!
S stands for Stable and Supportive. They buy “for the good of all”. They want to be a part of a team effort and don’t want recognition for themselves. They want to know you will stay with them for the long run with an open door policy.
C stands for Cautious and these people will ask you questions about documentation, statistics, and brochures. Understand they are not being critical but rather cautious and are not comfortable with risk taking.
Each pattern has their own list of vocabulary words that they use often. As a P.I., the more people you “investigate” the better you will get at recognizing their buying and motivation patterns.
L= Listen. The problem with salespeople is they do all the talking/selling. A P.I. asks questions and then LISTENS to the response. Again make a list of 50 questions that you could ask that will unveil the problem you want to solve. Examples:
What do you enjoy about grocery shopping? What would you change about your long distance phone service? Do you ever use prepaid phone cards? What concerns you most about your health? Weight loss? Energy Level? etc.
V = Value. How are you different from your competitor? Don’t speak poorly of them but know how you’re distinctly unique. I have a consultant friend who calls this your DNA (Distinct Niche Advantage). This VALUE translates into solutions for your client/prospect. Remember it’s not just the product/solution but they are also buying you.
E = Envision the problem solved. Talk in past tense like they’re already on board. Examples: “After you’ve been taking our vitamins for a month, I’ll help you make a list of those people you think you know we could help”. “What will you do with that additional $50 a month income?”
I = Issues of concern. Here they have a chance to ask questions for verification. Don’t ever be afraid of this step. It’s an opportunity to get them even more committed to the “solution” to their problem. I’ve made a list of every product and know it’s solution by heart. Now my ears are “perked” wherever I am to talk to who ever I meet that is discussing a problem that they are having.
T= Tag it and take it home. Don’t take their money/order and run. Celebrate! I send a card congratulating them on their decision and telling them that I’m excited about having them as a customer or on my team. Keep in touch via creative faxes and emails and let them determine whether to be a customer or a team player. What you want them to remember is that you aren’t going to abandon them and that you would love them to be a part of your success anytime they’re ready. Stay in touch to know what new challenges or “problems” they’re having that you can “solve” with additional product.
In doing this, customers become friends who refer additional business and there no more valued advertisement around than word-of-mouth!