By Nick Terrenzi
Control is utilized in sales to positively guide a prospect through the sales process. When done right, it is not only the salesperson that wins through closing the sale and earning a commission. It is also the prospect, for purchasing a product or service that will specifically and truly benefit them.
Many people have had bad experiences with control, however, and will do whatever they can to wriggle out from being controlled, even if that control is beneficial. That “wriggling out” comes in the form of sales resistance, and the first stage of sales resistance is that age-old excuse for not talking to a salesperson: “I’m just looking.”
First, the truth of the matter is that your prospect is far too busy to be “just looking.” According to a recent article in the New York Times, the average American is shown over 5,000 messages per day through push marketing—radio, TV, social media, email, text, billboards, and others. This comes out to over 35,000 messages per week, and over 150,000 messages per month.
Think about it: out of that sea of possibilities, they chose to inquire about your product or service. So, it is not quite true that they are “just-looking”—but it is true that they are exhibiting that first symptom of sales resistance.
We could all agree that the most basic problem for salespeople—the one that salespeople work hardest to overcome—is that prospects naturally resist being sold a product or service.
Why do prospects resist salespeople (and we all do it)?
Well, how many of us have had at least one bad experience with a salesperson? Most of us have had many bad experiences with salespeople and the buying process.
“Sales skill” could be summed up as the ability or skillset to overcome sales resistance and guide the prospect to the product or service solution that ultimately exceeds their expectations. Or in other words, to positively control that prospect to a win for them, and a win for you.
Going back to “Just looking,” this excuse is often given in a retail environment when a salesperson comes over and starts trying to close them, without even beginning any kind of sales process.
The best thing you as a salesperson can do in such an environment is welcome them, thank them so much for thinking of you, and provide them with amazing customer service from the moment they reach out.
Remember that from the sea of possibilities your prospect could spend time on, they chose you. The first steps are to welcome them with good manners and grant them importance.
And that is where you begin to exert positive control and bring them through a positive sales experience.
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