Advanced Selling Strategies by Brian Tracy (Review & Notes)

My Book Review plus Additional Notes on Advanced Selling Strategies – The Proven System of Sales Ideas, Methods and Techniques Used by Top Salespeople Everywhere by Brian Tracy

Main Idea about this book:

The sales profession is one of the most interesting, most dynamic and most rewarding business fields available. And to successfully build a career in this field, there’s really only one concept to keep in mind — you don’t have to be a pioneer.

In other words, don’t try and blaze your own trail. Instead, learn from the success of others. Study the sales techniques which have worked for other people in other settings and with other products and services. Evaluate what worked for them, adapt these principles to suit your own specific product or service and move ahead.

The principles of success remain the same regardless of what you’re selling. All it takes is the ability to adapt and adopt the techniques of sales success to your own needs and requirements.

1. The Psychology of Selling

80-percent of your success in the field of selling will be determined by what you think about. Therefore, by learning to think the same way the most successful salespeople do, you can improve your performance dramatically and immediately.

Supporting Ideas:

Every person has a self-concept — a mental set of beliefs about themselves and the world. A self-concept has three main parts:

1. Self-Ideal – The person they’d like to be if everything went right

2.  Self-Image The way people see themselves at the present time

3. Self-Esteem – The alignment between self-image and self-ideal

The key to sales success lies in doing everything you can to build your self-esteem. The higher your self-esteem, the more successful you’ll be in a sales role.

To build and enhance your self esteem:

1. Always see yourself as self-employed — the president of your own professional sales company which may presently be subcontracted out to someone else. That means accepting total responsibility for what you accomplish.

2. See yourself as a consultant — a problem solver — rather than a vendor trading money for your product or service. Approach clients with that attitude.

3. Act like a doctor — in the client’s best interests. To do so, you must examine first, then diagnose and finally prescribe what they need.

4. Think strategically — set clear goals, develop blueprints and plans, act decisively and don’t be worried about short-term setbacks.

5. Be intensely results oriented — combine empathy and ambition together in balance as you focus on effective utilization of your time.

6. Be ambitious — work towards becoming the best in your field. When excellence is your standard, you’ll act differently, more purposefully in fact.

7. Apply Golden Rule Selling — sell to other people the same way you’d like to be sold if you were in the same position.

That way, you’ll always act with honesty and integrity in everything you do.

Key Thoughts:

‘‘The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘You can learn anything you need to learn to achieve any goal you want by finding out what others have done before you to get the results you want to get.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘If you believe you can do a thing, or if you believe you cannot, in either case you are probably right.’’ — Henry Ford

2. The Development of Personal Sales Power

Main Idea

In selling, everything counts, but 80-percent of your success will derive from the quality of your personality. Therefore, build your personality by:
1. Taking full responsibility for your own life.
2. Interpreting everything that happens in a positive light.
3. Making a commitment to excellence in your field.
4. Being persistent.
5. Having integrity — perfect honesty with yourself and others.
6. Being grateful for everything you have.
7. Setting clear and specific goals.

In addition, you need to understand the mental laws of success and engage in regular, daily mental exercise.

Supporting Ideas

The seven mental laws that apply to sales are:

1. The Law of Cause and Effect — there is always a direct link between what’s done and what’s achieved.

2. The Law of Compensation — remuneration is always linked to the level of contribution.

3. The Law of Control — the greater the amount of control you have over your own life, the happier you’ll be.

4. The Law of Belief — whatever you believe with emotion becomes your own personal reality.

5. The Law of Concentration — anything you mentally dwell on will expand until it fills your thoughts.

6. The Law of Attraction — you always attract the people and circumstances that align with your most dominant thoughts.

7. The Law of Correspondence — your outer world will always mirror your inner world in every detail.

To become mentally fit and build a powerful personality, regularly engage in these exercises on a daily basis:

1. Give yourself a pep talk — talk to yourself positively and enthusiastically about your life, your opportunities, your challenges and your responses.

2. Visualize positive results — form a strong and vibrant mental image of all the great things that you’re going to achieve in the immediate future.

3. Feed your mind positive and inspiring mental food — take on board the best ideas regularly and consistently.

4. Associate with positive people — ideally a group of successful, performance-oriented reference group.

5. Have regular training and development sessions — where you learn from the best people in your field or other fields through books, tapes, seminars, etc.

6. Protect your health — eliminate fat from your diet, physically exercise, drink loads of water and get enough rest.

7. Increase your tempo — move faster, see more people, get more done.

Key Thoughts:
‘‘Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.’’ — Denis Waitley

3. Personal Strategic Planning

Main Idea

A personal strategic plan articulates your vision of who you are and where you want to head in the months and years ahead.

The components of a personal strategic plan match those a business would put together, and include:
1. Values statement
2. Personal vision statement
3. Mission statement
4. Situation analysis
5. Market analysis

Supporting Ideas

The components of a personal strategic plan are:

1. Values statement
In short, your values are your core beliefs — the personality and character traits that lie at the heart of what you consider important in life. All improvement in life revolves around your values, so the clearer they can be expressed, the better. Your values statement should identify five values that are important to you, in order of priority.

  • What do you stand for?

2. Personal vision statement
Vision builds on your values, and expresses what your ideal life would be like if you took your values to their logical conclusion. Again, clarity is the key. The clearer the vision you express, the more your quality of life will be enhanced.

  • What would you dare to dream if you could not fail?

3. Mission statement
A personal vision statement is a definition of the kind of person you want to become in the future. A business mission statement clarifies how you want customers to remember your business.

  • What will you be remembered for?

4. Situation analysis

This clarifies:
1. Where you are at present.
2. How you got to where you are.
3. Where you want to be in the future.
4. How to get to where you want to be in the future.

  • What has to be done differently to get somewhere better?

5. Market analysis
Your market analysis should detail which strategic opportunities are emerging in the marketplace and how you plan to exploit them in the near- and long-term. It should also help focus efforts and identify prospects that are likely to be responsive to whatever product or service you offer.

  • How can you increase your results on resources invested?

Many strategic plans use the GOSPA formula:
G — Goals — specific, measurable and time-oriented.
O — Objectives — interim targets leading to the goals.
S — Strategy — how you will accomplish your objectives
P — Plans — daily, weekly and monthly precise targets
A — Activity — maximizing your productive time

Key Thoughts

‘‘Personal strategic planning is perhaps the most important single skill you could ever develop in ensuring that you achieve the success of which you are capable.’’ — Brian Tracy

4. Customer Relationships — The Heart of the Sale

Main Idea
The very essence of sales success is to build and maintain high-quality relationships with customers. The only way to do that is with trust and credibility.

Supporting Ideas

Selling professionally is quite simple — it’s the process of persuading someone the value they will receive from your product or service is greater than its cost. Your job is to show this is the best possible use of a person’s money.

The critical factor in sales success is risk. Everything a sales professional does should be aimed squarely and directly at reducing the risk from the customer’s perspective.

To reduce risk:
1. Be a great listener — with sincerity and empathy.
2. Be worthy of being trusted — which simply means keeping confidential information confidential.
3. Build a long-term relationship — so customers understand you have their best interests at heart and not your own.
4. Become friends with your customers — by always unerringly acting in the customer’s best interests.
5. Never criticize anyone — even your direct competitors.
6. Accept your customers for who they are, being non-judgmental.
7. Take every possible opportunity to express your approval of your customer — give them praise.
8. Show your appreciation through small actions (politeness) and larger deeds (thank you notes).
9. Find something to genuinely admire about your customer’s life or their achievements — and express those feelings.
10. Never argue — always be agreeable.
11. Focus. Don’t get distracted.

The sale process has changed dramatically since the 1970s.

Prior to that time, the generally used sales model was:

10% — Establishing a good rapport

20% — Qualifying the prospect

30% — Making a sales presentation

40% — Closing the sale

Today’s prevailing sales model, however, has reversed the way time is spent. The new sales model is:

40% — Building trust

30% — Identifying specific needs

20% — Presenting solutions to needs

10% — Confirming and closing

5. The Profession of Selling

Main Idea
To build a good solid career in sales successfully, follow one simple guideline — always do more than you are paid for. If you habitually put more into your career than you take out, you’ll be exceptionally successful.

Supporting Ideas

The professional sales process is:

Prospect –> Build trust –> Identify Needs –> Present Solutions –> Confirm & Close –> Customer

For this process to operate smoothly, seven vital functions are required on the sales professional’s part:
1. A positive mental attitude.
2. Good health and appearance.
3. Complete and detailed product knowledge.
4. Ongoing prospecting and development of new business.
5. Effective presentation skills.
6. The ability to handle objections and gain commitment.
7. Personal planning and time management skills.

Incremental improvements in any of these areas can produce substantially greater overall results. The goal should be to continuously improve in each of those areas.

In the professional sales process, there are nine critical factors around which success is built. These factors should be evaluated on a regular, ongoing basis — again with the aim of steadily improving performance in each.

The critical factors and professional level criteria for each are:

Critical Factor — > Criteria

1. Prospecting – Contacting sufficient high-quality people to meet targets

2. Getting appointments – Having enough appointments to fill your time productively

3. Qualifying – Spending time only with people who have the ability to buy

4. Identifying problems – Asking perceptive questions, using active and empathetic listening

5. Making presentations – Providing convincing evidence of product or service benefits

6. Answering objections  – Anticipating concerns and able to provide satisfactory answers

7. Closing – Asking for a commitment to action competently and comfortably

8. Follow-through – Making certain everything that has been promised is delivered

9. Referrals – Having happy and satisfied customers get their friends involved

Sales professionals are constantly trying new approaches and new ideas in an effort to improve their performance in each of these nine critical areas. By attempting to improve regularly and continuously, they keep their business program fresh and vital.

Key Thoughts

‘‘The best companies are not hundreds of percent better in any area, they are just one percent better in hundreds of areas.’’ — Tom Peters

‘‘Courage is rightly considered the foremost of all virtues, for upon it all others depend.’’ — Winston Churchill

‘‘Courage is not absence of fear or lack of fear. It is control of fear, mastery of fear.’’ — Mark Twain

‘‘Stand back and look at your sales performance, and every detail of what you do. Resolve this very day to begin improving in each of your critical success areas. Upgrade each of your vital functions. Set benchmarks or standards for yourself and measure yourself against those standards every day and every week. Perhaps the most wonderful part of your career in professional selling is that there is no limit on how good you can get at it except for the limits you impose on yourself.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘Selling is an honorable profession. Salespeople are the forerunners of progress, development and growth throughout the entire economy. It is salespeople who ultimately generate the markets for almost all other skills. Every economic indicator or report in the newspapers and business magazines deals in some way with the level of sales in a particular company or industry.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘Top salespeople are the spark plugs in the engines of social and economic progress.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘It is your attitude and your activities that determine whether you make selling an occupation or a profession.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘What makes the future of professional selling so bright is the fact that you are in the business of developing professional selling friendships. Some of the best people you will ever meet will start off as tough prospects that you will eventually convert into customers. The greatest joy that you will ever receive from your profession is the deep inner satisfaction that will come from knowing that through your products and services, you are making a real difference.’’ — Brian Tracy

’’In my conversations with hundreds of top salespeople over the years, I have found that they all have one thing in common. They all have clear, written goals. They have taken the time to sit down and create a blueprint for themselves and their future lives. Every one of them has been amazed at the incredible power of goal setting and strategic planning. Every one of them has accomplished far more than they ever believed possible in selling.’’ — Brian Tracy

6. Motivating People To Buy From You

Main Idea
Sales professionals are intensely interested in the reasons people decide to buy from them. They meticulously analyze why current customers have purchased from them — since this is the key to expanding their sales effectiveness.

Supporting Ideas
Everyone has primary and secondary reasons for what they do:
1. The primary motivators are the utility requirements — i.e. you buy a car because you need transport.
2. The secondary motivators are the specific reasons your product or service was selected from all available choices. —
i.e. you buy a sports car because it’s fun to drive. Quite frequently, there will be two reasons for making any purchase decision:
1. The logical reason that sounds good to other people.
2. The real reason — which is emotional and often irrational.

Therefore, professional sales business builders become adept at uncovering the real buying motives so as to focus on building
this side of the business even more intensely.

To probe for this kind of information, sales professionals ask open ended questions, such as: ‘‘We very much appreciate your business, particularly since we realize you have so many choices in today’s market. We’re doing a little market research, to find out how we can serve you better. We’re interested in the real reason you liked our product or service enough to buy it.

What would you consider to be the real reason?’’

From there, you can branch off to a number of other questions.

For example, ‘‘Every product has its strengths and weaknesses.

We’re interested in your opinion. From your perspective, what do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of the product or
service we offer?’’

Sales professionals are intensely interested in gathering and analyzing information about why people buy their product or service. In effect, studying present clients and customers unlocks the key to serving even more clients and customers in similar fashion in the future.

In addition, people who have not brought from you can also provide a wealth of information. If they can be contacted and their input factored in as well, a clear view of the motivating and demotivating factors in the overall purchase process will come into focus.

Sales professionals work from the perspective that everyone they come into contact with is a potential client or customer — if they can just figure out the way to address their primary buying need.

Key Thoughts
‘‘If you can develop your creativity sufficiently to discover the real reason why someone would buy your product or service, there is nothing that can stop you from moving into the top ranks of sales professionals in your field.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘People buy the consequences they expect from owning and using your product or service. In the customer’s mind, your product or service is a means to an end. It is only the ends sought after that has the power to elicit a buying decision.’’
— Brian Tracy

7. How to Influence the Buying Decision

Main Idea

Most sales are made or lost within the first 30-seconds of contact.

Therefore, sales professionals control and orchestrate every element of their environment with the singular goal of making people feel comfortable dealing with them and confident about their expertise.

Supporting Ideas

The key elements of the selling environment are:

1. The way you dress. 95-percent of the first impression you make will be dictated by your clothing. You simply cannot dress casually — you have to dress to look the part of a top flight sales professional.

Ideally, when people look at you, they should know immediately they are dealing with a top performer. You should dress the same way their other professional advisors — bankers, lawyers, accountants, etc. — dress in their daily business activities.

2. The accessories you use.

Every single element in your wardrobe should send a signal of quality and soundness. This even extends to very small and seemingly insignificant items like ties, watches, rings, pens for men and earrings, necklaces, brooches, belts and scarfs for women. Even the color of your shoes and the socks or stockings worn can influence the impression of excellence you want to send.

3. Your grooming.

Hair length and styling sends a particularly strong signal for both men and women. Hair should be well styled, well maintained and very conservative. For men, beards and mustaches distract and should be avoided. For women, the emphasis should be on the face — not an elaborate hairstyle. And for both, you need to be fresh smelling if your prospect is to be influenced to buy from you.

4. Your posture.

By standing and sitting straight, you send the signal the matter under discussion is important and not to be treated casually. Every element of your posture should project enthusiasm and professionalism rather than casualness. Your body language should mirror that of your customer, so as to enhance the rapport between you and them.

5. Your office.

The furnishings, decor and even wall colorings of your office should be thoughtfully decided. You want people to realize you are successful and businesslike. How your office is furnished speaks volumes on your behalf.

6. Your vocabulary.

Many salespeople are surprised to learn there exists a direct correlation between the quality and variety of your everyday vocabulary and the amount of money you ultimately earn. In short, to make more, increase your vocabulary and enhance it with a knowledge of better grammar and diction. The results will surprise.

Key Thoughts

‘‘All top salespeople consciously and deliberately orchestrate every single element of their environments. This attention to detail is the mark of a true professional.’’ — Brian Tracy

8. Prospecting — Filling the Sales Pipeline

Main Idea

To build a successful business, you must have an ongoing new business development program underway. In the sales field, that means prospecting — finding the requisite number of new people each week who are capable of buying your product or service.

Supporting Ideas

Before worrying about prospecting, take a few minutes to develop a list of the attributes of an excellent prospect. They will most likely be people who:
1. Have a pressing need for your product or service.
2. That can appreciate the cost-benefit relationship involved.
3. Have a history of positive experience with your industry.
4. Are able to buy enough of your product to make it worthwhile.
5. Can act as a future site of reference for you.
6. Are able and willing to pay for what they buy promptly.
7. Are reasonably close to your office or business.

Therefore, the best use of your prospecting time should be focused on identifying and contacting people who are excellent rather than average prospects. The more time you can spend with better prospects, the greater your results will be.

Your existing customer base should provide numerous clues about the type of prospect most likely to be responsive to your product or service offering. Your goal should be to find more of the same. Therefore, study your customer base closely. Find out what they have in common — and then start thinking about how you can more effectively contact more people in similar situations or circumstances.

The main sources of prospects for new business are:
1. Newspapers — particularly local newspapers. You can contact the people that advertise, the people who are described and the business that are expanding.
2. The Yellow Pages — for companies which are in similar categories as your present customers.
3. Business publications — for companies and people that are in changing circumstances.
4. Trade magazines — for specific industries which have proven to be open to the product features you offer.
5. Dun & Bradstreet — and other credit rating agencies who rank industries and companies.
6. Chambers of commerce — who provide regular networking and speaking opportunities.
7. Referrals from existing customers — piggybacking on their credibility and friendship.
8. Cold calling — ideal for starting a new career or for refreshing a jaded career.
9. Telephone prospecting — to set up future face-to-face meetings.
10. Public speaking — finding a cluster of people who are able to buy and seeking opportunities to talk to them.

Prospecting varies quite markedly according to whether you sell a large ticket or small ticket item. For small products and services, activity and exposure are critical factors. Conversely, for large items, planning and strategy come to the fore, and every interaction needs to be carefully and meticulously scripted in advance.

Many salespeople are afraid of prospecting. In fact, the fear of prospecting is more likely to be the reason sales professionals fail to realize their true potential than any other reason. To overcome fear:
1. Be prepared to answer the most common questions:
1. Why should I listen to you?
2. What is it?
3. How much does it cost?
2. Acknowledge that rejection is never personal and cannot be avoided — it’s an integral part of the sales process.
3. Keep track of your ratios. Before too long, you’ll become keenly aware each rejection takes you one step closer to your next success. Therefore, the more you are rejected, the closer you’re getting to your next success.
4. Understand that the more your offer is rejected, the more you’re learning about how to succeed in the future.
5. Provide yourself with a tangible reward whenever you meet your prospecting targets. Build your own positive feelings about the entire process, rather than treating it with fear and misgiving.
6. Get involved in a public speaking forum like Toastmasters.
Good public speaking skills have a positive spin-off effect on prospecting.
7. Always make certain you’re running on time. Having a few minutes to collect your thoughts significantly enhances your ability to prospect effectively.
8. Visualize yourself succeeding, and performing flawlessly when talking to prospective customers.
9. Get the feeling of excitement and pleasure that comes from pulling off something difficult on a regular basis.

Key Thoughts

‘‘The starting point of successful selling is successful prospecting. If you can’t find someone to talk to who can and will buy your product or service, and pay for it within a reasonable period of time, you never get a chance to show your personality or to use your other talents and abilities.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘You can be excellent at every part of the professional sales process, but unless you can find someone to talk to, your skills won’t help you.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘Your ability to find new customers determines your level of success, your ranking among your peers, your position in your industry and your standard of living. You owe it to yourself therefore to become absolutely excellent at prospecting.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘You can observe a lot just by looking.’’ — Yogi Berra

‘‘We don’t mind if people make mistakes at IBM. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to make the same mistake over and over again without finding out why is unforgivable.’’ — Thomas Watson Jr.

‘‘You are in the business of new business development.’’ — Brian Tracy

9. How to Make Powerful Presentations

Main Idea

Effective presentations are the centerpiece of the professional sales process. The ability to give influential and persuasive presentations to prospects can offset average performance levels in every other part of the overall sales process.

Supporting Ideas

A professional sales presentation:
1. Is structured around three basic parts:

1. Establish rapport — to gain attention.
2. Identify the problem — as it relates to them.
3. Present the solution — which is cost-effective and specific.

2. Uses open-ended questions as an integral part of the presentation. The most effective questions:

1. Identify and articulate specific needs.
2. Demand attention by highlighting problems you can solve.
3. Illustrate how your product or service provides solutions.
4. Can be used to gain a commitment to action.

3. Centers around four unspoken thoughts every prospect has in the back of their mind throughout:

1. ‘‘Why should I listen to you?’’
2. ‘‘What is it?’’
3. ‘‘What’s in it for me?’’
4. ‘‘So what?’’
5. ‘‘How do I get it?’’

4. Takes into account the personality type of the prospect and uses the preferred buying strategy that is most applicable.

The four personality types and their buying strategies are:

1. The Relator — sensitive to the effect a purchase decision will have on others. These people need time to make a decision and reassurance others will approve.

2. The Socializer — who is achievement oriented with all the trappings of power and influence. These people need acknowledgment and specifics about how your product will help them achieve greater success.

3. The Analyzer — who is concerned with doing the right thing. With these people, you must be specific, highly detailed, thorough and prepared to work methodically and steadily through a checklist.

4. The Director — who focuses impatiently on bottom line results. To sell to this type of person, focus exclusively on the ways your product helps him do his job better and perform at a higher level. And do it quickly before they lose interest.

5. Uses testimonials effectively to create credibility and trust in what you can deliver. Testimonials come in three flavors:

1. Letters from satisfied customers.
2. Lists of current clients.
3. Photos of people using your product or service.

6. Frequently invites the prospect to express:

1. What they’re thinking.
2. How they feel.
3. Their opinions.

7. Is an accurate reflection of the salesperson’s own personality. When personality is injected into a sales presentation, people stop focusing on the product or service and instead begin responding to the personality elements.

8. Has a pace and flow which matches the preferences of the purchaser.

9. Generally deals with price last — so as to provide the information by which value can be determined before price is discussed.

10. Aligns with the buying process all customers or clients must go through. The buying process has three stages:
Stage 1 — When the prospect realizes the need exists.
Stage 2 — When the prospect evaluates solution options.
Stage 3 — When a definitive decision is made.

11. Satisfies the law of four — which states for every decision, there will usually be one major item and three minor items to be resolved. Nobody ever makes a decision to buy until all four items have been considered.

12. Uses hot buttons — emotional triggers about various specific elements of your product or service solution — to increase enthusiasm for the purchase decision.

13. Demonstrates your ability to use specialist knowledge on behalf of your client or customer by illustrating:
1. That you have thorough product knowledge.
2. That you have an in-depth appreciation of their needs.
3. That you have prepared carefully to serve them.
4. That your timing is appropriate.
5. That your personality matches your product or service.
6. That you have practiced and rehearsed beforehand.
7. That you practice whatever you preach.

14. Is built around the ideal of:

1. Showing a feature in action.
2. Telling what that means in terms of benefits.
3. Asking questions about the significance of that feature.

15. Moves from general concepts to specifics steadily and
logically.

16. Maintains momentum towards a sales decision by use of the TDPPR formula. All future steps should always specify:
T — a time the next meeting will take place.
D — a specific date.
P — the place for the next meeting.
P — the people who will be involved.
R — the reason or rationale for the next meeting.

Key Thoughts

‘‘Most sales in America start off this way: the positive, prepared salesperson meets the negative and uninterested prospect. But the professional salesperson is prepared for this. He is ready to take the prospect, one step at a time, through the process from skepticism about the product to complete conviction that this is exactly what he needs. Establishing a friendly relationship, asking questions to uncover real needs and then giving a thoroughly planned professional sales presentation is the key to turning the prospect around from a doubter to a customer. This is the business you are in. You talk to people who have no interest in what you are selling. They have no concept at all of how they could be better off by accepting your recommendations. Your job is to convert them from a suspicious person into a committed customer. Your job is to use your personality and persuasive skills to build high-quality customer relationships that result in immediate sales and the continue with sales and referrals into the future. That is what you are paid for and there is no limit to how good you can become if you work at it.’’
— Brian Tracy

10. Closing the Sale — The Endgame of Selling

Main Idea

Fortunately, closing a sale is difficult. That creates the opportunity for you to prosper and earn tremendous wealth. If closing the sale was easy, all they’d need (and pay for) is an order taker — and anyone on minimum wage can do that.

Supporting Ideas

It’s in handling objections and closing the sale that the sales professional really earns their reward. Closing is difficult as:
1. The prospect is afraid of making a wrong decision.
2. The salesperson is afraid of being rejected.
3. Customers are busy and frequently preoccupied.
4. Inertia has to be overcome before action is taken.

Objections serve a key role in the sales process:
1. They’re good because they indicate interest.
2. They show where prospects are unclear about benefits.
3. They indicate that people are seriously considering the offer.

The best ways to handle objections:
1. Differentiate between a condition — a genuine reason for not buying that cannot be answered — and an objection — which can be answered with additional information.
2. The best way to handle an objection is to answer it before it comes up. Develop good, solid answers to the six most common objections that come up in your presentation.

Anticipate and you leave little room for doubt to creep in at later stages.

3. Treat objections simply as requests for more detail.
Compliment the prospect for raising that matter, restate it back to them to make certain you have grasped their true meaning and intelligently and thoughtfully discuss the matter in greater detail.

4. Never take an objection personally.
Some people have a lifetime of conditioning against salespeople. Show you’re acting in their best interests to offset that.

Ideally, you want to get the prospect to specify one condition on which closing the sale will hinge. Once they do that, you then effectively have a closing condition — the hurdle you must cross to complete the sale.

Frequently, price will be the main objection. To show that your product is fairly priced in a competitive market:
1. Find an appropriate way to demonstrate the value which will be delivered by your product or service. The greater the dramatization of this demonstration, the better.
2. Ask by how much your price is too much. Then focus on showing why that differential is worth paying to get greater benefits.
3. Tell a success story about a person in a similar situation, and what they found.
4. Remind the prospect that ultimately, you always get what you pay for in life. Ask them if ever, in their experience, they purchased something cheap that turned out to be above expectations.
5. Show them the specific and concrete ways the value derived will more than offset the purchase costs itself.

The key errors to avoid when closing a sale are:
1. Arguing with the prospect.
2. Expressing your own personal opinions.
3. Knocking your competition.
4. Overselling — promising benefits that will not be realized.
5. Making promises you’re unable to ultimately deliver on.

The key closing techniques are:
1. The invitational close — simply and clearly inviting the prospect to take advantage of the benefits your product or service offers.
2. The plan of action close — where the next steps are specified and the focus changes from the yes/no decision to enjoyment of the product benefits.
3. The preference close — where instead of asking for a yes/no decision, you keep on presenting the choices with regards to payment and delivery until everything is finalized.
4. The alternative close — where the customer is asked to make a decision they only need to make if they go ahead with the purchase transaction. By making the small decision, they’ve also agreed to the larger decision as well.
5. The authorization close — asking them to sign off on the order by giving their authorization on the order form.
6. The order sheet close — where you ask questions and start writing the answers on the order sheet.
7. The ‘‘think-it-over’’ close — where you ask him what it would take to satisfy him to be able to go ahead and make a decision today. Once that condition has been expressed, you then have something tangible to deal with rather than vagueness and an arbitrary ending.

Key Thoughts

‘‘The world belongs to the askers. Because of their fears of failure and rejection, most people are reluctant to ask for the things that they want and need. They suggest, imply and hint but they are reluctant to ask and be told no. Much of your success and happiness in life will be determined by your ability and your willingness to ask for the things you want.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘Once you have decided what you want, act as if it were impossible to fail, and it shall be!’’ — Dorothea Brandle

‘‘There are no limitations upon what you can accomplish in the profession of selling except the limitations you place on yourself by your own doubts and fears. When you practice acting boldly and behaving as if it were impossible to fail, you will soon make the quality of courage a fundamental part of your character where it will serve you all the days of your life. Your success in selling will then be guaranteed.’’ — Brian Tracy

‘‘There has never been a time or place in all of history where an excellent salesperson could live a finer life than he or she can right now, right here, in our economic system.’’ — Brian Tracy

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