Many sales techniques focus on the “why’s” of the prospect (why they feel a certain way). A very powerful sales technique is called sleight of mouth, and what it allows the salesperson to do is re-frame a negative objection into a positive benefit for the product or service.
Imagine that you are selling a kitchen appliance. You have demonstrated the functions of the appliance and all its benefits, but the prospect responds saying: “We can’t afford it.” Even veteran salespeople not trained in advanced selling techniques will immediately start countering with phrases like: “We offer a financing plan” or “It’s no different than setting aside twenty dollars a month.” If you have ever tried responses like these, you know how they typically end: you walk out without the sale.
Now imagine that you have pitched the same appliance, same benefits, and hear the same objection. Using our advanced selling approach, you’re not going to counter their objection, that puts them on the defensive, you are going to agree with them. Something along the lines of:
“I understand that this is an investment (do not say cost or price. Using the term investment immediately associates your product with something good that will offer continued and growing value), and when you look at the money this appliance will save you, how can you not afford it?”
Once you agree with the prospect, even though you are still going to push for the sale, instead of them being on the defensive and ready to argue with you about the cost of the product, they feel like you are on their side, and (if done effectively) you go from being the appliance sales person to a friend trying to help them save time and money.
Asking the question at the end of the re-frame is also important because people will not believe everything they hear, but they will believe everything they say. If they then agree that: “How can we not afford it?” you have effectively used your sleight of mouth to conquer a tough objection.
This technique, in fact, has been used by politicians constantly. Here is one example:
There was considerable concern about Ronald Reagan’s age during the 1984 campaign. At the presidential debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter F. Mondale in Kansas City, here is how Reagan used re-framing:
“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
After that Reagan’s age was not an issue for the remainder of the campaign.
Advanced selling techniques can be difficult to master, especially when it comes to re-framing and overcoming objections. However, you will find the top salespeople in any industry are the ones who have learned to use them effectively.
What to do next?
Contact Alen to learn how you can improve your selling skills today.