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THE SELLING ACADEMY
1. They Need to like You
If people don’t like you then they won’t respect you. If they won’t respect you, then it may be difficult for them to listen to anything you have to say. Rapport is the power to influence. It’s a first and a must. People generally make up their minds about you when they first meet you. Try to find common ground, such as shared interests. Use open-ended questions to discover more about the person. Remember to be genuine when taking an interest in the other person, not just ask questions for the sake of it. Start your day in business thinking, who can I help today, rather than who can I take from today. The more value you bring into people's lives the more trust you will build.
2. You Need Credibility
Would you like people to trust in what you tell them? Then It’s essential to be an expert on the subject matter. If you want to pitch an idea or convince a person about a political belief, then know your stuff and do the research. What are the pros and cons? Do you know what counterarguments may be used against you? Another component of credibility is integrity and being transparent. Make sure that you have no hidden agendas in your message and clear about your intentions. Also position yourself as the authority in your field by being dedicated to learning, growing and being the best.
3. Know Your Why
When you start with why rather than what, you begin to speak to people’s emotions. As Simon Sinek says in his book START WITH WHY “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” Great leaders begin to inspire once they know their WHY. Why do you do what you do? Why does your business exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why are you an animal rights advocate? Once you start to know your purpose and communicate it to others, they will begin to feel inspired.
4. Ask The Right Questions
When people believe that something was their idea, they typically feel more motivated to follow through. Although you may have the ideal solutions and information, asking the right questions is key in helping people change behaviour. Salespeople, coaches and counsellors, use questioning techniques all the time in order to evoke change in a person. In sales for example, instead of telling the customers what they need, they use reflective questions in order to get the customer to buy. Rather than saying “This product will help you feel more relaxed.” You can turn that statement into a question “How do you think this product will help you?” By answering the question, the customer begins to sell themselves the benefits of buying the product.
5. Autonomy Support
Professor of psychology and founder of self-determination theory (SDT) Edward Deci says that there are two types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. The first comes from within (love, enjoyment, passion, satisfaction) the latter is external: pressure, recognition, family or tangible rewards such as money or grades. Many studies have proved that the carrot and stick no longer work. If you want commitment and lasting results, it is intrinsic motivation that inspires sustainable change. It’s important that those who you want to influence have autonomous support, rather than controlled support. You can always start by listening, encouraging their efforts and try to eliminate words such as, “you should” and “have to” but begin to understand by taking their perspective into account. Once you attack and insult people, they stop listening. So it’s crucial that you resist the urge to argue back and say ‘you’re wrong.’ As Stephen R Covey says in The 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE “Seek first to understand, then be understood.” Rather than shouting at them “If you don't stop smoking you’re going to kill yourself!” Ask them “What would drive you to quit smoking? And if you did quit, how will you go on about it?”
6. Self Confidence
Confidence is simply believing in yourself and abilities. No one wants to follow those who are uncertain. People also find it difficult to be attracted to others who are insecure. Would you buy a product that no one wanted? Or even worse, what if the salesperson advised you that this product is faulty? Never highlight your weaknesses, or put yourself down, unless it’s to make fun of yourself in a humorous situation. However, it's okay to be real and show vulnerability which shows that you are human. Another aspect of confidence is having conviction in your message. It’s what draws people in and makes them want to listen. Conviction is why Martin Luther King’s speech “I have a dream” is one of the most powerful speeches in history and created a whole social justice movement.