SALESPERSON: I can't say that in a comfortable way. It's just not me, the way you're asking me to say that.
MANAGER/TRAINER/COACH: I'm not asking you to say anything in any particular way. I'm asking you to prepare yourself for sales situations and then practice language that will get you through those situations smoothly, because when you're prepared you can come from that magic place where you're most effective.
SALESPERSON: What magic place? I'm most effective when I'm just being me.
M/T/C: Exactly! That's the magic place I'm talking about. The place where you can put aside all sales techniques and just be you. But you can't really come from that place until you've prepared yourself so thoroughly and completely that you can put the words and the language on automatic pilot and live in the moment with the person you're talking to. When you do, you understand their situation and really dialogue with them to find out if you understand their business needs and their personal fears and desires.
SALESPERSON: But that's what I do already. I improvise on the spot and my answer is always genuine and real. Whenever I say something that is scripted, it sounds artificial and unreal.
M/T/C: And how many times do you repeat and practice it before using it?
SALESPERSON: In all honesty, I don't. It sounds so bad the first few times I practice a script or say it out loud that I dump it and never use it again after a couple of tries. I can't look bad in front of my customers and prospects.
M/T/C: I rest my case. Practice and continually refine your language in a sales situation a hundred times with a tape recorder or with other people on your team. Your language will get better and better, and eventually you'll be able to forget the words and operate from your place of magic--'just you.' But you can't get to that place without discipline and practice.
Have a great week selling. And have some fun along the way.
Sales Tip and Practice
Have Your Closing Language Down Cold
Practice the exact language of your close using a microcassette tape recorder 10 times a day for the next 10 days and listen to it afterwards. If you don't have set language but use different words (or no consistent closing language every time, then start with " Would you like to go ahead with that?" Write it into your daily calendar as an important action every day for the next 10 days. Be courageous and begin using this phrase with customers after day 5. Courage and discipline win.
Copyright 1998 Mentor Associates, Inc.