The other day I was reading an old text on selling. Not old as in 1980, or 1970 or 1960.
No. Old as in 1932.
The book mentioned how a really enthusiastic sales person can be very effective at closing sales.
The author said that an enthusiastic sales person is effective because he transfers his belief in his product to the prospective customer.
In general I agree with this. Wouldn't you?
I say "in general" because to "be enthusiastic" when selling is an old cliché that is overused in the sales profession in my opinion.
You see a lot of clichés, attitudes and beliefs about selling have been around for decades.
The book I was reading was written in a time when consumers and business buyers had a lot fewer choices for any given product than they do today.
Selling was simpler because buyers weren't overloaded with marketing messages as they are today. There weren't dozens of magazines, newspapers, 3 TVs, and the internet in every household like people have now.
People weren't yet jaded by the endless claims of how some new *thing* was going to change their life, so their minds were more open.
A sales person could focus on describing the features of his product, some benefits, and then ask for the order with *enthusiasm*. Experienced sales people discovered that if you persisted and asked for the order 7 or more times, you were much more likely to make a sale.
Fast forward some 70 years, and it isn't so easy now.
Overly enthusiastic sales people are often considered hype-masters, caricatures of a salesman.
Today you must master a wider range of emotions to be an effective seller.
Show too much enthusiasm too early in the sale cycle, and you'll blow the deal.
Sometimes you need to be in a state of curiosity. Other times a state of mild confusion can actually be helpful.
Yes, I mean what I just said.
The most important thing you can do is to find out your prospects wants and needs. To do that curiosity helps. And sometimes confusion can too.
Stating that you are confused is a great way to get a buyer to tell you more.
When a buyer tells you something, if you respond that you are a bit confused, he'll want to help you out and explain more.
The more the buyer tells you about what's important to him, the more likely you are to understand that and be able to sell in a way that helps him get what's important to him.
If you instead act as if you immediately understand what he is talking about, you are missing out on a valuable chance to understand the buyer's precise wants and hence you are also missing out on a chance to bond more strongly with him (which is what happens when people talk and feel understood by others).
Enthusiasm should be saved for closing time. When a buyer needs to see your confidence and have your reassurance is when you want to be enthusiastic about your company, your products, or your services.
Selling is transference of emotion. If you try to transfer too much enthusiasm at the wrong point during the sale, you'll simply come across as insincere and lacking in credibility. Use curiosity and confusion and you'll learn more about your buyers and you'll close more sales.
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