Business Sales Tips

Sell Smarter: Don’t be a Lyman.

Don't Be A Lyman
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The following is an excerpt from The Sell Smarter Collection.

Make friends with them. Don’t just sell them.

It’s a fact that people will buy from someone they like. One of the easiest ways to prove this is looking at the opposite statement for corroboration. People will rarely buy from someone they don’t’ like. Ever met a top salesperson that was a total dick? If so, did you observe them around their clients? I bet they were the exact opposite when in the zone. They flip the switch and become super personable when it counts. This is important. The key is, to be genuine.

How do we make friends in our day-to-day lives?

We find common ground. I can’t tell you how many games of Jewish Geography I took part in growing up, where we figured out who we knew in common ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon’ style. Whether it’s a common friend or a shared interest, it is easy to make friends when we relate to the person we are interacting with in some way.

Being patronizing, pedantic, or fake is super transparent. Remember, our prospects are on high alert at first and really have no reason to trust us, so odds are they won’t until we earn it. If their spider sense is already activated and we are fake to them, they will pick up on it immediately.

One way to put them at ease is to humanize yourself. Put them on equal ground. When we approach a strange dog, we offer them a limp hand to show them we mean no harm. We should be doing the same with our customers. One way I do this with my clients (which is sadly all too real) is apologizing up front for a cough or losing my voice due to allergies kicking in. A good 80% of my prospects acknowledge that they too feel my pain. Whoah! Just like that, we are brothers in arms. A few tasteful self-deprecating jokes tossed in, along with a humble brag or two “Yeah, they make the old guys like me work from home so the young kids don’t know what kind of pricing we get for our clients.” and we’re in. Answer their questions properly, show them what they want and close.

A topic to avoid starting a conversation with is weather.

It’s a straight up tee-ball conversation and odds are, your competition is using it as well. It’s not a topic to avoid altogether, since it is top of mind, but if I hear you say, “How’s the weather up there?” on a phone call, you will instantly lose 10 charisma points.

One trap that is super important to avoid is being too nice. That guy who is a dick at the office and suave with his clients has this mastered. He/She earns their customers respect and trust through knowledge and mastery while earning their like by humanizing themselves and entertaining the prospect. He/She displays that they will confidently go to war for their clients… and win.

If we are too nice and accommodating we turn ourselves into a Lyman;

Lyman is a guy I worked with years ago. He was handsome, funny, a great dancer and kind beyond belief. Lyman’s achilles heel is that folks liked him a ton, but had no respect for him. Prospects had no issue saying no to Lyman. And he had no problem saying “OK” to their no. He hadn’t earned the right to be the master and expert.

We all work for our clients, but Lyman turned himself into their employee. Along these same lines, Lyman had trouble keeping clients because they were not afraid to call him after they initially said yes and back out of a deal. They were right not to be afraid, because he really did just say “OK” to them when they called him back with the lamest of excuses. He never fought back and poked holes in their flawed logic. He just took it. If we have done our job correctly, the clients should have some fear of calling us to back out because they know we will merely remind them off all the reasons they said yes to begin with. Our job is to sell them and re-sell them. If we let them back out after saying yes, remind them of what life is like without your product. Don’t be a Lyman.

Find the homework for this chapter and much more in The Sell Smarter Collection (available on Amazon and all digital formats). More great insights can also be found in Scott’s Seven Minute Sales Minute podcast (available on iTunes and myriad other podcast outlets).

Scott Fishman
With over two decades of experience as a sales professional, Scott has seen it all. Not only has he been consistently at the top of his field, but he has helped to train, coach and mentor an entire new generation of sales professionals as well. It's time that Scott has shared his expertise with the world. It started with The Seven Minute Sales Minute podcast and continues with The 30 Minute Sales Coach Books. Scott is excited to share his knowledge with you.
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