There are a lot of articles on how a business owner can learn to close more deals or sell more product. These articles range from tried and true sales techniques that have been taught for years to more in-depth psychological principles that you can use to subtly influence a negotiation in your direction.
Why do some closing techniques work, and some don’t?
But a lot of these techniques and psychological principles skip over why these techniques work and focus on how to implement them.
At the end of the day, clients won’t buy from you if they think you are just using another sales technique or following a sales script. Clients will only buy from you if you show them they can trust that your product or service will actually benefit them.
Here are three unconventional sales tactics which you can use to break out of the traditional sales techniques and quickly establish trust with your potential clients.
Say something that genuinely doesn’t help you.
Whether you are the CEO of your company or a hired salesperson, anytime you enter a negotiation to win new business, you start at a significant disadvantage.
Hubspot research found that only three percent of people trust a salesperson. And you don’t have to have the title of ‘sales executive’ to be considered a salesperson. This falls behind musicians (10 percent), journalists (five percent), and even lawyers (12 percent).
Why is there so little trust? Because the people on the other side of the sale know that you are not impartial. You have a goal to convince them to buy your product or service.
If you think about it, they actually have a good reason to not trust you at first.
So how do you overcome this lack of trust? Shock them with your honesty. Don’t just win them over by being a nice person. Genuinely surprise them with your honesty.
The easiest way to shock someone with honest is to do something for them that genuinely does not help you. In fact, it may even work as a disservice to you. Prove to potential clients that you are more concerned about what benefits them rather than just putting dollars in your pocket.
For example, it can be tempting to prevent a potential client from speaking with a competitor. Rather than convince them to sign with you on the spot, tell them that they should check out your top competitors first, then give them the names of your top competitors.
This might sound crazy at first, but I promise you that they’ll walk away already knowing that they want to sign with you. When your competitors apply the usual sales tactics, they’ll see you as the only honest company in the lot.
Don’t call them back.
InsideSales.com recommends that you reach out to a client at least six times before giving up. Hubspot data shows that responsiveness increases with each touchpoint up until the fifth or sixth touchpoint, at which point you run into the law of diminishing returns.
But in my experience, I’ve won more business by simply not calling back at all.
While this approach won’t work for every business, if applied correctly, this can be an extremely powerful approach and far more effective than persistent follow-ups.
Why does this work?
Because it gives your potential client the respect of allowing them to take the initiative. But before you stop calling back prospects, you have to make sure a few things are in place.
You have to make sure that your potential client has enough relevant information about your product or service to actually make an informed decision. In your initial contacts with a prospective client, make sure you understand their needs and wants fully and that you explain your product or services. Then you have to leave the decision up to them.
Make sure your potential client knows that they need to take the next step. This is obviously crucial. If you just stop calling back when they expect a follow up from you, you’ll simply look irresponsible.
You must principally address their needs. When you first talk to your prospective client, make sure that the conversation is focused on their needs, wants, and desires rather than what you offer. Your prospective client should walk away knowing that you spent more time trying to understand their problem rather than forcing your solution on them.
If you do these three things, give your prospective client the respect of space.
Tell your prospect why they are a bad fit for your product or service.
In your initial conversations with a prospective client, the focus of your conversation should be on your potential client’s needs, wants and desires. Your product or service should take a back seat to what they need.
Of course, if you truly pay attention to a potential client’s needs, wants, and desires, it may turn out that your product or service isn’t quite a perfect fit for their needs.
If that’s the case, tell them.
But don’t tell them that your product is a bad fit for their needs. Reverse that. Explain to them how they are a bad fit for your product or service.
For example, when I was recently evaluating a new CRM for my company, I had a call with two sales people from different companies.
The first sales person spent all of his energy trying to convince me how I could bend and twist his company’s CRM solution to fit my needs. In the end, he only convinced me that I could create something like a frankenstein which might address 80 percent of our needs.
The second sales person, however, was blunt in telling me that my company’s needs were pretty unique and didn’t fit what his company’s CRM was really good at. He then proceeded to explain that we might be able to create a few systems to help make the needs and CRM work.
Emotions effect what they buy.
fMRI neuro-imagery shows when consumers evaluate brands, they base their decisions on personal feelings and experiences rather than data and information. Your customers evaluate far more than your business’s product or service: they evaluate you and whether they like you.
While traditional sales techniques can be effective, nothing is more effective than establishing trust with potential clients. To establish trust, try to:
Do things that are do not necessarily benefit you directly
Give potential clients the respect to make their own decisions
Be willing to tell a client why they are not a good fit for your service