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How To Stifle Your Prospect's Inner Critics

Nov 15, 2007
Critical judgment. . . it's an obstacle for us as sales professionals and persuaders. Our main goal is shutting down the inner critics of the people we're selling our products or services to. This can be accomplished by getting them out of their lives and showing them what could be, something bigger and better.

It's lucky for us, as sales professionals, that everybody, absolutely everybody we've ever talked to, has something amazing going on in their minds. We all have an image of utopia in our minds. And as we talk to our clients and prospects, they have an image of themselves with your product or service and what it would do for them, how it will feel to have it do the very things that would equal their Utopian mindset.

When your prospect is talking to you about what you do, your products, your services, they have already created an imagine in their mind of what you have to offer and how they might interact with it and benefit by it.

Unfortunately for many sales people out there, they do themselves the huge disservice of taking their prospects away from that perfect vision. Fortunate for us, we're not most sales people and we can use this information to our advantage.

Our goal as persuaders is to connect our affluent prospects and clients to the images that they've got rolling around in their minds. We simply need to encourage them to hold on to these images while at the same time eliminating critical judgment. As we do this, we insert ourselves into the Utopian picture.

I'm telling you now, if you try this, you'll have more sales than you know what to do with.

I was working as a sales rep for a health club when I was eighteen years old. I would watch over and over as my sales manager pushed the hot buttons of potential clients. Inevitably these potential clients became paying clients.

This can be done each and every time, systematically, without much wavering. I consider this to be one of the greatest persuasion tools that has ever been created. As I began to use this technique I began also to earn a ton of money.

These skills were taught to me in a therapeutic context. At the time, that was the only way they were available. When I began selling using this, I would find out from my potential client what was wrong and I would then proceed to fix it as much as I could. In doing so, they would inevitably buy from me.

Another name for 'finding out what's wrong with somebody' is: criteria. Eliciting their values. Creating a rapport.

I wasn't fully cognizant that this is what I was doing at the time. I just knew I was making a ton of sales and these sales were making me money and I liked money. And after giving it some thought, I realized I was actually understanding the idea of their 'hot button' only in a slightly different context. I was getting their criteria and getting it quickly and with elegance. I began also to realize that I didn't have to fix them but merely point the way to the solution of their problem with what I had to offer.

Here's the key: rapport, criteria elicitation, values elicitation, and an understanding of base human drives. Combine all this with our product and present it to the client and prospect in light of their base drives and criteria. This is the goal. Can you see instances in your life right now where rapport is in action? Think about your relationship with your significant other. Can you see it there?
About the Author
Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using persuasion. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in persuasion techniques.
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