Thomas Carlyle once said, “A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats the little man. The value you place on people determines whether you are a motivator or a manipulator. Motivation is moving together for a mutual advantage. Manipulation is moving together for your advantage. That is a substantial difference. With the motivator everybody wins. With the manipulator only the manipulator wins.”
This brings us to an ethical question, and of course ethics is the foundation upon which we must build a career. What is the difference between motivation and manipulation? Unfortunately, these terms are often confused, but comparing motivation to manipulation is like comparing kindness to deceit. The difference lies in the intent of the person. Motivation will cause people to act out of free choice and desire while manipulation often results in forced compliance. One is ethical and long-lasting, and the other is unethical and temporary.
To the above I might add that the “win” or “victory” for the manipulator is temporary and the price is prohibitive. This tainted, hallow victory certainly shortcuts the relationship and, in all probability, means that you have just closed your one and only sale with that prospect. This may make you think you have done well in your sales, and temporarily brings you financial reward, but it definitely short-circuits your move to the top and is a self-destructive approach to a sales career.
And so as a salesman, understand that service, quality, trust and reliability are strategies aimed at loyalty and long-term revenue stream growth. And so your presentation or the way you interact with your prospect is important. Develop strategies of attracting your prospect to take a closer look at your product and in the process he/she does business with you. The things needed to do this are already within your disposal no matter what product you offer. All you need to do is to be creative and use your imagination. Your creativity and imagination, when used in sales, would put you ahead of others. The best way to discover the true needs of a prospect or client is with proper questions.
If you were to ask me a series of questions in a manner that showed a sincere interest in me and my business, what would I think of you? If you handle this portion of the sales presentation in the proper manner, I would learn that you are not “just another salesperson out to separate me from my money.” Instead, I would discover that you are truly interested in helping me!
And so, what is the best way to begin the sales presentation? With questions! What is the purpose of beginning with questions? Questions allow us to gather important information, which enables us to help our clients, and just as important, when we ask questions in a professional manner, we establish the most important aspect of the sales process—trust! Trust is an important factor in this case.
Since questions are the subject, your question should be why does asking the proper questions lead to trust? Because questions demonstrate that the purpose of your call is to find the prospect’s needs and interests while gathering information, so that together you learn how your goods or services meet the prospect’s need or solve their problem. As it is said, “It is in working together to discover the need (problem) that we are able to offer a solution.”
As a salesman in this present age you must clearly understand that the sales prospect of the twenty-first century is better informed and more cynical than any consumer in history. There has been so much marketing emphasis (through the media—radio, TV, Internet, and print) that today’s consumer is very sophisticated. Questions are important, but a series of obvious questions designed to lead the prospects to take action. As professionals, you need to “motivate” the prospects to share their needs, wants, problems, and interests with you so you can “motivate” them to use your services to solve their problem.
You must know how to combine words with design, in a way that captures attention. To inspire someone to take action – and to pay you for your product – you must touch them on both the emotional level and the logical level. Understand that most marketing is “logic marketing” – trying to convince people with reason. And so If you don’t know how to grab attention and move people to action, then no one is going to show up to buy your products and services. Ask relevant, sincere questions in order for you and the prospect to both realize the benefits your product or service can offer, and believe me your sales will soar.
Physicians, attorneys, marriage counselors, psychiatrists, and others in the “helping” professions all carefully listen before they make any effort to diagnose problems and prescribe solutions. Prospects like to be heard in order to have the confidence that we really do understand that their situation is “different.” In reality, their situation might not be different. We can never gain the trust of prospects until they believe we are really interested in solving their “unique” problem.
You must establish prospects needs and thrive to satisfy their needs in the most expedient and profitable manner. Your prospects are not interested in services that make them boring. They want express service (needs). Understand that your most important task in dealing with your prospects is that of understanding their needs and wants and adopting strategies in delivering the right products or services more effectively and efficiently. You will need to understand what your prospect needs and at the same time, your operational procedure must be designed in such a way that this can be easily met. The masters of marketing connect with people on an emotional level first – then they back up their claims with logic.
Ask yourself: What are the strongest emotions that my prospect is feeling right now? How can I tap into the emotions that he/she is already feeling – and connect with them on a human level? How can I put the result that my product or service delivers into emotional, human terms that will motivate my prospect to take action and buy my product? These are questions you will need to ask yourself. There are many ways to building relationships with prospect – and it’s critical that you use them if you want to succeed as a salesman. Friend, you do not have to be manipulative to close the sale.
(Chealy Brown Dennis is a marketing and business development consultant. He is also a much sought after motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning, wealth creation and team building and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. He can be contacted through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776-545-394)