Your price was right. Your product was exactly what the
client wanted. Your presentation was well written and your delivery
schedule was great. But you lost the sale.
How many times have you lived that nightmare? When
it does happen you can spend days trying to figure out why. One reason
could be you forgot to ASK. What about your dealings in house? Do
other sales reps get better support from staff personnel? Do they seem
to have your managers ear? Once again you may want to ASK.
ASK is a method of choosing the words you
communicate with to be sure the other person gets maximum reception.
It is a system of communicating that we are all born with. Most people
are familiar with the two great families of computers, IBM or Apple. A
program done in one has problems working in the other system. They
have to be converted. The same thing happens with people.
We have three distinct styles of communicating. Some
people communicate through their ears. We need to play them a
symphony. Some people communicate with their eyes. We need to paint
them pictures. Some people communicate with their hearts. We need to
hold them gently. The three styles are auditory (A), sight (S) and
kinesthetic (K). The shortcut is to remember ASK.
What does this mean to selling?
The majority of studies show that sales are made when the client
trusts and believes the sales person. You are as much of the sale as
your product or service. We trust people the most when we feel they
are like us. One way we determine if a person is developing rapport
with us is by intuitively sensing the communication style they use. If
our styles are the same, rapport increase. If our styles differ, we
can understand what they present, but it seems to be out of sync for
some reason. It has static like a radio that is not tuned in properly.
While the music is great, the static causes an irritation and we tune
out for a different station.
You can build great rapport and assure that your
client tunes you in by discovering their style and using it in all
your communications with that client. If I am an auditory (A) you will
want to use auditory style communications in your presentations to me.
The style is mostly reflected in our choice of words.
You can determine a person's style by listening very
carefully to them and the words they use to describe things. This is
done by first knowing the key words and phrases that indicate the
three styles. Then, when you meet with a client, your note taking
should focus on "quoting" the client. With the quotes in
your notes, you will then highlight the key words to determine their
style. Here is how to deal with the three styles:
- Auditories (A) use words that are sound related.
They respond best to oral presentations, audio tapes and any way
that your product or service can be demonstrated using sound. The
words that will tip you off to an auditory are: hear, mention,
listen, remark, discuss, speechless, tell, tune, inquire and
describe. Phrases include: loud and clear; to tell the truth; call
on; clear as a bell; hidden message; rings a bell and unheard of.
- Sight (S) people are picture oriented. They want
to see demonstrations, pictures, charts and videos. The words are:
see, picture, show, examine, illustrate, survey, vision, vague,
obvious and scrutinize. Popular "S" phrases are: in
light of; make a scene; appears to be; mind's eye; take a peek;
paint a picture and bird's eye view.
- Kinesthetics (K) want to touch the world. They
respond best to hands on demonstration. The are influenced by your
paper stock, the physical quality of everything you present. Their
key words are: feel, grip, grasp, hold, hunch, intuition, hassle
and dull. The popular phrases: get a load of; hand in hand; pull
some strings; boils down to and sharp as a tack.
How do you apply the ASK system?
Let's assume you sell copiers. Once you determine your client is a
sight person, you use that language. Your responses will be: "let
me show you the ease of loading paper"; "can you picture
yourself using spot color "; "is this clear to you the way
our guarantee works"; "how do you envision this helping you
speed up your production schedules" and "You'll soon see a
shorter line up at the copier." You will also want to incorporate
these words and phrases into your written presentation.
What do you do if you don't know a person's style?
The world has provided us with neutral words. These are usually
thought oriented. Neutral words include: think, consider, manage,
discover, permit, believe and develop. Neutrals are words that do not
appeal to a sense of sound, sight or feel.
Trust and belief will increase you sales
dramatically. Your clients will trust you more when you start to ASK.
Do it today! ASK, you will close more sales.
This article was originally posted on a site called
SalesDoctors, that sadly seems to have gone the way of the