Here we go with 5 of my top principles of selling. Print them out and post where you can refresh yourself before each sales appointment.
1. Make a friend before you even speak.
Non-verbal connection needs to happen before you say a word! Look, really look at your client and pick up the cues they are sending. Then mimic their "essence" so if they are quiet, you need to be quiet. If they are talkative, shy, loud, brash, mannerly or whatever, you WILL KNOW the correct approach if you pay attention and you should mimic (not mock) them.
2. Find common ground.
In this day and age of selfies and greater "self interest," making a connection and a friend is absolutley essential to higher sales. People don't buy what you sell until they buy you. You MUST find common ground and the best way is to chit chat a few minutes before taking the client into the sales room and starting the sale. Find out what makes them tick (most of the time, it's their kids) and listen at least twice as much as you talk.
3. Tell stories.
There is no better way to communicate with your client than to tell stories. Tell stories about yourself that have something in common with them or perhaps a story will solve an objection. Tim's mom had a very small home with more furniture than you could believe, yet one day, she obtained a third couch! Our reaction? Where in the world will you put a third couch? No way there is room! Her answer is the story I tell my clients when they say they don't have room for whatever size potrtrait we are talking about. What was her answer? "If you love something enough, you will find a place for it!" WOW! It has become my favorite story in the sales room. YOU NEED A STORY OR STORIES!
4. The presentation.
Of course, we project our images and have for more than thirty years and it has had great success. During the presentation, I keep the conversation on the emotional side. Remember, emotion strongly sells. We always say when we teach that emotion needs to take up 80-90 percent of the time and explanation the rest. Otherwise, you kick the client into the left side of the brain which is the logical side, mainly concerned with price. Play emotional music, have mood lighting and keep your language emotional. Tim made a statemnt once that I have never forgotten. He said, "You buy a car with your head and not your heart, but you buy photography with you heart and not your head." How true!
5. The Close.
The point I want to make here is to listen for the client's language to change. We call it taking ownership and it is where the client starts explaining where the upcoming portrait will hang in their home. At this point, stop talking and take the order. You are done!