Learn how to sell from Lenann McGookey Gardner
“Selling is not a battle. If you make it adversarial, you’re going to lose. Successful selling starts with a real concern for people and helping them to get into better circumstances now,” said Gardner.
These highlights from Gardner’s advice in her book Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services can help improve selling success for everyone in sales, from novice to expert.
Begin with the Ego of your Prospect
“Always remember that when offering our professional services, we need to be aware of the ego of our prospect,” says Gardner. “We’re asking them to admit that they haven’t been able to solve their problem themselves, and to hire us because we can solve it. That’s ego deflating!”
“One of the most effective approaches for successful selling is not to talk about ourselves or our services or products at all, but rather to inquire about the person who may become a buyer, and listen for that person’s pain – that is, their top of mind trouble today, or in the recent past, and inquire about that.”
Listen for Pain
“To really understand how the world looks to the other person, stay focused on listening in-depth and letting the person know that they’ve been heard,” says Gardner. “Ask powerful, meaty questions about the pain you discover they have. Look for emotionally loaded phrases, and when you hear them, notice what they’ve said, the pain that it reveals, and use the same language to encourage your prospect to go deeper into the problem, and possible solutions.”
“We talk too darn much. The fact is, the most effective selling is done by people who don’t talk so much,” explains Gardner. “The 90-10-90 Rule says that ideally, when you’re talking with a prospect, that prospect is speaking 90% of the time. We salespeople are speaking 10% of the time, and we spend 90% of that 10% asking questions. The ideal scenario always involves the prospect speaking most of the time when you’re selling.”
See from the Prospect’s Point Of View
“In a world in which sellers are viewed as being manipulators with very little integrity, it’s really important that prospects not feel as if they’re being ganged up on. Avoid using the word ‘we’ to refer to yourself and your colleagues at your own firm,” states Gardner. “When you’re in the sales conversation, use ‘we’ to refer to ‘you and me, Mr. or Ms. Prospect.’ You’re saying, ‘I’m looking at this with you, we’re in an inquiry together to discover what might be the best thing to do next.’”
Four Behaviors that Build Trust
“No one will buy from us if they don’t trust us,” says Gardner. “Four elements of trust must be present: Credibility – your background, track record, experience, and education should fit the task. Reliability – the repeated experience of expectations met. Intimacy – your willingness to let the conversation go beyond traditional bounds. A Clean Heart Position, which is the opposite of self-orientation – is also key; it involves holding the sincere desire for that prospect to get where he or she wants to go, whether or not they purchase from you.”
Lenann McGookey Gardner is a Harvard MBA, an American Marketing Association “Professional Services Marketer of the Year” award winner, and a 2010 winner of the “Top Performing CEO” award from her state’s Business Weekly. She has two decades of experience helping services providers to grow their revenues and is the author of Got Sales? The Complete Guide to Today’s Proven Methods for Selling Services. She is also an Executive Coach. Learn more at www.YouCanSell.com.
Other press releases from Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc.
- Test Your Leadership Qualities with YouCanLeadCoaching.com Quiz - August 26th, 2011
- How To Successfully Conduct Sales Follow-Up Phone Calls - August 16th, 2011
- The 90-10-90 Rule for Selling Successfully - August 3rd, 2011
- Lenann McGookey Gardner Now a Certified Speaking Professional - July 25th, 2011
- Can Scientists Learn How To Sell Their Services? - July 19th, 2011
Contact InformationLenann McGookey Gardner
Title: President/Executive Coach
Lenann McGookey Gardner Management Consulting, Inc.
11024 Montgomery Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Alt. Phone: 505-250-3355