A few years ago, I had a really big sales month (like crazy big). Yeah, so what? Well, I had only been selling for 2 ½ months. That’s it. My total sales experience in life was 2 ½ months — I was new to sales. One of my coworkers, who’d been in sales his whole life (close to 10 years) came and asked me, “Dude, what’s the secret?” And do you know what I told him? I remember grinning and saying to him, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
That was true, I didn’t. I was just trying to survive a sales-intensive work environment where you either hit your quota or you’re out of a job. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that I did know something, I just wasn’t aware of it at the time. I hadn’t connected it to sales. Want to know what it is? I’ll share that with you here today.
First, you have to understand there’s a dynamic at work in people (this includes you and me) during the sales experience:
Everyone loves to buy, but nobody wants to be sold.
Read that again. Tweet it. Share it. It’s important, because if you understand (not just intellectually, but emotionally and instinctually) this dynamic and take action on it, you’ll notice an almost immediate boost in your sales.
Think of a time when you walked into a clothing store you like. Maybe you only wanted to browse. That’s fine. Let’s say you saw something you liked and you were approached by an attractive, but more importantly, very helpful salesperson. The odds are good that you would buy something.
Now consider a similar scenario but with slightly different circumstances. Forget the salesperson’s looks, imagine they were very aggressive, kept asking you pushy questions, and wanted nothing more than to escort you straight to the cash register. Even if you found an outfit that you fell in love with, would you still buy? We all know the answer to this.
I want to shake up your current thinking around sales and offer you a counterintuitive model. This is the pound for pound #1 sales secret you just can’t ignore anymore. What’s that secret?
Sales is Not Rational
Everywhere you look, people are buying something. There are even special people out there who sit outside the storefront the night before just to buy the latest tech gadget. My brother Edgar who lives in Guadalajara, Mexico, will skip meals just to be able to afford to buy tickets to a soccer match (true story). I once bought a fancy camera thinking that I was going to start practicing photography. I may have used it half a dozen times and now it’s somewhere in a shoe box. If we’re honest consumers, we can say that more often than not we purchase items we don’t really need. We all do this and it doesn’t make sense. That’s because sales is not rational.
- Sales is not rational because if it were, the greatest minds would have figured out a reliable formula a long time ago, and we’d all use it to become wealthy. This is hardly the case.
- Sales is not rational because sales is about human relationships (I don’t think I need to tell you that relationships are not rational).
- Sales is not rational because we don’t buy anything with our intellect, we buy based on how we feel in the moment (this is why you always overspend at Target).
You know what is rational? The explanation we give ourselves (and others) afterwe’ve bought something (“It was on sale,” “I’ve been saving money,” “I got a raise,” “I really needed this,” etc.). Rationalizing comes after the sale, but the decision making process in the moment of buying is not rational.
Remember this: people buy on emotion and justify with logic.
Emotion is from the heart and logic is from the mind. Distinguish between the two when you talk to your customers, listen to their emotional cues, offer the right solutions (based on what they are telling you and based on your knowledge of your product/service), and you’ll see your sales increase right before your eyes.