Have you ever been in an . . . . intimate relationship? Yes, INTIMATE!

And, “HOW do you know?”

I know, strange question and what does this have to do with sales anyway? Well, nothing really, unless you’re a mover and shaker who understands the psychology of seductive selling. And seductive BUYING!

So, were you able to answer the question, “How do you know? “ The answer is, “you feel it!” You know because you have a feeling deep inside about what it is that you’re so sure about, the same way people BUY! They just KNOW because they’re sure about what they feel about the product or service. They can’t explain what that ‘thing’ is but if you ask the right questions, eventually you’ll get an answer like, “I told myself this is the one!” or “I just saw it in my mind!” or “ I had a feeling it was the right decision!” These are the real keys to selling, how people buy! And believe you’ll be successful because you’re a people person, engaging, know your product, and how to close, you are truly mistaken and will leave mounds of money on the table. Don’t get me wrong; you must know all those things as well. Yet if that’s all you have in your tool box, you’ll never be able to create a buying environment for your clients.

The Communication Model
Have you, like me, found that most sales courses teach you to rehearse and regurgitate closing scripts, listen more intently, and speak the “clients” language? The truth is if you don’t know HOW, not so much WHAT to say, you’re doing yourself (and your clients) a disservice - more harm than good. Did you know that the actual words we speak have an effectiveness factor of only 7%, however, “professional courses” will have you believe the words we speak are the primary source of our communication. A study conducted by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle from the University of Pennsylvania was discussed in his breakthrough book “Kinesics In Context” stated that 93% of our communication is on a non-verbal level, 58% is our physiology or body language and 37% is our tonality or how we say the words. So your power to communicate ideas and concepts lies in your ability to use body language and how you speak so they can and will comprehend you. Think about that, 93% of your communication with others is non-verbal!

Let’s take a deeper look inside at some of the main factors in how people buy products and services. I promise, if you incorporate one or two of these simple skills into your tool box, you’ll be able to construct an exciting ambiance for your clients to feel good about who they are and decisions they make about their buying strategies... buying more of you!

In the past 30 years Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a new model of communication and excellence has risen in the field of human behavior, a science that enhances the components between what we think, understand, and how we communicate to ourselves and with others. Successful sales people know this, because they’re flexible and change their presentation style to match the needs of their prospects, which they will influence. When you have the ability to influence anyone, anywhere, at anytime your business and income will soar through the roof.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming or (NLP) was developed from a model of change and success – HOW people do what they do to produce successful results. NLP offers anyone the ability to model an individual’s behavior or state of mind. If someone is exhibiting a particular successful behavior we can model or duplicate the very same behavior by watching, listening and internalizing their strategies and produce the same results.

In sales, as with any form of communication, it’s all about the response! In NLP, “it’s the response we receive back from the client, not our given intention.” Meaning; when you’re paying attention to the clients non-verbal signals, (which is usually volumes of data) you‘ll gain more information than simply asking questions alone.

Human beings have a propensity to act in a way consistent with our past behavior. We are creatures of habit, and do what has consistently worked in the past, what feels comfortable, what feels good! We respond or act as if we are on auto-pilot, because 90% of our behavior is driven at the unconscious level, outside of our conscious awareness. And that is exactly the response you’re looking for from a client; unconscious behavioral patterns. When you are able to match and mirror those unconscious behavioral strategies you begin to establish an environment of trust and understanding, to respect and honor the other person’s world. Your ability to create rapport with a prospective client will give them the freedom to fully express their ideas and concerns and to know that they will be respected by you.

What Is Rapport
Rapport creates the space for the person to feel listened to, and heard, which doesn’t necessarily mean they have to agree with what you say or do. You each can appreciate the other’s viewpoint. When you have rapport with another person, you have the opportunity to enter their world and see things from their perspective, feel the way they do, get a better understanding of where they are coming from. And as a result, enhance the whole relationship. This will allow them to feel good about themselves, you and the relationship you’ve started.

The key to establishing rapport is an ability to enter another person’s world by assuming a similar state of mind. The first thing to do is to become more like the other person by matching and mirroring the person’s unconscious behaviors -- body language, voice, words etc. Matching and mirroring is a powerful way of gaining an appreciation of how the other person is seeing/feeling/experiencing their world.

Noticing The Clues
The simplest way to help build rapport is to match the micro-behaviors of those you wish to influence. Any observable behavior can be mirrored, for example:

Body posture
Spinal alignment
Hand gestures
Head tilt
Blink rate
Facial expression
Energy level
Breathing rate
Vocal qualities (volume, tonality, rhythm)
Key phrases and words
Anything else that you can observe…

At first this may seem a little strange or uncomfortable for you as the salesperson; though I assure you, with a little practice you’ll become natural and proficient at it in a short period of time. And remember this; the basis of rapport is a natural process which is happening already within any interaction between two or more individuals. You are simply duplicating the process on a “conscious” level with purpose and volition.

Practice The Process
You may wish to start with family members by beginning to match different aspects of their posture, gestures, voice and words. Have fun with it and see if they notice what you are doing. At work or socially, start by matching one specific behavior and once you are comfortable then match another. For friends with whom you really feel comfortable, notice how often you naturally match their postures, gestures tone of voice or words. Matching comes naturally. You need to learn how to do it with everyone. Matching will then eventually become automatic.

Solutions Of Influence
When you fully comprehend how your clients buy and how to influence their buying strategies, you’ll begin to naturally influence them to your point of view, which means closing more sales.
People buy for two reasons; they buy “feelings” and they buy from the representation they create within their own mind about the product or service they’re interested in. Once you build rapport with your client, you then ask appropriate questions which will allow you to construct a model of their past buying strategies. This will enable you to package and deliver your information to be accepted by your clients unconscious, by passing any potential resistance.

Here’s a little homework to get you started on your way to understanding the importance of your value to your clients. Answer the five questions below. Take your time and be honest! No one wins here unless you understand how people buy, and hopefully buying from you!

1. What are ten of your clients daily challenges?
2. List ten of your best features (both you and your products).
3. List ten of your best benefits (both you and your products).
4. What value am I to my clients?
5. In what way am I a continual resource for my clients?

Below is a simple model I’ve used to mentor select individuals wishing to skyrocket their success rate. It is a ratio of building Rapport to discovering Solutions. And the bridge between these two concepts is creating Value for your client. First, you must create rapport and trust with your client BEFORE they’ll buy from you. People buy feelings first, products next. Then you must solve their challenges. Finally, bridging the gap between rapport and solutions is adding value to their bottom line, (not yours). Adding value is simply knowing the features and benefits of your product or service, and most importantly knowing yourself!

Once you have defined your value in this process you can deliver the information with confidence and certainty. It is this information that will bridge the gap between rapport and solutions.

Clients Buying Patterns
Have you ever done a great job of solving your prospect's problems only to find they eventually bought from someone else? In the end, you really wasted a lot of valuable time. Or, has a potential customer told you exactly what he needed and you tried to SELL him on something other than what he KNOWS he wants? Forget, for the moment, your ability to overcome objections and your favorite five closing phrases. People are more likely to purchase if you know how they made buying decisions in the past. Here are sample questions you can ask to understand their past buying patterns and core values.

•When was the last time you bought/purchased a ______ ( similar to your product ) ?
•How did you know it was time to buy?
•What were you deciding then?
•What happened first? Second? And third?

Once you understand their past buying patterns, all you need to do is feed back the value of your product within the same context of their past strategy. For example: your client might respond by saying, “I had a picture of what I wanted in my mind, and then I told myself, “this is a good value for my family”, then I had a feeling I made the right choice.”

Having established value for your product by discovering THEIR needs beforehand, you may respond by feeding back THEIR past buying patterns in a statement like this, “You may have noticed this has a certain look you’ve been searching for, and you may even say to yourself “this may add value for me, feeling good about the decision you made to seriously consider using ( add your product name here ).”

At first this may seem a little strange, though I assure you, they will feel right at home with this language pattern. Why? Because it is how they have purchased similar products in the past, and what they base their future buying decisions upon. This person sees it first in his mind, then talks to himself (something very specific) and then generates a feeling about the decision he made. Most people will continue to follow and utilize the same buying patterns in the future.

In the end, never assume you know what the client needs. Ask! Reiterate the question so you BOTH know you’re on the same page. And remember, the question of WHY is the least important of them all. The only information you’ll discover by asking WHY are reasons, and what you are searching for is HOW they decided, in the past, to buy.

Once you can build rapport (using NLP methods), solve challenges and learn to ask the right questions, your prospects will let you know, in advance, how they will buy, from you! Simply listen to their responses of HOW they have bought in the past and you’ll have an inside look into their buying strategies and how they like to be sold to.

NLP offers some of the most powerful communication tools available in the sales training marketplace today. Simple, yet effective tools of awareness, skill and perception make this technology a hidden resource of influence. Once you have effectively mastered these simple techniques, your ability to help people “feel good” about buying your product or service will escalate to new heights like you’ve never imagined. For more information about learning “HOW TO” communication and the ability to influence others to buy, – email us at info@JohnSantangelo.com If interested in using part or all of this article please email us.

Author's Bio: 

John James Santangelo C.Ht., nationally acclaimed speaker, author, seminar leader, and success coach, has been a guiding force in empowering individuals, businesses, and corporations to excel at peak performance. John is a foremost authority in success principles and expert in the field of communication, an NLP master trainer, and clinical hypnotherapist. He has worked with companies such as The Learning Annex, Mary Kay Inc, Well-Point, Xerox, RE/MAX Realtors, the Teamsters Union, and the US Army counter-intelligence team. Whether you’re looking to fulfill short/long term goals, increase your sales performance, or conduct corporate sales/communication trainings, John can help you achieve the next level of success! For more information on Successful Sales Strategies visit http://www.JohnSantangelo.com or call (888) NLP-COACH