5 Secret Scientific Facts Help Close More Sales

Nov. 1, 2004
The general assumption is that selling is not a science; that it's more a matter of intuition and word games. That assumption is wrong. As it works out, knowledge of the brain's chemistry, somatic responses, behavioral science, and post-hypnotic suggestion will help you make sales.

The general assumption is that selling is not a science; that it's more a matter of intuition and word games. That assumption is wrong.

As it works out, knowledge of the brain's chemistry, somatic responses, behavioral science, and post-hypnotic suggestion will help you make sales.

Huh? When unenlightened salespeople provide an interesting, concise, and fact-filled presentation, and customers ask them to repeat something just covered, the response often starts with, "Like I said." Remove that phrase from your vocabulary. It's unnecessary and condescending.

Others in the same situation will smile patiently and say, "As I explained to you previously." That's terrible.

Often, salespeople will re-phrase their explanation under the misguided assumption that, since the prospect didn't get it the first time around, they need to use different phraseology.

So much for intuition and word games. Lets try science.

Brain Chemistry
Thoughts result from chemical reactions in the brain. So do emotions. Pleasant feelings result from pleasure-producing chemicals flowing in the brain. They are very enjoyable and are produced from external stimulus. That external stimulus can be anything from a pretty picture to a wellconstructed sales presentation.

When customers ask you to repeat-the benefits of a particular product-or service, what they're really saying is, "When you were explaining to me how I'd benefit by your product or service, you really got those pleasure-producing chemicals in my brain flowing, and it felt good! Would you please be so kind as to do that for me again?"

When asked to repeat part of a presentation, don't change it a bit. Use the exact same words, timing, vocal inflection, gestures, visual aids, and posture.

Somatic responses
These are automatic, involuntary reactions to stimuli. Often these responses are physical, like eye dilation or a smile.

The lack of eye contact is a common barrier to closing sales. Good eye contact sends the subconscious message that you're honest and confident. It also clues you in on one of the biggest buying signals you can have.

When people see something they really-like, the pleasure-producing chemicals in their brains start flowing, causing their pupils to dilate. This somatic response happens instantly, and there is absolutely no mistaking it. People are completely unaware of it and can't control it, even if they know its happening.

When selling, make pupil-to-pupil eye contact. When your prospects' pupils dilate, stop selling and ask a closing question.

You've heard it said that making multiple closing attempts and recommending products again and again, despite a prospects' insistence that they're not going to buy, works. It does work, and there's nothing your prospects can do about it.

The more exposure you have to anything, the more acceptable it becomes to you. You get used to it.

Thoughts are caused by chemical reactions in your brain and each thought follows its own unique pathway called a dendrite. Think a thought one time and its dendrite disappears after a short time. Think it over and over again, and the dendrite strengthens, it becomes more permanent. This applies to unwanted thoughts, as well as desirable thoughts. This is why it's important not to dwell upon past hurts and disappointments. It's best to discipline yourself to think positive, productive thoughts.

Every time you bring up the same topic to a prospect, the dendrite associated with that thought strengthens and becomes more acceptable to them. Every time you ask a prospect for a decision, they are forced to think about it, and come closer to buying, whether they want to or not.

On the behavioral front, theres something called psychoneuromotorlinquistics: This is the ability to establish rapport, which is a necessary skill to succeed in sales. Most salespeople use topics of mutual interest, smiles, compliments, and jokes to establish rapport.

Ever run a call where you just can't make a connection? Psychoneuromotorlinguisitics will enable you to establish nearly instant rapport with just about anyone, without your saying a word.

Psychoneuromotorlinguisitics consists of two steps: "mirroring" and "leading."

People like to buy from people who are most like them, so it's important to adapt yourself to prospects' social behaviors.

When first meeting prospects, observe their posture, mannerisms, gestures, body language, and accent; as well as pace and repetitive patterns in their speech. Try to mirror as many of them as closely as possible.

When first learning mirroring, salespeople often ask if prospects have ever asked me why I was copying them. No, that has not happened. Remember, my prospects have never met me before. They don't know how I act when I'm not around them. They only know how I act when I'm with them, and when I'm with them, I act in the most acceptable manner they know I act the way they do, and they like it!

When a customer shifts their weight, folds their arms, rubs their chin or does just about anything, silently count off about four seconds, then mirror them to the best of your ability.

After you've mirrored them about four times, try "leading" by going back to a previous movement you just mirrored. If they follow you, you've silently established rapport and can move into making recommendations with a level of positive expectation.

The first time I tried this technique was on an extremely argumentative gentleman who was the next door neighbor of my prospect. It seemed to me that he had no business being there in the first place and his only purpose for being present was to ruin my sales call. After " mirroring" him four times and "leading" only once, he surprised me by abruptly asking, "What would it cost to replace my air conditioner while you replace his?" Within minutes, I was driving away from a call with two sales that, prior to my using psychoneuromotorlinguisitics, would have resulted in no sale.

Post-hypnotic suggestion
This is a suggestion made to a hypnotized person that specifies an action to be performed after awakening, often in response to a cue. People don't have to be hypnotized for you to use a posthypnotic suggestion.

For instance, say you're running a sales call in which you recommended a replacement air conditioner for someone experiencing repeated breakdowns, a lack of comfort, and high energy costs. After you've made a few closing attempts, it's obvious that you need to leave or be in danger of overstaying your welcome. Conclude the conversation by saying, "Okay Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I'm going to take off. Now listen, from now on, every time you hear that air conditioner click on and every time you open your electric bill, I want you to think of me, and I want you to remember that I can resolve your service problems, make you more comfortable and reduce those energy bills. Then I want you to pick up the phone and call me."

Sound corny? It is, but it works. I can't tell you how many times over the years I've answered the telephone to hear customers say, with a chuckle, "Charlie Greer? You told me that every time I hear my air conditioner click on, and every time I open my electric bill, to think of you, then to pick up the phone and call you. I'm calling you now to ask you to come out here and sell me a new air conditioner just so I can quit thinking about you and get on with my life!"

Charlie Greer is the sole instructor for Charlie Greer's 4-Day Sales Survival School, the creator of Tec Daddy's Service Technician Survival School on DVD, the co-creator of The Service and Maintenance Agreement PowerPack, and a Service Roundtable Consult & Coach Partner. To contact him, receive his catalog or learn more about his products, go to www.hvacprofitboosters.com or call 800/963-HVAC.