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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 16 of 23

Changing Your Buyer's Emotional State

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

16. Changing Your Buyer's Emotional State

Lesson Info

Changing Your Buyer's Emotional State

Two things. We need the five why's, the five commitments, and we need to be enhancing the emotional state the entire time. Now, a dear friend of mine, Deb Calvert, she is the co-author of a fabulous new book called Stop Selling & Start Leading. I highly recommend it. Deb did some amazing research with her co-authors on what buyers say they need in the sales process. So, I just wanna say, too, before I tell you a little bit about her research, that, as salespeople, as entrepreneurs, we're not good at self-assessing. So, very often, it's good to get it from the buyer's perspective. A company out of Salt Lake City called Primary Intelligence proved this. What they did is they talked to salespeople after they lost a deal and said, why'd you lose the deal? Nine times out of 10, the salespeople pointed to price. Well, it was too expensive for them. Or the timing was wrong. Something outside of my control. Then Primary Intelligence talked to the buyers. The actual buyers, hundreds of buye...

rs, and what they found was very different. The number one reason buyers said that they didn't go forward with the purchase is the salesperson didn't uncover their real needs and problems. Number one. So, we want to make it not our fault. We don't wanna take responsibility. That's why it's so hard for us to self assess. What Deb Calvert found in her book is one of the biggest places that we lose deals is in this linking phase or when we're writing a proposal, and this shouldn't surprise you because this is new research. Now, in the old days, right, before we had social media, before we had the internet, the sales process was a little different. You'd meet a customer, we'd do a discovery, we'd get information, we'd wing out an offer or a proposal, and it came back. It was like magic but not today. Today, people get that proposal and then they start looking up everything on the internet to see if it's as good as everybody else's. They start comparing us with everything else and they wanna get other opinions online. They want likes. They want to make sure they're making the right decision. Used to be, salespeople were the authorities. We told it to them, we had trust, they believed us. Not anymore. We're in what's called a reputation economy. Think about it. What's Uber? Right? What's Airbnb? It's all based on reputation and collaboration. People today wanna collaborate. So, one of the things that Deb found, people wanna be part of the conversation. They don't wanna listen to the conversation and when we write a proposal, we need to encourage others to act and we should be writing it with them. We should be writing it with them. That's why we lose them. So, after we do that discovery, are we sitting down and saying this is what I think I heard, that information confirmation step but we're doing it with a proposal to make sure we got it right because otherwise, they jump into their reptile mode and we lose the deal. Chipotle, since we've been talking about tacos. Any of you like Chipotle? Wow, look at this. It's like I'm doing an ad for Chipotle. Alright, now, when we go to Chipotle and we go through the line, what happens? What are we creating? Our meal but we're creating it, right? They're not telling us what to eat. We're co-creating with Chipotle. People today want customization, collaboration, right? I can make my buffalo tacos the way I want them, right? And we take ownership in that, we like that. Nike shoes, now I can make my own Nike shoes. I can customize my phone the way I want it. Today is all about customization. Yet, we send a proposal and we say here it is. Now, with that said, we talked about this the other day. You need to have templates. Chipotle doesn't just say what do you want? Tuna tacos, you wanna steak, you wanna pizza? You have choice within their framework. I finally learned a parenting skill that was sorely needed. Instead of saying what do you want for dinner, I just say, now, do you want buffalo tacos, buffalo tacos, no I'm just kidding. (laughs) Do you want buffalo tacos, do you want chicken, or do you want pizza? It's not what do you want to eat? Because he'll want like some expensive sushi thing, right? So, again, we're going to have a template but they're going to work with us on our template and those are some of the things we're gonna talk about, but Deb was kind enough to make a video for us about her insights, and again, I highly recommend this book, Stop Selling & Start Leading to find out what buyers want. Now, her research was with B to B buyers. I know there's a lot of B to C in this room and watching but B to C actually lead the charge in customization and giving buyers what they want and collaboration. So, B to B, if you're selling a complex technology product, we've gotta say, okay, during that proposal phase, am I collaborating? So, let's go ahead and see what my good friend Deb has to say. Hello to the Creative Live audience. I'm Deb Calvert and I'm delighted to be able to be here with you today. Shari Levitin invited me to come and speak to you because I've recently conducted research with buyers that gives us some great insights into how to sell the way buyers want to buy. You'll find that everything I'm about to tell you aligns really nicely with what you're hearing about heart and sell. That's because everything Shari has to say is so spot on and really resonates with this buyers research. What we did is we went and we talked to 530 buyers. We later collected seller stories to confirm what we were finding but we asked these buyers about what behaviors they wanted to see more frequently from the sellers they choose to do business with. We used the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, an evidence-based framework of leadership developed by my co-authors Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, and what we found is that buyers emphatically approve of leadership behaviors. They want to see significantly more of these behaviors exhibited by the sellers they work with and, in return, when they see higher frequency in these behaviors, they are both more likely to meet with the seller who exhibits these behaviors and much more likely to buy from sellers who more frequently demonstrate these behaviors. Now, as I said, there are five practices of exemplary leadership. In the interest of time, I'm going to take you to the one that buyers put right at the top. Remember, they want to see all five but it's this one that matters most of all to them. They want us, when we're selling to them, to use the behavior set known as to enable others to act. That's the fourth practice of exemplary leadership. What this means and what we can do in order to enable our buyers is it means that we give them an opportunity as often as possible to participate in creating what they want. They get to put their own imprint on it and if your product isn't customizable, don't worry. Anything that you can give them a voice and shaping. The delivery, the add-ons, the way you communicate back and forth when you follow up about the product. All of that gives them an opportunity to feel like they've had an experience and they feel like they've been able to shape what it is they ultimately purchased. When you enable others to act, you collaborate with them. You don't go away, and create a solution, and bring it back. Instead, that's a collaborative process where you're co-creating the insights, co-creating the solutions, and making it their very own. As I said, this is just one of the practices. If you'd like to learn about the other four practices of exemplary leadership, to read the stories that came from sellers and buyers, or to learn more about exactly what you can do to enable others to act, be sure and pick up a copy of our new book, Stop Selling & Start Leading. Awesome. Yeah, so Deb is a good friend. She's a professor. She's now a good friend. I was so impressed with her work that I reached out to her but start to think about how you might enable others to act and I love what she said about even if you don't have a customizable product, what can you do? Is it delivery date, is it? But I think the idea is, I call this a stuck phrase, our customers say send me a proposal. I call it a stuck phrase, it's sort of like when you go to a store and somebody will say can I help you? What's our stuck phrase response? I'm what? Just looking. So what we're doing is we're putting off that salesperson. Can I help you? Nope, just looking. Right? And it's the same when a customer says send me a proposal. I hate to disillusion anyone. Half the time, it's a put-off. You do a practice for proposal, you spend four or five hours writing it and you never get it back. So, we're gonna be looking at, in subsequent sections here today, what do you do to make sure that you stop writing these practice proposals? Because it's a waste of your time and if there's one thing that we don't have enough of, it's a waste of, it's time. We just don't have enough but there's certain things that you can do to see if that deal is really there and there's three ways that we can change the emotional state. There's probably many ways. There are three ways I'm gonna highlight today. One, we just discussed, and that is collaboration. So, collaboration will keep that emotional state high, engaging others to act. Again, remember, the buying formula for today is E plus the five why's equals whoohoo, sale. Okay, this is the E. We've gotta keep that emotional state strong throughout that entire sales process. So, when we do the demo, you wanna ask yourself am I encouraging them to act? When you do that demo, are you asking questions all the way through or are you a monologue? And some of those connecting steps we talked about yesterday need to happen in the demo. Do we have the right tone of voice? Are we telling the stories to keep that emotional state up? So, we're going to collaborate, we're gonna tell stories, we're gonna continue to connect during that demo. The worst thing in the world is when somebody listens to a 45 minute, 60 minute demo and they can't get a word in, edgewise. A bored person actually goes into fear. They fear that they're losing their valuable time and they will not make a decision in fear. You confuse them, you bore them, you lose them. Confuse them, you lose them. So, we've gotta think about how that's working and are we managing the emotional state of our customer? Another way to manage the emotional state and, again, it depends on what you're selling and what the environment is that you're in. Now, if you control the environment, so if you are actually going to a customer, or they are coming to your home, or you get to see them in person, and you can control the environment. One of the best ways to control the emotional state, it's gonna sound simple but people forget it, think about the five senses. Think about what, because that's how emotions are created. The way we take in information is through our senses. That's how we feel. Smell has a huge impact on how we feel. How many times are you walking through the mall or walking somewhere and all of a sudden it's like (sniffing) oh, that's smells good. (laughs) Right and we're over there. Like we had no intention but it drew us to take action. Sound, you know, we're walking through the park. I was at Dreamforce, I had the amazing opportunity to speak at Dreamforce a few months back and I'm outside and this jamming band is going on. You talk about a mood elevator, I was like whoohoo. Music does amazing things to our emotional state. It can make us happy, it can make us sad. My brother's a neuroscientist. He studies the brain and music. He told me something fascinating. He said, when you are sad, you just had a breakup or something bad happened, you're better off listening to sad music than happy music. Why? Because it's a me too. Because we're connected. Well Sheryl Crowe got dumped, I'm nothing. Right? We all get broken up with, we all go through sadness. This is what connects us. So, music helps connect us and music changes the emotional state, so again. If you're in a salesroom. If you're in a showroom. If somebody's coming into your office. What do they smell? What do they hear? What do they taste? I have a client, he's not a client yet, every time I see him, I bring him chocolate. Why not? You were talking about chocolate. It's going to change the emotional state, right? So, start to think about what can you do to change the emotional state of your client? What are they gonna see? I can assure you, if they're in a bad mood before they get to you, science proves, they'll be in a worse mood once they see you. I had a big client, I'm not gonna tell you where because you might know who they are but they're north of here and (laughs) that could be a lot of things, and they have this beautiful, large, skiing, real-estate development. I'm giving you too many hints and I can tell you, to get to their showroom there were so many twists and turns. There were no signs because they're sort of boutiquey and cool, and they didn't wanna have any signs, not even cool signs, so I end up going in the basement around, on top of, I'm like lugging my, I mean it's like 30 minutes to find out, I'm thinking, if I was a customer, by the time I got there I'm ripped. Right? I am not a happy girl. So, the emotional state even before they see you is proven to matter. That's why, again, if you're running a showroom or anything like that, is the receptionist pleasant? This stuff sounds simple but if you're not doing it, it's advanced. Here's some other interesting research. Daniel Pink just wrote a new book about when. When you meet with someone is just as important as how you meet with someone. People are in better moods in the morning. Some of you may not be. (laughs) But it's proven overall. What Daniel Pink did in his book, is he started looking at Twitter posts and they started looking at the happiness quotient of people at certain times and it shows you that mid-morning, happiness quotient goes up. So, again, these are all things that we can control when we're presenting. I told Jennifer in my office, I said, look, when we have a big sales call, I don't want it at that icky three to five time, everybody wants to take a siesta. Like, why do I wanna have it then? Plus, we talked about yesterday, people are experiencing decision fatigue. They've already made 36 decisions. I get on the phone, you wanna go forward? No, right? In the morning, I have a better chance of a yes. You can make little tweaks to your process and have huge results but we've got to be conscious of emotional state and the role it plays in your ability to make a sale. So the five senses is critical and what I invite you to do is put a chart together and write what can I do? Now, if you're selling to somebody over the phone, that's obviously a little more difficult but you can certainly control the way you look, you can have a video call instead of an audio call, you can control your tone of voice. There was even some research that showed that call rates doubled when somebody on the phone said first, how are you today, are you having a good evening? Instead of launching. Doubled. Little things, big results. Everybody's looking for this big, magic pill. Sales is about doing a lot of little things right. It's about paying attention to the details and isn't everything like that? Tennis. It's not one big thing. It's doing a lot of little things right. Several years ago, there was an article in the paper about a gentlemen named Bruce Renfro. Bruce Renfro was an elevator operator in New York. Not a very emotional setting and New Yorkers would come in every day, and they'd get into his elevator, kind of a boring ride. Well, one day, Bruce Renfro got an idea. He thought, this is kind of boring. Nobody's smiling at anybody. Nobody's talking. You've heard about the elevator speech? Doesn't happen in New York and he puts up in his elevator a picture of dishes because it was his aspiration, he always wanted to have these dishes. Somebody came by and said, what's that picture of? He said, oh these are these dishes that I really want. Well, the next day, that guy brought in a picture of a Thoroughbred racehorse because that's what he wanted and pretty soon the passengers started chipping in and they started putting things all over the walls. Well the elevator's getting a little bit happier. So, a couple of weeks later, Bruce Renfro brings in a CD player. This is in the days of CD players and starts playing cool jazz in his elevator, and now people are getting in and they're kinda jamming on this cool jazz and they're looking at the walls. So, a few weeks later, Bruce says, huh, I'm gonna do a scent, and he starts bringing in fresh flowers. Well, now, pretty soon, Bruce Renfro has a line in his elevator. People are going out of their way that weren't even going in that roof to go into Bruce's elevator. Then he decided that there were a lot of people in need and, so, what he did, is he started bringing in cans to feed the needy, and pretty soon, others started bringing in cans to feed the needy. If Bruce Renfro can change the emotional state of his passengers in a 10 by 10 box, I want you to think, how can you shift the emotional state in your sales encounters? Three ways. Collaboration, connection, and the five senses. So, start to think about that and how you can use it to improve the emotions in every interaction because if they're not in the mid-brain, they ain't going to the neo-cortex. They're not giving you a credit card and they're not signing a check.

Class Description

These days, it’s tougher than ever to make a sale. Customers are overwhelmed with too much information and suffering from decision fatigue, so they’re delaying purchases or sticking with the status quo just so they can avoid the dreaded sales process. In response, many sales professionals overcompensate, either by being too accommodating or putting on the pressure, which only alienates potential buyers even more.

In this challenging environment, salespeople must learn how to sell the way customers buy. They have to reconcile their need to make the sale with the customer's desire for a heartfelt, authentic sales approach.

Shari Levitin, best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker and sales guru, will share her proven methods for increasing sales revenue without losing your heart. She’ll help you tap into your passion for your product or service and talk about it without coming off as cheesy or manipulative. You’ll discover how to get comfortable asking for what you want and start feeling good about selling again.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create an authentic connection and build trust with anyone.
  • Craft a compelling sales presentation that makes your customer want to buy.
  • Uncover the seven key emotional motivators that drive all customer decisions.
  • Overcome the fear of “no” and turn customer excuses into reasons to buy.
  • Use constructive delusion to create wealth, better relationships and peace of mind.
  • Demonstrate actionable value.
  • Appeal to customer problems and buying motivations rather than lowering the price.


Karen Kennedy

Sheri had me at HELLO! Her content kept me engaged for the entire class. This class does not have nuggets of information, it has BOULDERS. Even an "old sales pro" like me found so many helpful hints and tips in Sheri's methodology. If you are a newbie to sales, search no more -- just take this course and you will have everything you need to be successful. Trust the process, follow the steps. It will work for you. I especially loved the subject matter guests who covered the topics of Digital Seling and Storytelling. Do not put off buying and viewing this class. Do it now! NOW! Sales are how people and companies get revenue. Get going on your pipeline of opportunities, connect with your Heart and SELL in a genuine way. Kudos to Sheri for this amazing class. I loved every minute.

Lisa Bournoutian

By sheer luck, I came across Shari's book, Heart and Sell, about a year ago and instantly recognized that her process was one that would align nicely with my B2C sales team. Having read her book, I knew I was in for a real treat coming to Creative Live and watching her deliver her content in person. Shari seamlessly weaved invaluable examples that creative artists, B2B and B2C entrepreneurs could all relate to, and in a way that was fun, engaging, and easy to understand. She has absolutely mastered the science of selling and the heart of connecting. If you haven't read the book, you're missing out, and if you've never seen Shari in action, it is an experience you'll never forget. This course is a perfect opportunity to not only dive right in and learn how to sell the way your customer buys, but to make the right CALL (Connect, Ask, Listen & Link) in your personal sales journey and watch your business grow.

a Creativelive Student

If you are an executive, business professional, or a salesperson who wants to improve your communications, negotiation, and sales skills --- acquire Shari Levitin’s course. Shari will show you how to better connect with customers, prospects, team members, and people from an authentic perspective. Shari Levitin’s class is filled with excellent frameworks, content, actionable exercises, insights, and knowledge that will help anyone to be better a salesperson in your professional and personal lives. I loved how Shari included other experts, such as Mario Martinez (digital sales evangelist), Lee Eisler (store telling framework and presentation skills), and Deb Calvert (how to stop selling and start leading to make extraordinary sales happen with results from her B2B research study).