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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 20 of 23

Gaining Commitment & Removing Resistance

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

20. Gaining Commitment & Removing Resistance

Lesson Info

Gaining Commitment & Removing Resistance

First isolation technique we're gonna talk about today is what I call the Five Step Approach. And I am gonna bring a couple people up here and we're gonna try it. And this is used when we get anything that feels like it could be an excuse. Now again it may or may not be. But you know we need to talk to the CTO, we need to talk to the board, I need to talk to my wife, whatever it is, we just can't afford it. Number one step, listen intently. Use a bridging statement. Let them know that you understand how they feel, again this has to be real. And depending on what they tell you, I advise restating it. Here's what I mean by that. When somebody says gosh this all looks really good, I love this, you've given us a lot of information, but we really need to think it through, okay? Now what you don't wanna do is say gosh I can understand how you feel you really need to think this through. I can understand that, it's a lot of information, the last thing you wanna do is go ahead and purchase a ho...

me unless you feel completely comfortable with it. Don't reframe the I wanna think about it. The last thing you wanna do, so try to reframe that. And then I want you to isolate it. And here's the big piece where we miss it. We are so used to wanting to answer an objection before we isolate an objection, that the problem is if we don't isolate it, we will never know if that's the only objection and the real objection, okay? So I'll give you an example of that. Let's say somebody says you know this looks good, they're planning a wedding at a hotel. And the customer says do you take pets? And the salesperson's just about to make the sale, I've seen salespeople go on for five, 10 minutes about their pet policy, how sometimes they have pets, depends on the kind of pet, they have some dogs but only small dogs and small dogs that don't bark and that don't have hair, like this just goes on and on and on. Rather than saying is it critical to you that we take pets, and are you still interested if we can't take pets? That's just an isolation. Find out how important it is, isolate it out. Would that be important to you? Would that be a deal breaker to you? Selling a softer product, just say is that a deal breaker to you? I'm not sure, and you may not be sure. I can find out, would that be a deal breaker to you? Oh no, no, no, I was just curious. A lot of times they're just curious. I was just curious if you could you know if we could have a seamless link, I just wanted to know. So again, you wanna isolate that out. Number four you wanna answer that objection, and then ask them to buy it. For some people that's the scary part. But I find that when we don't isolate that's when it can go really, really wrong. And this is a very hard process sometimes because as salespeople we like to jump from listening to answering, we don't isolate and we never know the importance of it. So I'd love to get a couple of volunteers and I'd like to see you go through the Five Step Approach and I'm gonna be a very obstinate customer. So who'd like to go ahead and give it a try? We've got a good audience here. Anybody like to give this a try? Lisa you'd like to give it a try? Come on up. So I'm gonna coach you through this process. I'm gonna tell you, and you might get it right right away, it might happen. So why don't you go ahead and ask me to join Halstrom Academy, or do you wanna see me do it first? How would you rather do it? Would you to just throw some objections at me? Maybe we can do that first. Oh I'm open to either way. However, if you wanna role model it first. Yeah I think I'll role model it first. So what let's do here is why don't you give me an objection? I'm gonna pretend I'm a campus director at Halstrom Academy, a great company, giving you a little flack here so go ahead. Thank you. So I'm a parent and I just met with campus director Shari, and we had a great campus tour and she showed me all the awesome things at Halstrom and she told me how my son Johnny would just love it here. And so she's asking me now if I'm ready to enroll and I say, um yeah it's great. I think I'm gonna just go home and talk to my husband about it a little bit but I really appreciate your time. Okay that's great. So you really love everything that you've seen here so far? Yeah it's fantastic. Okay, so yeah and what I hear you saying then is that even though you love everything, obviously you wanna talk to your husband about it before moving forward with anything here. Yeah it's a big decision. I mean I think he's gonna like it. I mean I love it, I'm sold. I just don't know what he's gonna think. Okay awesome. If your husband says he loves it and he's in, then are you all in? Is this something that's gonna work for you? Or is there anything else that would be concerning you? Do you want me to throw out one objection or say I'm good? Whatever really happens to you. Okay let's throw out one just to make it fun. 'Cause I think this is fun. Well you know, I think I'm also a little bit stuck on the socialization piece. I just don't know if Johnny's gonna feel like there's enough kids here for him to hang out with. He's used to a big school and I love that it's small and I just don't know what he's gonna think. Okay so the truth is, we didn't get to her real objection right? And you can see that it's an excuse. And I'm telling you, if you isolate correctly and delicately, very often it comes out. So now then the question becomes, what objection of these did she give us? What's her concern? And again, they all go back to one of these six. What's her concern if you were to look at these six? [People In Audience] Three. Yeah it's number three. I don't believe it'll work for some reason. Now as a salesperson, at least I know. And I would follow up and I would say okay great, totally understand that. We have many fewer students than at a public school. Right now it sounds like he's out at least playing football. Certainly the academics are suffering a little bit but he is out playing football, he's eating lunch with other people, there's so few people here, I mean I could see that that would be a major concern. You don't want him to lose that socialization pace. Right, you get it. Okay do you see what just happened too? She feels felt. This is huge. And again I cannot emphasize this enough, if you don't have enough empathy to pull this off, you shouldn't be in sales. You have to really feel this, you have to really care. This isn't about technique. This is about really caring about your client, okay? So then I'm going to follow up and I'm gonna say is there anything else? No really that's it. This is the goal. The whole goal when you have an excuse, is to get to the real objection. Now there's a million ways for you to handle it from here, but like I said, I can tell you 40% of the time, you're hitting a hologram. So you don't know what to do. You don't know why the deal stalled. You have no idea why they went dark and haven't called you back for six months, nine months, after you've done all these RFPs, all of these proposals, it's just gone. So now I have a lot of options. What can I do from here? I've got the real objection. This is her concern, it's not her husband's concern. Now he may have his own concerns. 'Cause he's not here. So what are the two things I wanna do right now? Well we're also very aware that the mom is really making this decision. So I actually really love it when they say I need to talk to my husband, I'm like oh, okay. That sounds good. So what are two things that Lisa can do right now? Katie's got one, awesome Katie. Well you could tell a story of someone else who had a child who was concerned about that who also thought that maybe there wouldn't be enough for their child to do, and the positive outcome. Right on Katie. And what are you doing? Are you solving a problem, overcoming an objection, or hitting a dominant buying motive with that story? Give me those choices again? 'Cause you weren't here yesterday. Are you overcoming an objection? Are you solving a problem? Or are you hitting an emotional motivator with that story? Maybe all, but definitely the emotional motivator. Yeah and you're overcoming an objection. This is her objection. That's why yesterday, this is a system. This is the coolest system. If you follow this I'm telling you it will work. It takes practice. I said at the very beginning of this session, there's nothing I can do in two days that's gonna change your sales and change your life. But the ongoing repetition of it, this absolutely works. And it's a system that we're combining the science of how people buy, with the heart of human connection. You've got to have both. I have a quick question. You can see how it all comes together, yeah? So when she told you that objection, or you got the real reason, what you said, is there anything else? Would you ever tell a story first and then ask again? No, great question. Because no, it's a good question. Because if I start overcoming that, it's like Whack-A-Mole, right? All of a sudden there's like and then there's this and then I don't hae the money and then I don't have this. Meaning that we haven't gotten the five commitments all the way along, right? So what we wanna do is we wanna get all of them out right now. And I can tell you this, if you get four at this point, you did not build enough value during the entire sales cycle. I mean all of the steps along the way. You know since you met them to now, you have not been building proper value. But yes there may be another concern as well and I wanna get them all out, okay? So yes Katie you're absolutely right, you could tell a story. Anybody else have an idea of what you could do? Something else that the salesperson could do? I would dig a little deeper about the after school sports programs that are available and how it's set up. There wouldn't be any reason why he could continue doing what he loves, while attending this school. Okay so you would find out more about what she means by that? Okay great yeah, you can have her clarify and you can dig a little bit deeper, absolutely. But what I can also do is again, at least I know what the issue is. Now what I'm gonna try to do is try to get both decision makers. But the other thing I can do is I can put her in touch with another family. Just like her right? Because she's gonna believe it way more from somebody else than she is from me. I may be a campus director and I don't have the title salesperson, but everybody certainly knows that I get gain. And again this is obviously why it's so important to keep happy customers, happy buyers, happy owners, whatever it is you're selling, right? Because they'll sell it better than you will ever sell it. And I will also say, depending on what you're selling, when you can start creating community, and I've seen people with online businesses, bloggers who create community. My good friend Sue B. Zimmerman who's on CreativeLive, she has these amazing pods, she's created this community. And what happens is you're creating a community of owners, users, whatever it is, and now you start getting customers for life. Users group summits for technology companies, these are huge because you've got like-minded people and they'll start selling it for you, they'll start sharing benefits, how they're using it and there is nothing better than that kind of social proof. Okay so what are you doing to get all your users and people together? So what I might do here, is I might say gosh, that's great. You know what I'd like to do is I'm going to put you in touch with a couple of our families. And let her go. Don't control this, trust. If you're doing your job and you've got happy parents, happy members, owners, whatever it is you're selling, let her do her own due diligence. But don't miss this step, and this is where we miss it. You don't ever want to end any part of the sales cycle without moving to the next part. So what I wanna do right now is say great, here I'm gonna send you a few phone numbers, can we schedule you and your husband to come back in Saturday afternoon, we've actually got an open house. It's awesome. You can also meet some other people there. But I'm always booking that next appointment. One of the other places that we lose it is the customer has an objection, we need to get them more information, we need to do something else and we don't make that next appointment now. And I'll tell you what, it ends up going into tag that lasts forever. You know oh I'll call you on Monday. No, do not call them on Monday. If you're gonna call them on Monday, set a time, have everybody take out whatever they're using to track, whether it's paper or whether it's digital and put it in now to the best that you can, right? But if you don't book it now it's gonna be very difficult. Thank you Lisa that was awesome. (applause) You can see how this Five Step Approach works, this is something that you wanna practice, and again the big thing here is the isolation piece. So that's what you wanna look at because otherwise you're just trying to hit a hologram. We don't wanna do that. Alright so how else can we get to the real objection? This next one I call the Ghost in the Room. What's the Ghost in the Room? Well you can use the Five Step Approach with a Ghost in the Room, but this technique works out really, really well. And that is again that it's not just a matter of I need to think about it or we need to look at our budget, it's specifically another human being that somebody needs to talk to. And we all do this. So again remember we're all consumers here right? So we all put up resistance when we're unsure, when we're suspicious, when we're scared, when we're embarrassed, or we're just bored and we just don't wanna deal with it right now. I remember years ago I was buying a used Land Rover in Salt Lake City, and my daughter was gonna buy a used Land Rover in Salt Lake City so I went down to the dealership and I looked at one, it was green, it was cool, it looked pretty good. There was something about this salesperson and it just didn't feel right and I didn't know what it was. Everything that he told me about the car, it started feeling, it was used, like it was too good to be true. That's why yesterday we talked about baby negatives. If you don't tell them what's wrong with your offer, they won't believe what's right with your offer. You've got to tell them what doesn't work or isn't right. Nothing is perfect, no one is perfect. What are you gonna tell them? So I didn't feel right. So I did what most consumers do, I made up an excuse. And I told them I need to talk to my brother. He is an expert in cars, and unfortunately my brother is traveling in Madrid, right? So again we all do this. It wasn't true. I do have a brother, he is an expert at cars, but he certainly wasn't in Madrid. But that's what people do when they're a little nervous. So the Ghost in the Room flushes this out for you a little bit, and what we would do is when a customer says I need to talk to somebody else who's somewhere else, again you wanna repeat what you heard, but you wanna isolate to see if there's really a ghost. And what that might sound like is great, let me ask you this, if your brother in Belgium (laughs) says no, and I like starting with no, then I assume you wouldn't buy it? Well right, right and they'll say well right, so I have to talk to him. Well let me ask you this, if he says yes, will you buy it? Now let's say they tell you yes. You follow up with a one-word question, why? Because now they're gonna start selling themselves on all of the reasons that they might buy it. And they'll tell you what problem you're solving and what emotional motivator that you're hitting. And I have had this happen a million times and they'll say, so if it's real, again I made an excuse, but let's say it really was real, why would you buy the car? Well because I need a four wheel drive, I can't afford a brand new one, I've looked at the reviews, Land Rovers look really, really good, you happen to have one that's $3,000 under Blue Book, it looks like something I should snag, and that's why. Now the salesperson, what often happens is is that the customer starts saying wait a minute, why aren't I buying this? People don't believe it when we say it, they believe it when they say it. So again all you're doing is it's another isolation technique when there's a ghost in the room, if they say no would you buy it? And again, even with a complex sale, you might wanna say it a little bit more delicately. You know well we gotta show it to our CTO. Okay so if he doesn't like it, I assume that the company's not gonna move forward with this. Oh no, no, no, I'm the one who has the decision making power. See that'll happen sometimes too. I've had that happen quite a bit, where you've got the VP of Sales who says you know what? I really need to talk to the service manager and I really need to talk to the CMO, and I say okay, I guess then, we've met four or five times, I guess if the CMO isn't interested, then we're not gonna move forward. And I've had the VP of Sales say oh no! I'm the decision maker. And now you know that. Okay but you also know that you've got a little bit of work to do, okay? So what we're talking about here is isolating the excuse from the real objection and only when we do that can we answer it, give literature, give social proof, whatever it is we need to do to move that sale along. What we've talked about in this segment is that there's a formula by which clients make decisions. And it's emotional state, plus five commitments. So we've gotta answer all five commitments throughout that sales process. And we need to think about what collaterals we need, what proof we need, what interactions we need from our marketing departments, if it's just us alone, are we asking those questions, are we going through? Again you've got these five cards. I highly suggest you fill them out, work with somebody on the team, or just talk to a partner about am I answering these five commitments? Because these are commitments that your customers are making. Whether they tell you or not, they have to make all five in order to purchase from you. At the end, when you get to the cash register, you make your own objection. And that objection may be one of the six that we discussed. The six real objections. But it also may be an excuse. And depending on the market you're in, depending on the product you're selling, it's hard to say what percentage of the time you're getting an excuse. But I can assure you, it's a higher percentage than you think, because as I said earlier in the day, as salespeople, as business leaders, we don't self-assess well. We don't wanna look at the fact that maybe it's something we could have done better. And we wanna say oh well. So do you at the very back end, have one of those six real objections or do you have an excuse? If you have an excuse, we just went through two ways, there's several ways, that you can isolate to see if it's real. You can do this with your kids too, by the way. Works out really well. Oh well I'd clean my room, the problem is I have homework. You know so I can't do it. Okay well once your homework's done, then I get, do you see what I mean? It's just a matter of isolating. You know and then not saying well what do you mean you won't do it? Ask a question. Yesterday I said anything that can be told can be asked. Instead of rebutting right back, when we ask a question, it's a lot softer. Okay and that's a great way to move that forward. One of the best things in the world that you can do to have somebody look at your performance, is to get a mentor in your field. And I was very lucky because we can't self-assess. If somebody else can work with you, they can see your flaws much easier than you can. And there's a few things that you wanna look for in a mentor. I know many of you in this room are mentors and many of you are mentoring others through these processes. And one thing is whenever somebody is giving you advice on how to take your game to the next level, or whenever you're mentoring someone, remember the three parts of the brain. If we're always telling somebody what they did wrong, they can't hear what they did right. So when you're coaching somebody or looking for a coach, there's actually some research out there that says compliments or encouraging remarks should be in a ratio of six to one. Think about that for a minute. So when somebody says how did I do? How did that call sound. You wanna talk about six things that they did right. I mean it doesn't have to be exact, you don't have to like take out a calculator or anything. But you wanna talk about what they did right otherwise they're gonna go into their reptilian brain and they won't hear a thing you said, they can't go into their neocortex and improve. So you wanna think that through, what can you get right? Another thing you can do as a leader, is ask them how they think they did and they're usually gonna be harder on themselves. The other thing you wanna look for in a mentor is are they telling you 25 things to change? Or are they telling you three? The mind can only hold so much information at a time. I highly recommend if you're getting advice, I see a lot of head nodding going on. If you're getting advice from someone, what's going to be critical, is that in golf, I believe, and I'm not a golfer, they call it a swing shot. What's that one thing, those two things, those three things you wanna focus on, where if you get it right everything else will fall into line? When I ski, okay I'm a skier, I live in Park City. I'm always thinking be on your toes and be forward and then everything else seems to fall into line a little bit. But you don't wanna be thinking about too many things when you find a mentor. And of course lastly, if you're gonna ask somebody for advice, ask somebody who's been there and somebody who cares about you. Who doesn't just care about your outer world, your sales world, but somebody who cares deeply enough about you to understand your inner world, because they're connected. And unless somebody really knows what drives you, what's important to you and why you do what you do, they can't give you advice on how to improve.

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Heart of Purchase Decisions Infographic

Get Out of Sales Hell Handout

Commitment Cards

10 Truths

7 Benefits of Asking More Questions - Infographic

Bonus Videos Links

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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).