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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 21 of 23

Negotiation Techniques

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

21. Negotiation Techniques

Lesson Info

Negotiation Techniques

How would you like to negotiate more effectively? And when we talk about negotiating more effectively, we're not just talking about in sales, we're talking about in life. Because we all negotiate all the time. There's an interesting article in Harvard Business Review, that shows 46% of all college graduates, by 2020, regardless of their major, are gonna end up in some type of sales. So, having sales skills, having negotiation skills, is going to be critical for everybody, everywhere. I was talking about, yesterday, how tomorrow's leaders must be able to do everything Alexa can't. We also know we're gonna have artificial intelligence in the sales world, but bear in mind, artificial intelligence can't do a few things. They can't connect, Alexa can't connect, and Alexa can't ask questions, can't listen, can't link, and can't be creative. So the leaders of the future are gonna learn how to be creative and how to connect. And part of that creativity is how to negotiate effectively. So that'...

s what we're gonna go through right now. And, since we've already talked about how to overcome the final objection, what the five subconscious commitments are, in order to get a sale. What are some things that happen throughout the closing process that we need to watch, manage or negotiate through. What are sort of the do's and don'ts, and I can tell you that very small mistakes when it comes to negotiating prowess, can lead to lost deals and other catastrophic results, I've even seen relationships go a little bit sour because we're not negotiating correctly. So we're gonna run through a list of sort of do's and don'ts. We've been talking the entire time about how to balance heart and sell. How to balance empathy, caring for the client with the courage to ask for the deal. One of the tendencies, and hopefully you've now taken the heart and sell quiz, at sharilevitin/, for those of us who are Susie's, that have a little bit too much empathy, the minute we get resistance, we drop the price. Because we think, oh, okay, if only it's cheaper, if only it matches that of my competitor, they'll say yes. First of all, that often backfires. I can tell you that you're always better off increasing value than you are decreasing price. One of the things that you may wanna try, because very often customers will say something to you like, we need to look at the numbers. I always love the one, we need to mull over the numbers, you know you've got an analytic if they want to mull something over, Because only analytics use the word mull. And if somebody wants to mull over the numbers, you need to clarify, which of the six objections is the real objection. Because right now, you don't know if mull means that they don't see the value, meaning it doesn't make financial sense, or they just can't get budget. Okay, so maybe they need to see if they can get budget from another department. Again, if you're in a B to C sale, maybe they need to go home and look at their own budget, depending on what it is, but you have to decide which of the six real objections you're dealing with, so one of the things you might want to say, you wanna ask a clarifying question, and whenever we get objections anywhere in the sales process, it's a good idea before answering it to say, can you clarify, and ask them to elaborate on what they mean. So if anybody says, I need to mull over the numbers, for example, I might say that's great, when you mull over the numbers will you be looking at whether you have budget or whether this makes financial sense? Again, if I don't know the real objection, I can't answer it. I don't know whether I should take out some products, some services, some delivery time, because right now I don't know if it's a budget issue or a value issue. And that question can save you a lot of money. Because the last thing you want to do is take out some features or give a different product to somebody who really could afford this product, they're just trying to make sure that the value is there. Okay, so don't jump into that default behavior where you do that. And that's a good way to clarify it, and again by having the six real objections drawn out, remember your goal, wherever you get objections in the sales process, is to see which of the six objections they've given you. Also, very important when to realize that questions are often objections in disguise. Okay, so when somebody says to you, for example, we've got somebody selling real estate here in the room, let's say you're selling a condominium development and they say, do the maintenance fees go up? Now I have seen sales people selling communities go into a 22 minute dissertation about maintenance fees, history of maintenance fees, and assuring the customer that the maintenance fees will not go up, only to hear the customer say, oh well that's not good then how to maintain them? Right? So you sorta wanna know why somebody's asking a question, because very often they're objections. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't talk about you know, that you don't answer truthfully, but it's a matter of emphasis. People only have so much bandwidth, and so very often you need to clarify and say that's a great question, just out of curiosity, why do you ask? Okay, because I need to know, I don't wanna answer a question that they didn't ask. This is an important sales piece of advice to remember. Never answer a question that isn't asked, unless it's a piece of information that ethically that the customer needs to know about the product. Because if we give them too much information we will lose them. People only have a certain amount of bandwidth, and can only absorb a certain amount of information. Besides, when they ask questions and have objections, that's good. That means they're interested. There's an old mantra in sales that still holds true, no objections, no questions, no sale. If I give them a dictionary of everything in the world that my product does, they're not gonna have any questions. They're not gonna have any objections just because they're just going to go into fight-or-flight and wanna get out of there. Okay, so if you change the price, change the deliverable. Again, think about what you can take out. You wanna package your products and services, particularly if you're an entrepreneur or a creative, so that you can take out some options. Sometimes, also understand that people just don't want to be too easy. Right? They think ooh a sales person, you know I gotta say no before I say yes. And they wanna see if there's any movement in your price. They're testing you, okay this happens all the time. You know, we do it as consumers. We think god I don't want to be easy, nobody wants to be a sap, right? So if you change the price, figure out what deliverables you're gonna take in or out. Summarize your offer. I love this one, because by summarizing our offer we can hit on what points are important, and sometimes you wanna just flip it to the consumer. So, you're ready to present a proposal or as we talked about earlier, collaborate on a proposal as Deb Calvert pointed out, we're ready to collaborate on that proposal. What a great thing to do is, is to say to the customer, now based on everything we've talked about, we're gonna work on this proposal together, tell me what do you like best that you've seen so far, and zip it. Let them talk, let them finish their train of thought. And then ask them, what challenges do you see that might get in the way of you feeling comfortable? I'm always better asking this question before I show price. I wanna know what their challenges are, I wanna know what their concerns are, and again to the extent that we can collaborate on a proposal, that's much better. You can't always do it, but I like to summarize everything before I do that proposal. I think that's a great thing to do. So get them, now if you're dealing with multiple stakeholders, if you've got multiple decision makers within a company, you wanna make sure to have each one summarize, don't leave them out, certainly on a B to C sale, you want husband and wife, husband and husband, whatever the case may be, you want each person in the party that is an influencer, to tell you what their likes and dislikes are, if you leave somebody out you're dead, okay? Don't ever ignore anybody that's in the party, you want to involve everybody in the party. And sometimes we don't even know who that stakeholder is, and that's really important too. And sometimes it's too awkward to ask. Don't ever assume because the customers success manager is along, or the grandmothers along, whatever the case may be, that they're not an influencer, and that they're not instrumental in that sale. I've seen a lot of deals lost because somebody doesn't include the assistant that's at the front desk, or they're rude to the receptionist. You can lose a deal very quickly by not involving all those stakeholders, and not getting everybody that is involved in making the decision to summarize their offer. Next, don't lead with incentives. What do I mean by that? I remember, about a year ago, I was killing some time, my husband, I don't remember what he was doing, my husband and son we're doing something and next door, there was nothing around so I walked into a boat store. And I'm not a huge boating fan, maybe I've just never done it, I don't know, but I walked in there and the guy starts talking to me about this boat, and as I give him a little bit of resistance, he starts saying, well but I'll throw in the wetsuit and I'll throw in this motor, and I'm thinking I haven't even bought the boat. I'm not even interested in the boat, now you're throwing in other stuff. Okay, it's kinda like if you've ever traveled to Mexico I just always think it's so funny, you know these guys that are trying to sell you the rugs, first of all, it's 90 degrees, it's like why do I need a rug? I've never understood that, have you? Like why are they selling blankets? It's hot, but you know they'll like throw something in, like the hat, and the this, and the that, and I'm thinking I've gotta be sold on the original thing before I really care about what the add-ons are to the thing, if I don't want it in the first place, it doesn't really matter, does it? Okay, so don't lead with incentives. Okay, next reframe financial concerns. We hit on that a little bit in the first section, is it a matter of price or is it a matter of value? And, again this is critical, and one of the things that you can say a lot of times people aren't sure, and so you can ask them, you could say, what's your main goal? Is it to save money, or to get increased value for your money? Very interesting question. Katie earlier, you asked me a question about do I need to show financial return, or do I need to show emotional value? And I can tell you, you know if you ask this question somewhere throughout the sales process you can avoid money objections, it doesn't make financial sense at the end, by saying you know what's more important to you, just ask them. A return on your investment, or increased value for the money you're already spending with XYZ person. You sort of want to reframe and figure out what's most important to them, and go from there. Next, gain full attention. We hit on this a little bit yesterday. When you go into a closing situation, if they are on their phone and distracted, that is a purple hat, okay? You've got to say something about it and you've gotta take control of that process. It's very very hard, or, oh don't worry about her, you know she can't be here right now, again, try to control the situation as much as you can so that all of those stakeholders are there, and so that everybody is giving you their full attention, or it's very very difficult. I have literally said to clients, you know what, let me come back tomorrow when everybody in the room can be here, because otherwise I'm putting you in a very compromised situation, you're gonna have to take the time to tell them, I know your time is valuable, let's make sure everybody's in the room that is a stakeholder, and that's going to be involved in this decision today. We talked about avoiding practice proposals, again I just wanted to give you a list. Here's a good way to avoid it. When people say, send me a proposal, I would never send a proposal unless two criteria are met, this may sound counterintuitive but I wanna make sure that all of the terms of the deal are discussed and yes, agreed upon. Again, you're collaborating with them. If we're talking, and we haven't discussed price, we haven't discussed financial terms, what's gonna be down, you know if it's something that's financed, if we haven't discussed delivery date, if we haven't discussed implementation strategy, we talked about that, if we haven't gone through, here are the steps that are gonna happen with the software implementation, if we haven't gone through all of those things, something's going to pop up, or somebody else is going to come into the situation and we end up sending a proposal we don't know what's in somebody else's mind unless we get agreement. And you may be financially off by a 1000%. Interestingly, you may be too little money. And that can be an interesting dilemma too, because we're devalued when we charge too little. That's why for consultants and business owners I recommend that you have a menu of services. This is really really critical to your business, because that also separates you. Katie and I were talking earlier, try to think in terms of having three packages. If you wanna beat your competition, don't let them compare apples to apples. Have three different packages that have different things in them, and they're not gonna be able to compare. I can tell you when I went out and started doing keynotes, all of a sudden people were comparing my price point to other peoples price point. And they'd say well, what do you do, what do you do? So now, depending on the client, we throw in some of our virtual training packages. It's much harder, and some coaching and some follow-up. Now, first of all that's better for the client, right? Because we know trainings a process, not an event, right? And we can't just train once and say I'm done, like we went to the gym, and we worked out, and now we're in shape, right? So again, it's critical that we look at having some packaging. And this goes back to what Deb Calvert was saying about, being able to collaborate, and then at least the customer can say, okay well I want, what you want to have happen is you want the customer to say, well can I have a little of B and a little bit of A, and three from C. And when something is in writing on a price sheet, it feels much more valid to people. I see a lot of artists, independent contractors, when the customer asks the price it's a verbal thing. You lose credibility if they can't see your offer in writing. And I dare say, it should be attractive. To the extent that you can hire a graphic designer, get somebody to again, give it an emotion. People buy emotionally, and graphics give people a feel about you and your company, that's why companies spend so much time and effort on branding, or they should because that makes the customer feel a certain way. You see a logo and depending on the logo or the brand, you have an affinity for it, actually it stirs up something emotionally in you, if you love that brand. I said something about Chipotle and everybody got excited earlier, right? So, there are certain brands that we love and that's why the visual is gonna be very important. There's a whole science, when you talk about how people buy and how people decide, there's a whole science to colors, and I don't know it all, but I do know yellow and red is supposed to make you hungry, and that's why you'll notice the golden arches, and most food commercials are yellow and red. You'll notice most banks are blue and red, it's the color of trust, right? So you don't wanna have a put-offish color, you want to think about how you present price, how you present your offer, and is it in a way that is going to be emotionally positive, and evoke the right emotions. Okay, so these are all ways to avoid practice proposals. This one's hard for me, woo. Slow down your speech. Usually cortisol levels raise when we start having financial conversations. The tendency is to talk faster, to get more aggressive, and use more forward body language. My mother told me, my mothers an author, she's published 40 books, she's amazing. You asked me earlier who my hero was, it's my mother, and she's now an artist, she's incredible. She's a teacher, an artist, a playwright, and I would consider her my best friend, and she used to tell me about her publisher and when she got really angry, she would bring down her voice and you knew you were in trouble. And it's much more powerful than shrill, than screaming, and so we've gotta be very very careful when we're in this closing situation, think about your voice, think about the emotion that your voice creates. Lee Eisler who you met yesterday, who is in the story section if you're watching at home, the hero's journey section, the whole piece about stories that we did earlier says something really beautiful. She says if you think about it, inside each and every one of us we have all of these hopes, dreams, ideas, fears, concerns, and we only have three ways to communicate our inner world with the outer world. We can do it through our voice, through our tone, and through our body language. And that's it, that's the only way. Think about that for a minute. And authenticity is about your inner world and your outer world matching. And people sense when we're nervous. People sense when we're agitated. That's why this whole idea of controlling our own emotional state is so critical. We can't hide it. You can't hide it, when you're really mad. So we've gotta sort of control this, and I gotta tell you sometimes we get a phone call and we get like all cortisoled up, and all reptilian up, it's like what? What's going on? Do you have any idea what's going on in your body when you do that? Like how do we control our own emotional state? Some of the things that you might wanna try, and this is all part of slowing down your speech, controlling this emotional state, is next time something happens that's gonna throw you into reptile, pause and say, that's really interesting. Just get curious, you know if we're in reactive mode all of the time we're gonna go really reptile and we're not gonna be able to use the bigger part of our brain in order to solve problems. Okay, involve all stakeholders, we've been talking about that quite a bit throughout this course. How do you make sure that everybody's on board? Very critical. I love this one. Save a valuable piece of information for last. We don't have to tell everybody, every single feature and benefit of our product, program, or idea. I used to have somebody work for me that literally threw in the kitchen sink. I'd say, you know like this is very Susie like. So you wanna think about what ideas, again people are going to say no out of default before they say yes, they want to resist you they want to resist your offer. So start to think about what can I hold out? Is it a service contract? Is it a delivery date? Is it added on customer service package? What is it that I can hold so that I can add value instead of dropping price. Let me tell you, entrepreneurs, huge. Artists, huge. What can you hold out? Because a lot of the things have huge value to customers but they don't have a huge price. So try to get creative with that and think, what is it that I can offer and brainstorm that because if you're going to have a successful negotiation. A successful negotiation is going to involve a give and take. So if a customer says well I just can't pay that, we might say okay then we can't have this service. And then very often they'll either find the money, or 3 months later, 6 months later, they'll add that service. They'll find the money from another department in order to get that service. You know, or if it's again, if it's an entrepreneur they'll find the money in their own personal budget, so that they can get that product or service. So save a valuable piece of information, product, something for last. You don't have to tell everybody, everything, all at the very beginning. And of course, we said earlier, please whatever you do, and in your resource material, I've got a surprise for you, Laura told me that we did post the video in Budapest. You've gotta see it, it's hilarious, it's authentic, it is a gypsy woman trying to sell me a hat that doesn't fit when I don't like it, she drops the price, and then she takes, well I won't tell you the ending. You've gotta see the video. So it's about 45 seconds, and so these are ten negotiation strategies that you need in any encounter when it comes to asking for the money. When it comes to having that courage to ask. Now, before we go on to the next section. We've had a great day today, a great couple of days, a couple of you wanted to talk about what the most important thing you learned is. So I'd like you not only to say, and concisely if you will, the most important thing you've learned in this session, or yesterday's session, and how you're gonna use it. That's what I really want to know, is what's the action you're gonna take. Because as we're gonna see in the next section, it's one thing to know something, it's another thing to be able to act on something. And this is the challenge, very often, with trainers is all of this information will be given but no one's committing to take an action. I've also got commitment cards in the resource guide, so that you can make a commitment to two or three actions that you're willing to take, as you leave here today, as you leave this course. So, I know that Fausto you wanted to talk about something. Yes. With a group of sales people, I think the most interesting parts been addressing objections, being able to identify and isolate them, simplified on those six types of objections, and kind of hoping that, and working towards that goal of making sure that our sales people realize how to get through past that objection, by analyzing, understanding, and listening to their customers before making a proposal. Awesome. Thank you, and you said one more thing about your title? Oh yeah, when you were asking us, what do you do? I was like well I know I'm not gonna introduce myself as a regional sales manager anymore, but it's what we do, and again, we get hired to increase sales. The benefit to the customer, so we talked about how do you answer that age old question, what do you do? You know what I love saying to people? I just look at them and I say, when? Sometimes I don't like the question. Socially, sometimes I think it's a little bit annoying. Right, my friend Eric Chester always says, you know we're not human doings, we're human beings, right and like find out who I am before you try to assess what value I might be to you. But again, in a business setting, and as we're networking right, we do need to provide this value for people. So we want to think about what that value is and how to answer the what do you do question. Alright, Felicia. So like Fausto, I love the fact of objections. I really, I've been in real estate for twenty-some years now, and I've never been afraid of them. So my goal is, like we were talking earlier, is to help my team not be afraid either. Because, objections are really just another way to move the sale forward. They're not, no, it doesn't always mean no, and it's our job to find out exactly what the true objection is, or if it's just an excuse. Absolutely. Great. Thank you for sharing that. And is there anybody else or, yeah Carly? Yes, Carly. And the most impact that this training really took, made an impression on me was yesterday, during the story telling, when it was so clear that the shorter story had just as much, if not more impact, than the long story. And how attached we get to our story, and it's not important. Excellent, excellent. Yeah it's all a matter of edit, edit, edit. You know, again, people have a short attention span, so we wanna figure out how to get to the heart of the matter, very very quickly.

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).