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How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Lesson 22 of 23

Tackle Your Tendencies

Shari Levitin

How to Sell the Way Your Customer Buys

Shari Levitin

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Lesson Info

22. Tackle Your Tendencies

Lesson Info

Tackle Your Tendencies

We're going to talk about tackling our tendencies. Let me ask if this has ever happened to you. You go to a course like this, you're watching a course at home like this, get all these ideas, you take wild amounts of notes. You're super excited about what you're going to implement and you know what to do but then you don't do it. Or you know, you know what, I'm really not supposed to have that third glass of wine. (laughs) Oops! Right, and we just completely lose our willpower. Often in life, we know exactly what to do. We have the knowledge but we don't do it. A lot of you were talking about being trainers and leaders and what do we do about that with our people? It's like, how many times do I have to tell you? We keep telling them over and over again. I believe 70% of the time, salespeople, business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, know what to do but we don't do it. What are the tendencies that are holding us back from knowing what to do and actually doing it? There's something called...

the knowing and doing gap. My friend, author Colleen Stanley talks about this and that is, there's a gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it. I've talked about rock climbing a little bit and I could know all about it. I can read all about how to climb a 514. I'm never going to do it. I can know it up here. It's not going to happen. I don't have the strength and I don't have the courage and it's just not going to happen. There's a lot of things like that in our life. Well, turns out, there's a neuro-scientific principle. There's a reason for this. There's a part of the brain and I've been studying it. It's called the default mode network. There's a part of our brain that actually lights up when we take the path of least resistance. Again, a lot of these sales skills are counterintuitive because we have hormones where we feel better when we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. It feels better to have wine. We have all this rush of feel good in the short term but maybe not the long term if we have too much. Or we know that we're supposed to, we talked about it yesterday, where we know we're supposed to listen more than we talk but we don't do it. Evidence by that, again I live in Park City and we have a moose that comes to our yard. A real moose, and we call her Bertha the moose. Bertha always takes the path of least resistance. She's going to go to the same grassy patch. She's not going to go too far away so we are graced by Bertha's presence very, very often. Animals, mammals, humans will take the path of least resistance and also remember what we talked about when we talked about the brain? Our brains are wired to play it safe. Our brains are wired to stick with the status quo, to not take risk. It takes an awful lot effort to move around that. As managers and leaders, we have to really uncover, why do our people do what they do? We talk about getting to the third level, to the heart motivator of our client, but as leaders, if we don't get to the heart of what drives another human being, the pain is going to be too great. We have to keep reminding them why they're doing what they're doing. Nobody does anything for the money. They do it because of what the money will buy them, because what it will buy for their twins, what it will do in retirement, how they'll be able to travel, how they'll be able to have freedom. Who doesn't want more freedom? We've got to get underneath that in order to move this path of least resistance or this default mode. Now, I classify all these default behaviors into a convenient little acronym, sales HELL. Before I go through all of the default behaviors I'm going to ask for a hand with this whiteboard here. Again, I'm going to ask for a couple of volunteers or I will volunteer you. You can do this at home. What I'd like you to do at home if you're watching, please don't do it if you're driving, I would like you to write down all of those sales behaviors, those money making behaviors where you know what to do in your head but you don't follow through in your actions. I want you to start making a list and I am going to ask Susanne, why don't you come on up for me and volunteer please? Karen, come on up and volunteer please? Again, I'm going to ask you at home to do the same thing and these are all the things where we know what to do, we don't do them. If you're in the studio audience you can start writing on that sales HELL page we have for you. I see that you already have. This is a downloadable in your resource guide. We've got listed here as they're writing, I don't want them to look over here, some common default behaviors. These are some of them that I've seen over my 30 years of training, coaching, and working with salespeople. These are some of the most common default behaviors and we'll let you just take a few minutes and do that. I believe, Laura you said earlier, we had a question or two from the audience. Want me to answer one? Yeah, it just related a bit more to, it goes back a little bit to what you were talking about earlier. Okay. Because our questions have been collecting online. Melissa had asked, "If a client asks for a proposal, "how do you turn it into a collaboration, "especially if your contact "is not the actual decision maker?" Yeah, so what you can do again, you want to always try to get to that decision maker if you can. I would put as much effort into getting to that decision maker as anything else. I think, sometimes you can't get to that actual decision maker but you want to try as hard as you can to get to them. If you can't, at least collaborate with your contact. Again, what you don't want to do is send that proposal to that contact without going through all of the terms. Again, you can't always get to the ultimate decision maker. Sometimes it's the CEO of a big company and it's not possible. You also let me say, if you're doing a large B2B sale, you want as many contacts in a company as possible. There's an interesting statistic out there that a typical VP of sales, leaves their role between 12 and 16 months. People aren't staying in jobs as long. If your only contact is with this VP of sales, if the sales cycle has any length to it at all, now you've lost your champion. LinkedIn is great for this. We talked a little bit about LinkedIn yesterday on the segment A Party Without Pants. We talked about how to use it. This is a great way to see who else you might know in a company, who else in your company might collaborate but if you can have four to five contacts within a company, four to five champions, you are going to increase your chance of closing that deal exponentially. Hopefully that answers that question, it all comes down to the relationships. We need lots of them. Many. All right, see, this is like overcoming objections. (audience laughs) Thank you ladies, let's give them a hand. Awesome. We could do it for days. (audience applauds) Days. What we're talking about is, what are all of the sales behaviors that we know to do but we don't necessarily do. What we've written down here, we've got everything from get out of comfort zone, slow down, ask to speak to the decision maker, giving a proposal, take the time needed, networking, more emails, prospecting. This is huge. Salespeople, this was a question that was on your quiz. Most salespeople I talked to would rather do anything besides prospect. I mean, pretty soon the whole kitchen's clean, the fence is painted (laughs) you know? There's all these things that we can do because we make an excuse to nurture the existing account, right, rather than working on generating new business. It takes that courage to keep making that one more call, to make the call that you're afraid to make. I mentioned yesterday, write a list of the 10 scariest calls in the world. Great question by the way that I read in a book called, Just Listen. I've now referenced it twice. There's a discovery question that once got me a very large sale and that is this. What one thing, and I'm saying this to you personally and I'm also saying it's a great discovery question, what one thing that you know is impossible but if you could change it would change your business and your life for the better? What one, now you know it's impossible but if you could do it, it would change everything. It would make your business perfect. And let them respond, wait, and then say, "What would make it possible?" Amazing. Something about what the mind works because we think in our minds, we've convinced ourselves that it's impossible. We've come up with all of our own excuses why it can't happen. We tell ourselves, oh we can't do it, we've got our shield of excuses around us, right, about why something can't happen because it protects us. It protects our ego. Then by flipping it and saying what would make it possible, so I might ask you, what one thing in your life feels impossible but would change everything? Try to answer the question, what would make it possible? Great question. The better your questions, the better your life, the more customers you'll have. Think about the questions you ask your customers and yourself. Now, we've gone through common default behaviors that salespeople make. We've all got them, you're writing them on a sheet. Let's look at the demons that prevent us from doing what we know to do and actually doing them. There's four demons. Again, he's not one of them. (laughs) Sorry, Seth. Habit, ego, lack of knowledge, and laziness. I'm actually going to flip the order of lack of knowledge and laziness because I think lack of knowledge is probably the most devastating. We'll save that one for last. But habit, very often we fall into a default behavior out of sheer habit. I'm here at CreativeLive and I know Mel Robbins talks an awful lot about habit. What happens when we get into a negative habit loop? What research shows and if you go to Charles Duhigg's book, he talks about the power of habit that again, this is a subconscious thing that happens to us. We get an emotional trigger and all of a sudden that trigger creates a feeling and then we act on it and we're not even aware of it. The majority of everything we do in a day is subconscious habit and we're not even aware of it. If we were conscious of everything we did, we wouldn't be able to think in our neocortex about other things but we're not. So what happens is, we're not thinking about our heart beating, we're not thinking about how we brush our teeth, how we parallel park. You know, we just go into habit so that we've got our computing power ready and available for everything else we have to tackle in a day. Well, some habits are neutral habits like how we brush our teeth, some habits are great habits like going to the gym, and some habits are negative habits and we don't even know that we're engaging in these negative habits. Some of the habits that I see are, and again, it's not Seth Godin, but it was just something that happened to me the other day and that was, I was searching around on the internet, I was reading one of Seth Godin's blogs. I love Seth Godin and he's talking about something on his blog. He's talking about a dog and I'm thinking, oh gosh, you know, we did lose our third dog. We lost our Remo, maybe I should think about another dog. Pretty soon before I know it, what happens is I get out on my, I'm on my device and, I right away look up the dog. I say, well that would be a cool dog. What would that dog be like? Then I realize that Jessica Simpson has that dog and then 40 minutes fly by and pretty soon I'm reading about Jessica Simpson's love life and we're lost in this maze. Social media can be a real habit and being online and you've all had it happen where 30, 40 minutes later you're like reading about something that really is distracting you from what you should be doing. Social media is built that way. It's built to grab our attention, it's built to take us away from what we're doing and we get addicted to these likes, and the significance, and the hormones that it produces. We think, oh I got to get it but it's also a distraction. Neuroscientists tells us that multitasking is impossible. When we start switching from email to, phone to doing our project and something beeps. My friend, Jill Konwrath wrote a great book called More Sales, Less Time. She talks about the age of distraction and what it does to salespeople. We can't multitask and so what we need to do is, if we're doing a project, turn off your email, turn off your signals, do all that or you're not going to be able to focus on the task at hand. We think we're getting more done, we're not. I don't know what the rule is but there's a certain amount of seconds or minutes it takes to get back into what you were doing when we get interrupted. We've all had that happen. This is a habit that we fall into. Some of the default modes for habits that I see salespeople engage in, using the same tired pitch with a very different consumer. A lot of times salespeople just go into this autopilot and everything is the same even though we've done a discovery and we've gotten totally different information. The other one, retelling the same stories with little conviction or energy. I was working with a sales team a few months ago and one of the gentleman came to me and he says, "I don't know what's going on, "but all the young guys are beating me. "I'm doing exactly what I've done for the last 25 years." (laughs) Exactly. If you're bored when you do your sales presentation or your demo, I guarantee you your client's bored. We don't think about that and we just go on autopilot and we do the same thing and we don't freshen it up and we don't think, is that still appropriate? What used to work, does it still work, and if it works with that customer, does it work with this customer? You know a default mode of speakers is, "Well that story is so good, "I'll just tell it again even though it doesn't fit." We get this great sales story or we get this great speaking story, we get this great joke and we think, well it always gets a laugh so I'll just wedge it in here, right, and it doesn't work that way. Failure to listen and tailor your presentation to the prospect in front of you. These are all default mode habits. As you're listening to this, go ahead and fill out your demons, your sales HELL. That habit demon is really, really nasty because we can't, we don't know our own habits. Again, we can't self-assess and that's why it's great to have a mentor. Ego. Oh, this is a big demon. The ego demon has always been my worst demon. I remember one of my mentors telling me once that there's two types of ego. Good ego and bad ego. He said, "Good ego gives you the ability "to claim greatness." Good ego gives you the ability to say, I'm going to be like Arun. I'm going to start my own tech company and I'm going to nail it and I'm going to get start up capital and I'm going to do this, and I'm going to do that. Good ego says, I'm going to start my own CreativeLive. I'm going to start my own online education company. That's all good ego, that's great. I'm going to be the best, I'm going to be number one. Bad ego, looks like it's not my fault. I can't help it. Bad ego blames everybody and everything for our lack of success. My mentor at the time told me to change my self-talk to avoid getting into my bad ego because that's my default mode. I blame. I love to blame. I love it not to be my fault then I don't have to take responsibility. It's much easier than taking accountability. The problem is, when we don't take accountability, we don't grow. When we talk about ego, you want to look at changing you self-talk and that's what my mentor told me to do. He would not let me say, the customer didn't have the budget. I had to say, I, didn't create enough value. He wouldn't let me say, the timing wasn't right. I had to reframe my self-talk and say, I didn't create enough urgency. So again, for those of you that are leaders and managers start thinking about having a culture where you shift your self-talk. You've got that ego demon that gets in the way. The next one you've got is the, oh, I love this picture. This is awesome. Is that laziness demon. The laziness demon is sort of like, you know, I've been working really hard it's Miller time. For this one, I already got two deals so I'll take the rest of the week off. My associate, Andrea Waltz also wrote a great book called, Go For No. She's got an interesting concept and this might help some of you that don't have the courage to make those tough calls who want to nurture the existing accounts. Andrea says, "Don't go for the yes's, go for the no's, "and make no goals." Not, don't make no goals. Make no goals and at the beginning of the week, say, "You know what? I'm going to get 20 no's this week," or, "I'm going to get 10 no's this week." She said, "It's interesting what happens "when you have no goals is you're first of all, "sort of tricking your brain." Because what happens is, we're looking for a no and of course you're going to get plenty of yes's in-between but she says, "What very often happens with salespeople "particularly salespeople that are on commission, "is they get two deals and they're like, "woo-hoo, I got enough money to live on. "I'm fine." You'll see this more and more with millennials, too. Nothing against millennials, God, I wish when I was that age that we cared that much about lifestyle and work, life balance, but we've got a new generation that really does care about making the world a better place, that really does care about minding what's most important in their lives. It's very, very important. She says, "What happens with no goals, "is that once you've got those two sales, "if you only have 16 no's, you got to go for four more no's. "It'll bring up the numbers of the entire team." Again, interesting. Something you might try with your teams and something you might want to employ yourself. When you're setting your goals, try tricking your brain and setting some of these no goals. And finally, lack of knowledge. Lack of knowledge is probably the worst demon that holds us back. We just don't know, we don't want to learn. What ends up happening is we don't know what we don't know. We don't train and you know, there's no way of getting better. This, a lot of people say, "Well, is this the fault "of the salesperson or the sales manager?" I'm going to tell you today with all the information available, it's our responsibility to get the education. I mean, look at CreativeLive. We can get all the information we need on anything. On money in life, on blogging, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, on anything we need to learn. It's right here. It's amazing. It's easy to get today but are we absorbing it, are we investing it, are we investing in ourselves?

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).