By | Khyati Gupta Babbar | Santulan Behavioural Sciences
Is it time for you to be in the driver’s seat of your sales meetings? The key to unlock this opportunity lies within you.
According to Clinical Psychologist Shilpi Banerjee “How a sales person manages his and the client’s emotions can make or break a sale.”
By managing your emotions in different situations you can achieve excellence in your sales endeavours, starting from your next meeting itself. Let’s decode some common situations:
1. WHEN THEY’RE LOOKING INTO THEIR PHONE:
You’re speaking with your prospective client and notice that they’re looking into their phone time and again.
In fact, once we were in a sales pitch with a CEO and the HR Head. He got a ping; he glanced at his phone and picked it up. We paused to let him finish. Can you believe what he said? “Go on, I am listening. I can multi-task”.
“Are we boring him?”
“How can he treat us like this?”
“Just suck it up, it’s a client.”
Our mind raced through all these thoughts and much more making us feel anxious, angry and helpless one after the other and on loop!
What are the possible ways in which we would behave in such a situation, If we’re not prepared for it?
- Start talking too fast.
- Our tone might get irritable.
- Fumble while explaining our idea.
- In a bad case, we might even end up snapping at him if he asks a difficult question.
What You Can Do:
- The best way to make your point respectfully is to pause. Really, just stop talking. Tell them you’ll wait for them to finish. It’ll give them the cue that you want their full attention. If they say, what they said to us, politely add “No worry. Please finish what requires your urgent attention. I’d like to wait.”
- There’s also a preventive measure that you can take. Before the meeting starts, grab your phone and say “Let me put it on silent so that no one disturbs us.” This will give them a cue to do the same.
If neither of this works; and there are more people from their side, turn towards them and talk. If he’s the only one, then tough luck! You may say “I guess you’re busy, I’ll keep it short and wind it up quickly.” Go back home and do ask yourself – Could something be missing in your pitch?
2. WHEN THEY DO THE COMPETITOR COMPARISION TRICK
They ask you to lower your fee, add too many freebies and tell you “the other vendor is offering it to us”. You don’t know if this is true. Your mind tells you:
“Why is he being so unreasonable?”
“This is too much. But I need this client. What do I do?”
Making you feel irritated and frustrated at the same time! Again if you’re not prepared for it, you might:
- Say yes to their unreasonable demands and think to yourself that you’ll manage it later.
- Stop paying attention because now you feel it’s a dead deal; basically giving up too soon.
Both these reactions aren’t helping your sales goals.
What You Can Do:
- When you think the other person is unreasonable, think again. He’s NOT an expert in your subject. You NEED to educate him and show him the value in your product or idea. Re-writing your mental script is required here: “He’s not unreasonable, I’m yet to show him the value in my idea.”
- The operating word here is fear. We are scared of losing the deal. You need to realize that the decisions you make now will impact you in the future. If you do take on something that is not financially viable or you can’t deliver, a constant nagging feeling of apprehension will haunt you, which would take away your peace of mind.
- Ask yourself before you enter any meeting – what’s your position? Are you entering this meeting from a position of fear or a position of confidence? You need to be “pre-prepared” for fear. In that moment, fear will grip you, if you are not ready. We feel fear when there is threat. You need to identify what’s your biggest threat! Bad ratings? Loss of job? No promotion? Next, attack those fears by visualizing the worst case scenario. This is not to say that you become complacent. When you’re aware of the worst that can happen; which, in most cases is not as threatening as to warrant this intensity of fear, the outcome is that the sting from the fear is much less paralyzing. The emotion of fear becomes more manageable in the actual situation.
3. WHEN YOU SHOW DESPERATION
Closing this sale is particularly important for you for reaching your targets this year! It being such a high pressure situation, you think to yourself “I need to close it at any cost.”
Hello anxiety! Our old friend. If your head is not ready to tackle this, it could be a big downer. Here’s what you’ll do:
- Over-please them.
- Say yes to things that you cannot afford to.
- Nod your head too much like a bobble head.
- Use fillers like “ok” “all right” “umm” “hmmm” excessively, speak too fast or your pitch might rise.
- You might be sitting on the edge of your seat (not comfortably for sure) and your breathing gets shallow.
What You Can Do:
- Understand one thing about over-pleasing. It NEVER works. Even if you do get the client, they don’t respect In the long run people like to work with people that they respect. One big cue for you is that you’ll be sitting very tight – body and facial muscles held tightly when you are in that over-pleasing mode. Every time you notice your body is tensed, that is a cue for you to know that you’re in that over-pleasing mode. Take 5 seconds – loosen it and bring yourself back to your assertive self.
- When we want to show agreement or partnership, we nod our head gently. A slow and purposeful triple nod is a powerful way of showing respect to your client and telling them that you are listening. But if you nod too much, use excessive fillers like umm…hmm… uh…they get the cue that you are nervous or not confident. And trust us, no one wants to work with people who are not confident of their own work.
- When you are getting into this mode, pause for a second. Breathe in and speak on the outbreath. Instantly, you’ll notice your pitch goes down adding more depth to your voice.
4. WHEN THEY’RE COLD AND DISTANT
We’re sure you’ve come across some difficult people. They are rude, stiff and cold. When they ask a question it feels like they’re attacking you. You ask yourself “I’m in a spot. How do I answer this? We’ve observed that one gets over conscious, followed by panic or both together. And inevitably, without your mind being ready:
- You get defensive causing you to fumble even more.
- Your attention gets diverted to thinking about what to say next or second guessing what they’re thinking. So you’re no more present in the moment.
- You might even notice that you are clenching your jaw tight or there is a frown on your face.
What You Can Do:
- Don’t launch into your sales pitch right away. Get to know them so that they warm up to you. Talking to someone who is cold is not going to help you stay relaxed.
- There was this one time, when one of our colleagues said “It’s ok if you don’t want to take our service”. Whoa! Hold back on that. Don’t nudge them in that direction. Ask them politely, “Is there anything I can do to help you with the (problem)?”
- Our tendency is to immediately react when we feel attacked. Hold back. Let them finish. Then respond to them by acknowledging their grievance. For example: “Our last experience with you was not very good because we didn’t get our items on time.”Now don’t defend it, don’t blame it on traffic. (No reacting please) Pause. Tell them – “I understand that. I would definitely work on it. I’ll check internally on the cause and assure you we’ve solved that problem.”
- Take your attention to your face; most likely you’ll notice a tightness. Slacken those muscles. As your face relaxes, other parts of your body will relax too.
- We all behave in such a manner at different times. What’s important to remember is that:
- “This person is being rude to you right now.”
- AND NOT
- “This person is rude.”
Notice the difference?
When you are able to distance the person from the behaviour your brain stays more relaxed.
- After following the above step, you practice what we call “Non-Judgemental Acceptance”. When you tell yourself he is a human being who is rude to me right now you are minimizing the use of adjectives towards this human being, hence less judgement. It’ll help your brain stay relaxed, focus on what’s important right now and not get diverted by the frustration caused by the rudeness.
Selling should not be dreadful. After all, if you know your skills, ideas, products or services can add value to someone, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to tell them.
Tell them well by managing your emotions.