Home > Presentation > How do we get the truth from customers?

How do we get the truth from customers?

In my opinion:

Always leave customers a way out of the situation before they buy, if they feel too much pressure and feel as if they are in a hostage situation then youíll never get the truth from them, so always leave them a way out.

I know this sounds counter intuitive (we were always trained to persuade a little better or be a bit more savvy), I think the opposite is true. When you open up your hands and mind then things can flow in and out more easily. In my experience creating a free and open kind of environment where Iím there, genuinely with their needs as a priority and not mine, then my chances of getting the truth are greatly improved because they can feel its all about them and not about me making my numbers for the month.

If you donít get the truth then youíre unlikely to get the sale unless itís based on price and thatís not really where most of us want to be.

Any comments? - by Tony Dunne
I'm aligned with you on this.

I'll add:

Intrinsic honest questions are the building blocks of sales. When we ask honest questions, we reserve the right to receive honest answers.

Conversely, when we ask manipulative questions in the variety of types that are, unfortunately, too often taught, we forfeit the right to get the real truth from our prospects.

Honest, straightforward conversation often takes courage. The payoff is worth it. - by Gary A Boye
In my opinion:

Always leave customers a way out of the situation before they buy, if they feel too much pressure and feel as if they are in a hostage situation then youíll never get the truth from them, so always leave them a way out.

When you open up your hands and mind then things can flow in and out more easily. In my experience creating a free and open kind of environment where Iím there, genuinely with their needs as a priority and not mine, then my chances of getting the truth are greatly improved because they can feel its all about them and not about me making my numbers for the month.
Any comments?
Great insight that trainers often forget or purposely avoid in their zeal to reveal their "secrets" of selling. - by John Voris

Honest, straightforward conversation often takes courage. The payoff is worth it.
Gary,

You continue to amaze me.

This statement is actually far more revealing than a cursory inspection can discover.

Why does an honest straightforward conversation often take courage?

I believe that speaking from an artificial place creates a protective barrier that preventing the intrinsic from communicating between two people.

Honesty, lifts such impediments but also exposes the underbelly of our sense of identity leaving us feeling vulnerable. Others begin to "see" what we normally hide and at times this exposure calls for bravery.

The payoff is found in the natural mutual trust that vulnerability generates.

This tension may also be one reason why trainees may lean more toward emulating their trainers far too long, avoiding this sense of vulnerability. - by John Voris
You get the truth from people when people trust you and respect you. Trust and respect are not calculated decisions. Trust and respect are intuitive responses that people feel.

I observed hundreds of the best salespeople (the top 1%) on three continents. About 85% asked deep emotional questions to determine the level of trust and respect they would have with their prospects.

I suggest that the people we train read "Power vs. Force" by Dr. David Hawkins, a research psychiatrist who is a leading authority on intuition. - by JacquesWerth
You get the truth from people when people trust you and respect you. Trust and respect are not calculated decisions. Trust and respect are intuitive responses that people feel.

I observed hundreds of the best salespeople (the top 1%) on three continents. About 85% asked deep emotional questions to determine the level of trust and respect they would have with their prospects.

I suggest that the people we train read "Power vs. Force" by Dr. David Hawkins, a research psychiatrist who is a leading authority on intuition.

Yes, "Power vs. Force" is highly instructive especially for trainees. However, too often new recruits read similar material then are "brow-beaten" into using far more aggressive and highly manipulative techniques by the management.

What can we do about this?

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. - by John Voris
Yes, "Power vs. Force" is highly instructive especially for trainees. However, too often new recruits read similar material then are "brow-beaten" into using far more aggressive and highly manipulative techniques by the management.

What can we do about this?

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
John's issue about how salespeople "... are "brow-beaten" into using far more aggressive and highly manipulative techniques by management" is a very important consideration.

I once had a conversation about sales with the Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, for one of the ten largest banks in America. His opinion was that sales is a sleazy activity that requires half-truths and convincing manipulation. Therefore, his bank sought to hire those kinds of salespeople.

Here's another example.
We trained one commercial lending officer who worked for a major bank. His revenues for the next year were more that 3 times greater than any of the other loan officers. The president of the bank presented him with the biggest bonus in the history ofthe bank. However, his manager gave him an unsatisfactory review because he did not make his quota of visits to new prospects. That prevented him from getting a promotion.

That ex-loan officer is now the CEO of a smaller, but highly profitable, bank. - by JacquesWerth
The president of the bank presented him with the biggest bonus in the history ofthe bank. However, his manager gave him an unsatisfactory review because he did not make his quota of visits to new prospects. That prevented him from getting a promotion.

That ex-loan officer is now the CEO of a smaller, but highly profitable, bank.
That's an example of a manager that does not know how sales happen. Many such managers are managers because they don't know how sales happen. If they did, they would still be in sales making much better money than many managers make. - by Gary A Boye
I discover more people are wiling to trust and give you the truth when you act human. By acting human I am defining it by normal actions and reactions to one another while talking with one another that relates to each individual person. - by rich34232
That's an example of a manager that does not know how sales happen. Many such managers are managers because they don't know how sales happen. If they did, they would still be in sales making much better money than many managers make.

We have discovered that one of the major differences between effective long-term sales, and sporadic short-term bursts of sales achievement, is based on whether the rep is "Being" a sales agent rather than "Doing" what agents do.

The first description (Being) does not require extensive training and occurs naturally, if that person is selling the right product to the right people, and is the right person to sell it. These people generate an aura to the prospect that says, " that agent knows their stuff." They can walk into a room and command attention. They speak with authority and sincerity that can be trusted.

The second description is as if following a grocery list of (Doing.) These agents function through a mosaic of generic sales tips, "laws," and rules of training sessions gathered through the years. Sales for them, seldom feels natural and there is no "right product or right people" for them. They do not look natural to the prospect because they are not the right person doing the selling. They are the first to leave but not before having a negative impact on their share of prospects. Their insincerity and blatant manipulative language, makes the prospect feel as if he or she is simply another of their paid PGE bill or car payment.

Intrinsic honest questions are the building blocks of sales. When we ask honest questions, we reserve the right to receive honest answers.

Gary's statement above reflects this distinction between "being" and "doing." Intrinsic questions occur from "Being" an agent whereas, extrinsically motivated questions occur from "Doing."

Too often, those who were trained by the grocery list technique, never learned how to ask "intrinsic honest questions," seldom
receiving honest answers. They are the ones who find themselves complaining that prospects always lie. - by John Voris
Some great insights there guys, just a few weeks ago i coached a high performer who had fallen away from his usual high performance and results. When i asked him what he thought he wasn't doing or what had changed his answer gave it away straight away.

He said, "i'm still selling myself and the company well but its not working". Upon further discussion it was clear that he'd gotten too far into sales mode and less into understanding, trust and rapport building mode.

As soon as he focused on the latter he immediately improved his results, now every time i see him he reminds me jokingly but accurately that the less we try to sell the more we sell. He tried selling too soon and too hard and in his words, "i felt the only connection & truth i was getting was no thanks"! - by Tony Dunne
Would be buyers and sellers come in all kinds of disguises and pretensions can be well hidden or obvious. I look at my own agenda first - what I want. What I want is a person who wants what I sell. So the obvious first question is: do you want it.

A few weeks ago I got a message for a gal who said she wanted some information about one of my products.

I messaged her asking why she was asking.

She messaged me her why.

I messaged back her reply and asked: is this what you want?

She messaged: YES.

I messaged her a link telling her to study it then txt me back with any more questions and a time we could talk. She did.

When we talked I asked her more questions about what she'd said she wanted. She answered them all directly and the sale was made.

How did I get the truth? First I spoke the truth. Secondly, I asked questions seeking her commitment. I didn't make small talk didn't pretend to be her long lost best friend, didn't attempt to make her buy. I kept "truth" as my direct object and paid attention to what she had to say.

Ultimately, I got the truth because she gave it.

MitchM - by MitchM
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.