Don McNamara

Article Summary:

How to use your senses to determine how well your sale is going.

Using Your Senses to Sell

Sales textbooks are filled with examples of trial and final closes, and if you are a student of the art and science of professional selling you no doubt have read many, if not all of them.

The issue of course is that in today's marketplace buyers have become accustomed to just about every clever line and manipulative phrase that sales people ever invented. Instead today, the buyer community is keenly aware of the overused, old hat clichés sales people traditionally used to qualify them.

In today's world buyers are strongly focused on products, systems and services that return real value for the commitment of doing business with you. And old style stale selling ways are fortunately being replaced by new, and greatly improved methods that give the buyer credit for intelligent decision-making.

One of those methods is to make a professional presentation after enough fact-finding that establishes the buyers needs, wants and desires. Professional salespeople who have spent a reasonable amount of time investigating these are the ones who will be in the best position to perform what traditionally is referred to as trial closing.

As a professional, however, you recognize that part of the fun of selling is to enjoy what you are doing for a living. Let no one doubt for an instant that buyers still like doing business with professionals who are competent in their company's policies, products, processes, procedures, practices and prices. Taken as a body these cumulatively could be called "manifested" competency skills. Similarly, interesting, fun and enjoyable could be called "personality" competency skills. Top-flight professional sales people usually have huge amounts of both.

Yet, how can you be fully knowledgeable about your company, be up all the time, be fun and entertaining too when by virtue of what you do for a living has "no" associated with it.

Here's a way to do it and at the same time develop an additional skill set as a by-product.

Have you have reached a point in your sales career where you recognize that all the trite and hackneyed trial closes just don't seem to make you feel comfortable anymore? Do you see your prospect rejecting them? Then try this. It's called using your senses, and here's how it works.

There are numerous studies that describe the types of communications that are successful; typically these are culturally dependent. Kinetics, body language, appearance, voice modulation, pace and delivery of speech and personal space are a few. Each on its own is a study of and by itself. So how do you determine if your delivery and message are being well received and you are getting through to your prospect?

One way is to provide a natural checkpoint in the presentation that lets you find out how your message is being delivered. Three of your five senses, namely see, hear and feel give you the checkpoints to determine if your prospect and you are tracking in parallel.

The purpose of a demonstration and presentation is to clarify in the prospects mind what your product, system or service will do for them; this you would have already identified in the fact finding/analysis stage. During the presentation, whether on the phone or face-to-face you should be able to "sense" how your prospect wishes to have information presented. So now you should be able to pause during your statements of fact and ask simple yet effective questions.

And using one of those three senses is a sure fire way to monitor how well you have been doing.

Try these the next time you want to intermittently check your presentation progress. If your prospect appears to be visually oriented ask them "do they see it"? If on the other hand your prospect concentrates on the words, ask them "how does that sound"? Moreover, if your prospect is outgoing, then you have a wonderful opportunity to ask them "how they feel" about what you have said. In the process you have called on the prospect to make an assessment or evaluation. They certainly will be more comfortable with you since you listened for their response, what they had to say and in so doing have made them part of the process.

In the new age of selling, the cornering techniques used by past generations of sales people are just not effective anymore. The savvy buyer is immune to them and more than likely will turn off to overused phrases and outdated methods. An improved way to demonstrate your professionalism, sales skill and knowledge of people is to let them assimilate your information and while they are doing that, stop and ask a question or two based on using their senses. You'll find the buyer is more appreciative of your down-to-earth forthright style, as well as much more prone to give you honest feedback that you need in order to "see", "feel" and "hear" if your presentation is on track...especially for them.

Don McNamara CMC is a Certified Management Consultant and sales management consultant, trainer, coach, professional speaker and expert witness. Don has over 30 years sales experience from the field level to executive sales management. For more information and free ezine visit

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