The First Non-verbal Beginning
S: They say that they judge a heifer by its hide. Is it true?
T: No matter how your “cold call” goes, it should lead to a personal meeting with a person who can make a decision. And here, as always, the first 7 seconds are important. During these first moments a person’s perception is formed based on 8 factors.
It is very important for both sides to create a first positive impression. People tend to believe their first impression afterwards, although it often turns out to be false.
The conclusion is simple: come in confidently, with a smile, radiate friendliness, confidence and calm.
Here is what Nikolay Rysyov writes on this topic:
Enter the room confidently, after asking permission first, and go straight to the customer’s table. Watch him at this time, look with a direct, welcoming (and not indifferent!) gaze. Why did you come? Did you want to ask for something? Of course not! You came to him with one goal, provide an opportunity to satisfy his need, you came with a good offer. Well, show it with all your looks. Express confidence. But in no case overdo it, do not become like an obsessive agent.
There is nothing else to add.
S: What is the best way to introduce yourself? Where to start, with the name of the company or with my name?
T: Neither. Anyway, the buyer forgets it immediately, except that the name of the company is well-known. He will then ask again, so you just waste your precious first seconds.
S: What should I say?
T: A man got from Mother Nature two ears, two eyes and only one mouth in order to listen and watches more and talk less. In order to talk less you should well prepare in advance. Each phrase should contain as few words and as much key information as possible for the buyer to decide whether to talk with you further or not. The buyer has no more than 7-10 seconds for this decision. You have exactly the same time to explain why it is worth talking with you.
Use the marketing message as an introduction to the buyer: you can get such and such benefits, they can be obtained due to the features of our product, and this product is offered by my company and me.
Example: I sell sleeping bags to an organization supplying equipment to tourists.
To be awake and get maximum pleasure while camping, the tourists need a good night sleep, even at sub-zero temperatures. Only in Polar Expert sleeping bags can they retain body heat throughout the night, thanks to one-inch of insulation. I am John Johnson, company representative. Nice to meet you!
This speech, however, took 17 seconds ... Needs to be reduced.
A tourist will feel vivacity and pleasure if he has a good night sleep. Polar Expert bag with one-inch of insulation retains body heat all night, even in cold weather. Igor Ivanov, nice to meet you.
Now this is 10 seconds. Can I reduce it even more?
You know, only a well-rested tourist is energized, cheerful and happy. In a one inch insulated Polar Expert bag, he retains heat even on frosty nights. Igor Ivanov, nice to meet you.
8 seconds, great result! And not a single extra word.
A tougher option is also possible:
One avoids catching a cold and gets enough sleep on a cold night only in a Polar Expert bag with one inch of insulation that retains body heat for a long time. Igor Ivanov, nice to meet you.
Why exactly this sequence? This is the sequence of the buyer’s interests: first of all, what benefits will he or his own consumers gain, then what are these benefits provided by, and only then who are you.
Why not vice versa, as is customary among polite people? First introduce yourself, declare which company you are from, name your product and talk about its features ... Sorry, at this point you have already lost a customer. I repeat once again: your name does not tell him anything, and he has not decided yet whether it is worth remembering. So, later you have to repeat it again. Perhaps, he knows your company, but this is not so important to him. The product and its features are not yet of great interest to him because he still has to understand whether all this could be useful to him. That’s it: the customer’s RAM is overloaded with unnecessary information. Interest, even if it was at the very beginning, completely disappeared.
If you start with benefits, it directly relates to the buyer’s own interests. He immediately assesses whether these benefits are useful or not. Depending on that, his interest is ignited. Next, the features of the product that guarantee gaining these benefits. Now, it is important for the buyer, his interest is growing. And then, the company that manufactures this product and you as the representative of this company. Now this information is important and interesting. There is something to think and talk about.
S: But what if the customer didn’t like me for some reason?
T: The most difficult thing at the first, “cold” meeting is to break the customer’s mood if he already dislikes you. This attitude can develop for various reasons: you were sent to him by a boss or another unpleasant person, you came at a wrong moment, or maybe he got out on the wrong side of the bed. Well, there are few reasons for not wanting to communicate with you in advance! Most importantly, who is to blame? Naturally, you, not him!
You need to reverse this attitude, change his negative attitude toward you. The buyer reacted to you nervously. Consciously or subconsciously, he provokes you. Then, he thinks, “I put my heart and soul in talking with him, but he was such a bastard...” React to this calmly. Set yourself up for a good attitude towards the buyer, forgive his bad mood, and treat him with understanding.
There is another way to deal with such situation. Ask the buyer for help, advice or just sympathy. If the buyer is a good person, this approach will result in his positive reaction. If the buyer immediately tries to take advantage of this situation, then he is not worth dealing with. A kind of “gut check.”
Ensuring a positive attitude
S: How to create a good mood for a customer? Well, should I dance in front of him?
T: Creating a positive attitude and entertaining are two very different things, it’s apples and oranges. A positive attitude arises, for example, when a person suddenly finds a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation. When the seller, instead of shoving his product down the buyer’s throat, begins together with buyer searching for ways to improve cooperation, it improves mood, too.
You already know how to handle the buyer’s concerns. And now it’s clear how to maintain his positive attitude. To do this, cooperate with buyer, together seek and find solutions to avoid his troubles.
Your openness, calmness and confidence in both yourself and your product also provide a positive mood for the buyer. It is pleasant to deal with a person who has nothing to hide, who calmly reacts to the tricky questions and answers them confidently.
S: What is a “preliminary offer”? Why is it needed?
T: This is a brief, emotionally rich presentation. In fact, the same as elevator pitch. The task of the preliminary proposal is simple in formulation and complicated in execution: to capture the interest of the buyer so that he would definitely want to know “what comes next.” We have already discussed how to do this. The preliminary proposal began in the first 7 - 10 seconds of acquaintance. Before you introduce yourself.
The following is a brief presentation, elevator pitch. It should take no more than 20 - 30 seconds, the trip time in an elevator. Introducing yourself, you already talked about the benefits, features of the product, the company and yourself. You have another 10 to 20 seconds to talk about the possible costs, compare them with the benefits. You can also answer a simple question. A preliminary proposal was made. It’s time to move on to the proposal.