To get people to love you, do things people love

20th May 2014

On Saturday, I was on the receiving end of a terrible sales pitch. You know the sort of thing… where you’re looking at the salesperson and thinking ‘I’m losing the will for you to live’!

It sure can seem hard to impress people when you’re selling to them (or, if you prefer a different word, ‘influencing’). But fortunately, it isn’t as hard as it seems. Here’s a simple way to do it better…

Start by thinking as a customer. So, when people sell to you, what do you love? I imagine it’s things like:

  • You feel part of a dialogue; not on the receiving end of a rant
  • You contribute your views to what you end up buying
  • The conversations are interesting
  • And so on

I’d also imagine that you don’t like the opposite – being ranted at, not contributing your views etc. And I also guess you hate sitting through tedious PowerPoints (“We were founded in 1922” and “Let me show you our other 328 slides”); and/or reading long, untailored proposals that you didn’t even ask for.

Virtually everybody would agree with the previous two paragraphs. Your customers would too. They want to feel part of a dialogue and that they’re contributing. And they don’t want to see tedious communications they didn’t ask for.

So, a question: do people like the way you sell to them?

Most people would say they’re at least ‘ok’ at this.

But – and this is obvious when you think about it – half the people who sell to your customers are below average. Are you?

  • Give yourself a mark out of 10 (where 10 is brilliant; 1 is poor), grading how exciting you think customers find it to buy from you
  • Now, give yourself another mark out of 10, this time showing how highly you imagine your customers would grade you

Are both scores the same?

Are they high enough?

What score would your customers give about buying from your competitors?

The rule is simple: if you want more love from others, do more things they love.

Get this right, and your marks out of 10 shoot up.

More importantly, so do the number of people who say ‘yes’.

Action Point

A simple three-part action:

  1. Create a two-column table. On the left, list things that you know people love when buying – dialogue not rants, contributing to the solution, and so on. And then, on the right, list the actions you must take, to be more like what you’ve written on the left
  2. Identify which action(s) you’re going to do first
  3. Go and do it

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