Nothing Happens Until A Sale Is MadeDec 19, 2022
"Nothing happens until a sale is made." Have you ever heard that phrase? I hear it a lot from business owners, senior leaders, and sales managers. While it may seem a bit mercenary in focus, there is a lot of truth to the statement.
Here is another one, "Cash is king." We could expand on that and say, "Cash flow is king." I know that is true in my business and probably in yours.
Question...is it easier or more difficult for you to generate revenue in the past 2-3 years compared to before that time? I can share what I am hearing as I work with sales teams and business development professionals. It is more difficult. However, it may surprise you what is making it more difficult.
Drivers and Detractors
Have you ever tried to influence someone who was distracted? Or sell something to them? If you have, then you know what a challenge that can be. Why would someone not focus on you and what you are saying when you are interacting with them? Probably for similar reasons when we do that to other people. Something else is on their mind and is generating emotions that are distracting them.
A Word About Emotions
Have you ever had THE answer to someone else's problem, and when you shared it with them, they looked at you as if you had grown a horn in the middle of your forehead?
Graphic...I know, but I want to make a point here. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have had business owners and leaders discount the impact of emotions in the workplace. Why? I honestly believe they are afraid to admit that emotions play a huge role in decisions, actions, and behavior, because if they did, then they would be obligated to do something about it, and it is not an area of strength for them. Good news! That can change. Emotions are simply neuroscience at work. Yes, emotions are a science. The skill set to create a healthy emotional environment is called emotional intelligence.
Think about some of the most critical measures in the workplace: engagement (the emotional commitment someone has for the effort and the organization), trust (the feeling that others are trustworthy fostering greater collaboration), satisfaction (being fulfilled in the work), innovation (a feeling that there is a better way to do something and a desire to find it), motivation (the source of energy to get things done). There are so many more key measures that have a significant emotional component. This is why emotional intelligence has become THE most important skill set for the workplace. Don't just take my word for it, check out Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and just about every other well known business journal. EQ (emotional intelligence) studies, research, and articles show up frequently in these publications.
Back to drivers and detractors. Emotional drivers move things forward, add energy, enhance focus, create options and possibilities, and increase internal motivation and optimism. Emotional detractors inhibit forward movement, keep people stuck, derail productivity, drain energy and focus.
Where Does A Sale Happen?
I have asked that question countless times. I get many different answers. In reality, the sale happens in the shared mind space that the salesperson creates and then invites the buyer in. This is a very important concept to understand. Top salespeople get it, either consciously or subconsciously. They become adept at creating an inviting and engaging shared mind space, and they do a great job of welcoming the buyer into that place.
Hot cognition happens when the emotional part of the brain impacts and influences the rational part of the brain. Some people may see that as a bad thing. Absolutely not! You make your best decisions when you use your whole brain, both the rational and the emotional. So what does that look like in revenue generation? There are four simple steps to ignite hot cognition in selling:
1. Trust the salesperson – Trust is the rocket fuel of the selling process. Without trust, it is difficult to move the sales process forward, and the likelihood of experiencing roadblocks and resistance is much greater. Getting the buyer to trust the salesperson (not as much the product or service) is critical to sales success. This happens when the salesperson is seen by the buyer as a person, not a salesperson.
- How to increase trust – by showing the buyer that the salesperson is more than just a representative of a company. They are a real person with real passions, hopes and dreams. Pictures of the salespersons loving family, a special moment with family or friends or serving others is a way to engage the buyer in connection and trust.
- The neuroscience at work – when a buyer sees the salesperson as a loving and caring individual, oxytocin is released in the brain of the buyer. Oxytocin is the hormone that is most closely related to feelings of trust and familial relationships. Oxytocin will create levels of trust far beyond that of logical features and benefits of products and services. This engages the mirror neurons in the buyer’s brain in positive ways.
2. Feel rewarded in the sales process – This is when the buyer increases their belief in who they will become, what they will have or what they will be able to do if they buy from the salesperson. It is a visualization process.
- How to make the buyer feel rewarded - When the salesperson can “paint a picture” of who the buyer may become, what they will have that they desire and/or what they will be able to do when they buy, this creates desire based on the buyers beliefs of what could be. The salesperson can help the buyer to imaging what is possible thus igniting the reward system in the brain.
- The neuroscience at work – when the buyer believes that desirable outcomes are an outcome of the purchase, then dopamine (the reward hormone) is released in the brain. The buyer’s mirror neurons kick in helping them to experience this reward even though it is not yet a reality. Dopamine provides a powerful reward experience.
3. Experience/generate happiness or joy when with the salesperson – when the salesperson uses humor or brings accounts that are enjoyable to the connection, the buyer is more relaxed and receives enjoyment from connection with the salesperson.
- How to help the buyer experience happiness or joy – the salesperson can use humor and relate stories that are full of joy to create deeper connection by engaging the buyer’s brain in a more relaxed and optimistic mode.
- The neuroscience at work – when the buyer experiences happiness or joy in connection with the salesperson, the mirror neuron network in the buyer’s brain signals the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins create a feel good state in the buyer’s brain that is more relaxed and where they can experience an increase in enjoyable emotions.
4. Buyer experiences a driving desire to buy – when all of these elements come together, the buyer can experience a driving desire (excitement/enthusiasm) to move forward and make the purchase.
- How to generate a desire to buy in the buyer’s brain – If the salesperson were to use powerful questions like “What if…” this moves the buyer to consider what it would be to move to that better place…or, what it would be like to live without it.
- The neuroscience at work – when the buyer is motivated to this degree, adrenaline is released which is a driving hormone. It motivates the buyer to move forward and act and creates a win/loss choice in their mind. If they buy, they win…if they don’t, they lose.
This is something I train and coach people in. A scientific approach to selling that incorporates how our brains work and uses that understanding to accelerate sales success. This is not a replacement for other sales techniques, but is a multiplier of success.
When this approach (what I call the EQFIT® Smart Selling method) becomes a natural part of the revenue generation effort, then everything becomes easier. In my experience, the biggest roadblock to closing a deal is when an emotional need is not being met.
Think of a time when you were being sold something. Why did you decide to buy or not buy? If you drill down deep enough, you will find an emotional driver or an emotional detractor that influenced your decision.
Want to enhance your revenue generation? Want to cut through all of the noise to get a buyer's attention? Then ignite hot cognition in the mind of the buyer!
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Copyright © 2022 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact: [email protected]
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