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Presenting The “Close”

How many times do people promise they will “think about it and let you know”, but they simply don’t?

The key in presenting the “close” is to get them to take immediate​action. How? By creating urgency.

Have you ever bought something because there were only x copies of it left… or because the special offer was coming to an end within the next few days?

When I first got started selling my Patterns of Excellence seminar, I had no idea how powerful this concept of creating urgency was. As a result, I delivered the presentation of my lifetime and yet, only 1 person out of 80 people signed up.

So what I did was to follow up with the other 79 people to find out why they didn’t sign up. And guess what I discovered? A majority of them didn’t sign up because they didn’t feel the sense of urgency to!

So in the next seminar preview of another 80 people, I told the participants that there were only 30 seats available – which were absolutely true – and over 10 people signed up! And the fact is, creating urgency is what almost all successful businesses do.

Do you remember those “Ab-Flex” infomercials that you’d see on the television late at night? Those that said, “…and if you call within the next 30 minutes, you’ll also get…”

So why do you think they said that? Well, again, it was because they wanted to create a sense of urgency and get people to buy their products right away!

Here are some ways to create urgency: (1) Limit by quantity – e.g. Only 10 copies left (2) Limit by time – e.g.

Only valid till 14 September Remember, selling is the transference of emotions. If you want someone else to feel the urgency, you have to experience it first.

Reframing: The Art of Changing Meaning

How someone represents their experiences determines how they respond and the action they take.

Therefore we must learn to frame objections in a way that will persuade people to buy our idea/product/service.

When you change the way someone represent (frame) something, you totally change the meaning and the emotions associated with that experience.

As a result, you change the decisions they make and the actions they take. If a client looks at the price tag and determines that our product is expensive, do you think they will buy it?

No. But if we can show the client the reason why our product is expensive is because it can help the client much more, do you think they will be more open?

You bet! Successful leaders and entrepreneurs do this all the time to influence people to their ideas and vision.

There are two ways you can do this, Content Reframing and Context Reframing.

Content Reframing…

Content reframing is the process of changing a negative experience into a positive one by changing the meaning of the experience.

The best way to do a content reframe is to ask the question, ‘What else can this mean?’ For example, if the recession hit when you were about to raise capital to start your business, you could content reframe to venture capitalists by saying, ‘This is probably the best time to start our business because it smeans that business costs, like rental and salaries, will be lower and allow us to break even faster’.

Or you could say, ‘This means our prospective clients will be more open to listening to suppliers who offer better value for money.’ If you’re presenting a new idea in a meeting and your client/boss stops you by saying, “We’ve never done anything like this before”, you could content reframe by saying, “Yes, I understand that. At the same time, if we’re going to do the same things as we’ve done before, we’ll only be getting the same results.

To get a breakthrough in results, we have to do something different. And here’s why I think this is going to work very well…” If you’re meeting a prospect for the first time and he says, “I don’t have time for you”, you could content reframe by saying, “I understand you may not have the time right now.

And if I can show you a solution to free up more time for you in the future, would you be interested?”

How to Handle Objections

Are top salespeople successful because they get lesser objections? Or are persuasive communicators charismatic because they don’t get lesser objections? No.

Rather, they are successful because they have mastered the techniques to turning objections into sales.

First of all, one of the biggest mistakes that most people make when they handle objections… is to use the word “but”.

Why? Simply because the word “but” breaks rapport and brings up the defense of the other person.

And when is the time you’ll get lots of “but” in a conversation? When two people are in an argument and they are out of rapport. Instead, use words/phrases like “and”, “at the same time”, “with that said”. Compare these two scenarios…

Scenario A : Client: Your product is expensive. Salesman A: I know it’s not cheap. But it works two times faster than other similar products in the market.

Scenario B : Client: Your product is expensive.

Salesman B: I know it’s not cheap. And it’s only because it works two times faster than similar products in the market. Which answer maintains the rapport better?

It’s scenario B, isn’t it? To bring it a step further, the best way to maintain the rapport is to first agree OR acknowledge that the objection is a valid concern. “I know the product is expensive” is an agreement. “I understand the product is expensive” is an acknowledgement.

(It does not necessarily mean that you agree) Now that the rapport is still in existence, what’s next? How can we turn the objection into sales? The answer is in a NLP technique called…

How to Present Solution

In this step, it’s finally time for you to use the information you’ve gathered from Step 2 to sell your idea/product/service.

Let’s say I’m pitching my “I am Gifted” program to a group of parents. What information have I gathered so far? I already know that

(a) Most parents are frustrated with the fact that their children are unmotivated.

(b) Their goal is to help their kids get good grades in school so they can eventually get a University degree and have better career prospects.

(c) The emotions they value most is “love” and “peace of mind” So, how would I present my program as the solution?

Here’s what I’ll say…

“In my ‘I am Gifted’ Program, your child is going to learn the 10 steps formula on how to study effectively and have fun at the same time. Because once they learn how to enjoy studying, they will be naturally motivated to study and to overcome their procrastination and laziness.

And once they master the 10 steps formula, they will be able to get good grades, get into the top Universities and you’re going to have the peace of mind that you’ve already done your best to love and nurture your child.”

Then, I’ll continue by showing them testimonials and case studies of how other children who graduated from my programs improved their grades and so on.

So what have I just done?

In just a couple of minutes, I’ve demonstrated how my program can solve their frustrations​, help them achieve their goals​, and help them experience positive emotions​(or avoid negative emotions).

Just as importantly, I’ve also built credibility​to my program by showing them testimonials and case studies of how other children benefitted from my program.

It’s straightforward and simple, isn’t it? Now, do you know there is a technique to presenting your solution so it’s at least twice more appealing?

If you master this technique, you can literally stir your prospects’ emotions and get them excited.

Before I show you how to do that, it’s important for us to understand the big difference between “Features”​and “Benefits”​.

Features​are all the characteristics of your product/service. The benefits​of the product tell you very simply how the product can help you. Let’s say you’re shopping in an electronic store for a new computer. Now, what do most salespeople say?

Ask Questions & REALLY Listen

Have you ever had the experience where a salesperson just went on and on and on…

and the more they talked, the less interested you felt? On the other hand, have you also had the experience where you sat down with a salesperson and all they did was to ask you simple questions…

you did all the talking… and before you knew it, you’ve already signed on the dotted line? You see, there’s a saying that the more you listen, the better you sell.

This is true no matter if you’re dealing with your family members, your children or your clients. What they really want to know is if you care about them​. Period. Plus, asking questions and really listening gives us the information we need to persuade them even more:

  1. Frustrations and Desire​– Why are they really looking for in your product/service/idea? What do they really want?
  2. Goals ​– What are the goals they hope to achieve?
  3. Values​– What emotions do they value more? How can you motivate them?

For example in my “I am Gifted” kids program, I know that one of the biggest frustrations most parents face is that their children are simply unmotivated. And no matter what they do, their children just cannot get good grades in school.

So when I pitch my program to parents, do I mention their frustrations?

You bet! And whenever I mention the fact that “not all children are naturally motivated to study”, you can almost see every parent nodding in agreement!

So the question is, how do I know “children with low motivation” is one of their biggest frustrations in the first place?

Well, you guessed it! Obviously, I interviewed numerous parents and asked them questions. Now, of course I’m not suggesting you to ask them the questions like, “What’s your frustration as a parent” because that’s going to be really weird. And that’s why I’d recommend you to use “softeners” and rephrasing, so the questions sound less interrogative.

Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 6

Let’s look at how the way people rank their away-from values can affect the decisions they make, and the actions they take.

Let’s say Sally ranks rejection much higher than loneliness as her away from values. What this means is that she finds it much more painful to be rejected than it is to be alone.

Chances are, even if Sally met the man of her dreams, she might not dare approach him for fear that she would get rejected. Although she also fears that she would remain lonely by not having a man, the pain of rejection far outweighs the pain of loneliness.

As a result, she won’t take action. Quite the opposite is Christine who ranks loneliness as her top away-from value, far higher than rejection. In short, Christine fears the pain of loneliness much more than the pain of rejection.

Placed in the same situation, Christine would make the first move and chance being rejected than do nothing and end up alone and lonely for the rest of her life.

How about applying this in sales?

One of the biggest mistakes I see many novice salespeople make is to assume that every customer buys something for the same reason. As a result, they wonder why they are always struggling to make a sale each time.

Now, let me ask you a question. Does everyone buy an insurance policy out of the emotional “fear”? Of course not!

Could someone buy an insurance policy because they value “love” more?

That should anything untoward happen to them, at least their family would be compensated and insured for a certain sum of money? Sure! But if an insurance agent fails to understand this, and operates from the mindset that, “People buy policies only because they are afraid their livelihood will be affected if anything bad happens”… do you think he will have much success selling to someone who values “love for family” more?

Not a chance. And that’s why it’s absolutely important for us to fully understand what makes someone tick, before we can persuade them.

Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 5

Matching Experience: Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone for the first time, only to realize they lived in the same state or country as you? Or graduated from the same University you did? Or that the both of you share the same passion for the same sport or music? Or that both of you are in the same field of work?

Now, what usually happens when both of you share a common experience/interest/hobby? You instantly feel a certain connection to them and feel more comfortable in the conversation, don’t you?

The truth is we do this all the time unconsciously whenever we asks questions like, “How many times have you been to this place?”, “Where did you graduate”, “What do you do?”, “What University did you graduate from?”

Matching Emotions/Values: What makes us do what we do?

What drives our decisions and actions on a daily basis? Our decisions are always based on moving towards pleasurable emotions​and concurrently moving away from painful emotions​.

Although most of us share common pleasurable emotions that we like to move towards, we value them with different importance. The way we value the positive emotions we desire to move towards are called our ‘towards values’, so named because we want to move towards them.

For some people, love is more highly valued than success. While for others, success is placed at a higher priority than love. The way we value painful emotions that we want to avoid are called our ‘away-from values’.

Would they behave very differently and make very different decisions?

Of course they would! Would they go on the same kind of vacation?

I don’t think so. Jeff might go mountain climbing while Sam may prefer cultural tours that take him to museums and art galleries. They would also buy very different cars, marry very different women and probably be in very different careers.

Jeff would probably drive a sports car and could be an entrepreneur or a salesperson. Sam would probably drive a Volvo and be a civil servant. Therefore, the way we prioritize our towards and away from values affects how our mind makes decisions and the way we behave.

Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 4

Matching Body Language: Body language is made up of our facial expression, gestures, posture, breathing pattern, eye movement and muscle tension.

In my Pattern of Excellence seminars, I usually get people into pairs, get them to match or imitate one another’s body language for 5 minutes and have fun doing that. No talking, just observing one another’s body language and mirroring that.

So for example, if Partner A folds his arms, Partner B can choose to either fold his arms or cross his legs. The purpose of the exercise is to get them comfortable with the NLP matching technique, and to allow them to experience first-hand how powerful this technique really is.

Initially, they will feel uncomfortable with the exercise. But after a minute or so, they’ll begin to experience a certain sense of rapport with their partner – even though no words were exchanged in the whole session.

Putting It Into Practice Of course, you might not be able to find someone else right now to do this exercise. But how about doing it on a more subtle level the next time you meet someone?

Here’s what I mean… The next time you engage in a comfortable with someone you feel comfortable with, start observing their body language and ask yourself questions like: Are they slouching / sitting upright?

Are they crossing their arms/legs? What gestures do they usually make? … Then, mirror what they do.

If they cross their arms/legs in the middle of the conversation, let a few seconds pass or say a few sentences before you do the same. The key is to be natural.

Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 3

Matching Words: If you’ve paid close attention to what someone else is saying, you can almost always identify a specific set of words or key phrases that they use on a consistent basis.

Some examples are: “Honestly”, “You know what I’m saying?”, “Basically” and so on.

And if you were to use the same words/key phrases back at them, you’ll increase your similarity and they’ll trust and like you more unconsciously.

Another approach to matching words is to understand how they process information.

Do they process information more visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically? Do they say “I see your point” (visual), “this sounds right/wrong to me” (auditory) or “I feel that what you say makes sense” (kinesthetic)? Putting It Into Practice

The next time you engage in a conversation, listen very carefully to what they are saying and pick up if they are visual/auditory/kinesthetic.

Then if your partner is primarily using visual words, phrase your sentences to be visually appealing.

For example if you’re a financial planner and you want to explain how good your Policy is, you can say something like, “You might want to take a look at what this policy can give you. Once you see them, it will give you a clearer picture and you can decide if the policy is right for you.”

Matching Tonality & Rate of Speech: Would you consider yourself to speak fast or slow?

If you’re a fast talker, then you’ll most probably be put off to sleep by people who speak really… really… really… slowly.

Conversely if you tend to articulate your words well and you speak relatively slower, you’ll most probably feel confused and lost when talking to people who shoot words out of their mouths like bullets.

Now, what do you think would happen if your client speaks quickly and you speak really slowly, or vice versa?

That’s right. You’ll most probably lose their attention even before you introduce your idea to them!

So, what if someone speaks very fast – way faster than you do and can feel comfortable with?

Then here’s a trick…

You simply match this person by speaking at a faster, yet comfortable rate.

It’s going to be at least twice more effective than speaking in the usual tonality.

Again, is this something you can practice the next time you engage in a conversation with someone else? Of course!

In fact, I urge you to practice so you can get better at this.

Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 2

In Rapport: If you walk into a restaurant and you see a couple leaning towards one another… the guy speaking in a softer tone… crossing his hands the same way as the lady… We say the couple is in rapport with one another.

And 99% of the time, they are either newly-weds or couples still in courtship.

Out of Rapport: If you walk into the same restaurant and you see the lady leaning forward… the guy leaning backwards… speaking with a stronger, heavier tone… We say the couple is out of rapport with one another.

And 99% of the time, they are couples who have been married for several years.

Alright, so how do we build rapport with others?

People Like People Who Are Just Like Them: The more you behave, talk and sound like the person you are talking to, the more receptive they will be.

Think about it…

Who is the person you talk the most to, every single day in your life?

The answer is… YOU!

You know that inner voice that you have inside your brain?

Yes, it’s the one that’s most probably saying, “What inner voice?” in your head right now.

To Build Rapport, Start “Matching”: By behaving, talking and sounding just like them, what you’re actually doing is to increase similarities​and to reduce differences​– the number one key to building rapport.

And that’s where the NLP “matching” technique comes in.

According to research, the total impact of our communication consists of words (7%),
tone of voice (38%) and body language (55%).

So to become a persuasive communicator, you’ll also want to focus on matching in these areas:

  • Words
  • Tonality & Rate of Speech
  • Body Language
  • Emotions/Values
  • Experience