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The Courtship Sales System, Part 1: A Common Sense Approach to Relationship Selling

Who sells?  When you think about it, we all do, all the time.  But how are sales like the process of courtship – like dating or getting someone new to be interested in you?

In sales (and dating) we follow the basic advertising and marketing formula called AIDA.

1.      Get their attention.

2.      Build an interest.

3.      Build a desire

4.      Create a call to action.

Let’s start with attention.  One way to gain attention is to introduce newness.  Another way is to introduce urgency.  A third option is to say, “I know someone who you know.”  It works like a referral; if you have someone in common, they’re more likely to pay a little attention to you.  You can also just get out there and start meeting and talking to people; stand up to be seen and speak up to be heard.

The next phase is to build interest.  The fastest, quickest and best way to build interest with another person is to really attend to them.  How do we attend to other people?

The most sincere and heartfelt way to attend to another is to listen.  You’ve got to love to listen to the person you’re selling and hear what it is that they’re saying about their needs.  You’ve got to seek to understand and then seek to be understood.  That’s how you build the interest.

Third, is desire.  How do you get them to want to be with you and to want to have your product?  You do that through what is called ‘a quest for questions’.  You’re trying to find out what the gaps and needs are that need to be filled so you can find a problem oriented solution that you could use to match to those unique gaps and needs.  You want to fill in those gaps with the benefits from your product or service.

Fourth, is to take action.  Eventually, you’ve got to say that you want the order and can provide these benefits.  Let’s match your needs and these benefits together.

Always remember, what moves a client or customer is not their thinking; it’s their emotion.  That’s how people buy and that’s why people buy.  If you think about it, emotion is “E motion”; it moves them towards getting your product and you towards getting your order.

You can go for the sale in a variety of ways.  You can ask for the order by simply saying, “Well, it sounds like we’re ready to move on” or “Would you like to have a trial with these products for the time being?  I’ll check back with you in a few days.”

Or you can use the either/or approach – “Would you like the product in red or blue?”  “Would you like the product on Monday or Friday?”

After all this, you may be faced with an objection.  The key to handling objections is to recognize them as a secret problem seeking solution.  As soon as a client or customer says no, say to yourself, “a no with an n-o- is really a know with a k-n-o-w”.  They need to know more from you.  And that’s when the selling really starts and you begin to move them.  It is moving them through that secret problem with your secret solution.