Listening For Emotional Clues

By Christopher Zoukis

Just Say No

To accelerate the sales professional’s ability to close the sale, Seidman developed the “Ultimate Objection-Handling Tool,” which provides a three-sided shield against buyer resistance.  First, the seller identifies the top six objections.  Next, the seller develops potent responses to the six objections.  And third, the seller customizes the presentation by selecting responses that best fit their ability and personality.  The author dissects each part thoroughly, giving lucid examples. 

Seven basic rules are offered to deflect the objections of buyers, along with a short discussion of each rule.  Briefly, the seven rules are: do not get defensive, do not brag about the product, do agree with the buyer’s thinking, do not become overly enthusiastic, do exhibit genuine interest, be prepared for objections, and be prepared to take a risk.

Can You Hear Me Talking? 

The Secret Language of Influence maintains that “strategic listening” is vital to successful selling.  Not only does listening well make others feel valued, it generates intimacy and makes others appreciate the listener.  A three-step program to improved listening skills is delineated.  The initial step involves understanding why people listen poorly.  Keys to good listening are second.  And responding after listening is the final step.  Image courtesy writebydesign.net

The author sets forth seven reasons for poor listening, followed by ten keys that make a person a good listener.  Four listening exercises designed to improve listening skills are provided.  Seidman then moves on to responding after listening.  Responding correctly relies on paying attention while listening.  Before responding, sellers should listen for the types of emotions being expressed by the speaker, for the speaker’s dialect, and for the speaker’s pace, which includes speed of speech, voice energy level, and the volume level of the speaker’s voice.  Seidman suggests that sellers practice picking up clues while listening to friends and family members.  In this manner, sellers will learn to pick up nuances from buyers that others miss.

Making a Big Entrance

Successful sales reps need to have an opening strategy for their sales calls, according to the author.  In the author’s vernacular, the opening strategy is referred to as a “behavioral contract,” the place where “sound psychology intersects sound selling.”  Behavioral contracts consist of three steps:  gaining a time commitment, establishing the rules of communication, and a purpose or goal.  The book provides three sample dialogues that cover the three steps.  The first sample uses a conservative approach, while the second sample is more aggressive, and the third sample is extremely bold. 

The author states that there are only four ways for a sales call to end:  the buyer says yes; the buyer says no; the buyer sets a next appointment for further discussion; the buyer wants to “think it over.”  The fourth type of ending, where the buyer wants to “think it over” may be avoided if the sales rep has a sound and effective opening strategy. 

Last Words

Seidman concludes The Secret Language of Influence by ranking the sales strategies he has delineated throughout the book in order of importance.  Handling objections holds first place, followed by effective use of language, and recognizing the buyer’s dialect.  Seidman then moves on to make a blunt statement:  that if sales reps are not distinctly different and better sellers after reading The Secret Language of Influence, then the book has failed.