Ever try to sell to someone who was angry?
And how did that work out?
The best salespeople tend to be the best influencers – and I’m not referring to their Instagram following. The basic function of a salesperson is to help their prospects make decisions, and of course to influence them towards the outcome the salesperson thinks is best.
That means that as salespeople, we need to be aware if we’re exerting a negative or positive influence on our prospects. Even if a prospect isn’t willing or ready to do business with us today, they will remember the impression we left on them.
To learn how the best in the world influence those around them, we sat down with Mark Bowden, an international expert in how body language influences decisions. He’s consulted with prime ministers and shared what he knows on some of the most popular talk shows in the country, and he revealed to us a simple system that any salesperson can use to ensure they’re elevating the state of every prospect they encounter.
Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T – Trigger: To trigger a system that improves the mood of our prospects, Mark recommends beginning the moment you wake up each day. It’s at that moment, he explained, that we make the choice that the meetings, calls and clients on our schedule are either things to look forward to or things to dread.
In addition to getting into the right mindset when we wake up, Mark says the next trigger moment is right before we are in front of our prospects or on the phone because that’s the moment of truth’.
R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable and ensure we’re not leaving our impression to chance, Mark says to continue being consistent throughout your meeting. If you tend to engage with your arms and have open body language, keep it up! Don’t change your personality or communication style halfway through the meeting.
Next, ensure that you’re not so bombastic or subdued that you can’t be followed. Humans tend to mirror the people they’re engaged with, and mirroring is a key indicator you can look for to ensure you’re tracking.
After that, Mark recommends we ask, “Why did you agree to meet today? What’s going on?” while keeping open body language. Affirm the prospect and where they are without criticizing, and you’ll find having an understanding nature will encourage prospects to reveal even more to you.
I – Improvable: To improve a system that’s designed to elevate a prospect’s state, Mark says to be sure to gather data. Most people guess at how their body language affected others, but it’s powerful to bring along a partner to your meetings and ask, “What body language or questions did I ask that really got the prospect talking? What should I turn the volume up on?”
A powerful question to ask prospects to improve this system is to wait until the end of the meeting and then ask, “What was most valuable about our meeting today?”
Once you get them talking, ask, “What else?”
The answers to that question will reveal additional follow-up meeting topics and give you a reason to reconnect with the prospect.
A final way to improve, Mark says, is to never assume that what you think is working is the thing that’s getting you results. That means identifying what you think is the right script or path forward with a prospect and adding ‘maybe’ to the sentence. That encourages you to ask what other techniques might work just as well, if not better.
M – Measurable: Measuring a system that’s designed to elevate prospects, Mark says to measure whether days are gliding more or getting harder? To elevate clients, we must first elevate ourselves.
We can also track and measure the answer to the question, “What was most useful to you about this conversation?” A positive response means you’re closer to gaining the next conversation and eventually, the sale.