The best sales people never sell. They never sit over you and shove a contract and a pen under you nose wanting you to sign. They never encourage you to buy the outfit that they know and you know you don’t really like. They don’t lump you with a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. Quite simply, the best sales people never sell – they simply follow a four-step process.

Think of your favourite sales person. It may have been in a clothes shop, a cosmetic counter, a real estate agent or even a telemarketer. What was it that made it such a positive and memorable experience? Chances are it was because they listened to what you wanted. Certainly they would have asked questions, prompted the conversation but at some stage they would have gone silent and listened to what you wanted.

Wifey and I are into real estate. We have been to hundreds of open houses, spoken to hundreds of agents and had a variety of responses from the racist “I have nothing here to sell you” to conversations that ended in a sale. The stories are true; there are some that will show you houses you really are not interested in. We clearly said 3 bedroom and here we are at a 2 bedroom house!!! But there are others who are on your team.

The best sales people never sell. What they do is listen and then solve your problem.

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In life we are motivated by two things, pleasure and pain. Most people, close to 80% are motivated by pain. So when you are selling your product or service focus on the pain and then make the pain go away. When you listen to the prospect or client, listen for the pain. What is their problem? Once you know what the problem is, give it a little squeeze. What I mean is, make sure that the pain is real and that they know about it.

Sticking with real estate agents, maybe you have heard the client concerned about their space and number of bedrooms. Squeeze the pain by talking about when guests come to stay or what happens if they have a child or pet, or some other relevant comment that makes them feel how little space they have. Then talk about that massive space the new place has. How easy it is to deal with guests, expanding the family, in-laws coming to stay and so on. You have just moved from Real Estate Agent to problem solver. Naturally they will have a budget and you have to respect it but the focus is on solving their problem.

So what is this four-step process? Simply this:

1) Engage the prospect
2) Listen for the pain
3) Squeeze the pain
4) Solve the problem

Follow this process and you will never have to sell again – simply solve their problem.

By Haadi