If Selling, Listen to the Symptoms

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by Ron White

‘Doc…I got this cough.’
‘Is it a light cough?’
‘No Doc it is a deep hacking cough like this….KUUH… KUUH’

‘Okay, anything else?’
‘Yeah, I got the shivers and this red bumpy rash.’
‘Oh, well you have got the Jungle hemoglobin neuro-cardio virus. Take these pills for two weeks and you will be as good as new.’

Isn’t it amazing how a doctor can listen to the symptoms and then accurately diagnose what is ailing you? Well, if you are in sales you should be able to do the same. Listen to what your customers are telling you and it will tell you where you are going wrong in your presentation.

I recently heard a speaker say, ‘Yeah, I didn’t sell but one package of CDs – the owner stood up and said he was going to buy one package of CDs for the office library and everyone could share.’ The speaker then shook his head as if there was nothing he could have done to sell the group. I never heard that speaker’s sales pitch; however, I know exactly what he did wrong by listening to the symptoms. In his sales pitch, he sold the value of his products, which he should have done – however, he did not pitch the value of building your own personal development library. If he would have closed this way, the owner would have never of stood up and said he would buy one for the group to share because he would have been contradicting the value of your own personal library that was just discussed.

I didn’t have to hear his sales pitch; listening to his symptoms, the diagnosis was easy.

What about you? What are the objections you are receiving? Listen closely because they are the symptoms that will diagnose your problem:

” Sounds great! I will definitely get this product one day! – Diagnosis – you didn’t establish the benefits of purchasing today. You did not make it clear that inventory was low, the special price of purchasing today or other incentive.

” I need to think about it – Diagnosis – 50% of the time this will be because you didn’t show them how to purchase (i.e. where to sign) or ask for the sale. The other 50% of the time it is because they have a hidden objection that you did not answer. Your response,’ Is there something in particular I can answer for you as you think about it?’

” Let’s buy one and share! – Diagnosis – you didn’t establish the value of this being a personal purchase.

” It cost too much – Diagnosis – price is rarely the objection, you failed to build value and didn’t demonstrate how this product will actually save you money over a period of time because it is durable or it will save you time and time is money.

Just as a doctor – listen to your symptoms and they will tell you where you are failing. Do not blame the symptoms on your prospects incompetence. Instead – listen, diagnose and treat by altering your presentation the next time. The answer to catapult your sales success is in the symptoms. Listen carefully!

Now, if you will excuse me I have to run. I have the Jungle hemoglobin neuro-cardio virus and I have some pills I need to take.

— Ron White

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About the Author

Tripp Braden partners with entrepreneurs and senior executives on their high engagement C-Suite communication and content marketing strategies.

He believes client education is the best way of building trust and long term sustainable growth.

His consulting practice focuses on second stage entrepreneurs, technology organizations, and senior level business executives. Tripp partners with clients to develop high impact C-Suite communication and account based marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Tripp at tbraden@marketleadership.net or send him an invite on LinkedIn. You can find Tripp’s business growth blog at Market Leadership Journal.

Tripp Braden – who has written posts on Empowering Serving Leaders.

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