I hope you can make sense of this article. My sense is that you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll agree, you’ll disagree, and you’ll learn something. You’re already using two of the 5 senses on your sales calls – your sense of hearing and your sense of sight. But are you using them correctly?
You see that your prospect is having a conversation with you but are you looking for the subtle changes in your prospect’s facial expressions? I’m not talking about whether or not they smiled at your awful joke and I’m not talking about you reading their body language. I am talking about the importance of being aware of anything that changes and asking what just happened. Changes in their facial expression are terrific indicators that something – whether good or bad – has changed.
You hear that your prospect is answering your questions (you are asking questions, right?) but are you listening as to whether your prospect answered the question you asked, or they answered some other question – that you didn’t ask. That’s what they answered. Are you also listening for how they answered? Did they sound helpful, disinterested, rushed, annoyed, or engaged? The biggest indicator in how you are being perceived can be heard in how they answer your questions.
What about the other three senses?
Are you using your sense of smell? I’m not talking about recognizing the smell of what they cooked for lunch in the microwave. I’m asking about whether the conversation smells right. It is authentic? Are they sharing? Are they being forthcoming? When prospects are hiding, not sharing, refusing to elaborate, it shouldn’t smell right to you.
Are you utilizing your sense of touch? I’m not talking about the tingling sensation you get when you shake hands. I’m talking about your Spidy-sense to determine how welcome you are, how much respect you are garnering, and how comfortable your prospect is with you.
Are you utilizing your sense of taste? I’m not talking about that disgusting pulled pork sandwich that just repeated on you. I am talking about leaving a meeting with a bad taste in your mouth.
“If you aren’t using all five senses on all of your sales calls, then you’re probably experiencing nonsense.”
It’s one thing to follow the sales process, reach each milestone, and have the kind of conversation that each milestone requires. But if you find yourself leaving your meetings without a strong sense that they will do business with you at full price, then your senses are failing you.
Pretend that instead of the sales process it’s a GPS system. Instead of sales milestones it’s landmarks and turns, and instead of conversations it’s distances. We have sight and sound covered but while you’re driving, are you monitoring your mirrors for drivers behind you and passing you? Are you anticipating cars that don’t see you and cutting you off? Are you looking 3 cars ahead? Do you feel comfortable driving at your current speed? Do you smell cars that are burning oi? Are you listening for sirens and horns? When driving during inclement weather do your knuckles turn white as you hold the steering wheel with a tighter grip? Sorry – there’s no sense of taste analogy unless you’re eating or drinking in the car.
Selling is a lot like driving. You can’t only follow directions. All of your senses must be fully engaged. When you see, hear, feel, smell or taste something that isn’t right, that’s awareness. When you’re aware that something is off, ask a question. It might sound something like, “It doesn’t seem like you’re not very interested in having this conversation.” Next, listen and watch the response, get a feel for where it’s coming from, and determine if it passes the taste and smell test. Did they agree, were they defensive, did they apologize?
Take responsibility – for whatever it is – after all, if you didn’t get their attention, failed to get them engaged, bored them to tears, put them on the defensive, or anything else, it was you. Apologize, ask if you can start over, and ask better questions – the ones that will get their attention, the ones that will get them engaged. The ones that will lead to the difficult conversation that nobody else has ever had with them.
Use all 5 senses on your sales calls and you will be exponentially more effective.