How To Stop Killing Your Sales Conversations
Updated: Oct 1
It's a cold, dark and wet Wednesday afternoon.
The clock is about to strike 5pm, signalling your final sales call of the day.
Microsoft Teams is fired up and ready to go...
Yet here you are, feeling tired, exhausted and depleted.
The last thing you want to do is perform like a monkey in a zoo, but the show goes on.
This is your second call with Vanessa, she's a perfect client on paper and you need to bring your A-game.
You take a deep breath, close your eyes and give yourself the pep talk of all pep talks.
Out comes that glorious smile of yours and in comes your potential buyer.
Within 22 seconds of your conversation...
You sit back and say the following 6 words:
"So, how's the weather over there?"
Congratulations, you have officially killed the conversation.
In today's release of The Influential Communicator, my goal is to prevent you from having stale, vanilla and predictable conversations in business and in life.
My 4-steps for having meaningful conversations that matter.
Helping people feel seen, heard and understood.
Let's get it.
Harmless yet deadly
Asking about the weather is harmless in theory, but deadly in practice.
It robs you of the ONE thing that's required to build trust with another human being:
Connection is the bridge for building trust in you, your company and your solution.
Once you have that, you earn the opportunity to solve somebody's million-dollar problem.
Remember, when it comes to high-value purchases, there's no conversion without connection.
So, instead of using the first minute of your sales conversations to dance around niceties...
Try the following four steps for connecting with your buyers beneath the surface.
Step 1: Make them feel heard
"Vanessa, the last time we spoke you mentioned you were about to have a knee operation…"
This shows you were truly present in your last conversation.
Remember, being present with somebody and giving them your undivided attention is a gift!
In today's world where people have the attention span of Dory from the movie Finding Nemo, this speaks volumes.
Step 2: Make them feel seen
"...and I remember you saying how angry you felt because couldn’t do your morning run for 6 weeks..."
Hearing somebody isn't the same as listening to somebody.
The above proves that you were focused on the latter in your last conversation.
You used the exact language Vanessa used to describe the emotion of being unable to do something she loves.
You called out exactly how long she's unable to go for her daily morning run (6 weeks to be precise).
Specificity is everything.
It's an overlooked superpower.
Step 3: Make them feel understood
"...I know how frustrating that must be for you given you really value your mental and physical health..."
As Jon Acuff once said,
"...all it takes is caring about what people (we care about) care about."
That's how Jon defines empathy.
So, when you truly understand somebody, acknowledge their values and show genuine empathy...
It makes you stand out amongst a sea of sameness.
Step 4: Call to conversation
"...how’s the recovery been?"
This is an open-ended question which requires a story as a response.
Sit back, listen to their reply and watch the magic unfold.
Putting it all together
"Vanessa, the last time we spoke you mentioned you were about to have a knee operation…
And I remember you saying how angry you felt because you couldn’t do your morning run for 6 weeks...
I know how frustrating that must be for you given you really value your mental and physical health.
How’s the recovery been?"
Focus on holding space for the person you're trying to connect with.
That means no interrupting and no unsolicited advice! In a world obsessed with "more" and "scale"...
Your prospects are craving intimacy.
Give it to them.
Want to implement this on a first call?
Do your research, there's no excuse.
Want to implement this on a second call (like our example)?
In your first conversation, focus on building rapport, asking great questions and listening versus thinking about what you're going to say next.
This works in business and in life...
After all, connection is everything.
See ya next week my friend,
P.S. Enjoy the content? Share the below with your leader...
1. [TEAMS ONLY] Book me for a storytelling keynote or workshop: Whether it's in person or virtual, to an intimate audience or a room full of thousands, learn more about how your team or audience can become influential storytellers at your next sales kickoff, offsite or conference.
2. [REVENUE TEAMS ONLY] Learn more about my Storyselling Bootcamp: Want your team to stop feature selling and start storytelling so they can build trust, stand out and win more revenue? Book an alignment call today to learn more about my S.T.O.R.Y Selling Framework.