Three Keys to Successful Dialogue Selling

The Floyd Wickman Team blog (from The Floyd Wickman Master Selling Skills Program)

Need more sales? Master the art of dialogue selling. At one point or another, in every selling situation, you’ll have to deliver a persuasive presentation. You know the one--that face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball method of conveying the features and benefits of your product to another person or persons.

So, what can you say to “sell” your prospect on your product or service? Hang on to your hat – because I propose that it’s not really what you “say” – but what you accomplish. And what you accomplish during that presentation will depend very much on your ability to deliver three keys of successful dialogue selling.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a big fan of “scripts.” I believe that only works if you have the ability to hand your prospect their copy of the script and say “Go ahead and study this and I’ll be back in a couple hours for our presentation!” I am, however, a strong believer of being your most effective and successful at presenting your product or service.

That’s where truly mastering the components of dialogue selling comes into play.

What is dialogue selling? Dialogue selling is the interaction between a salesperson and a prospect that helps cause the prospect to WANT to buy. After all, people want to buy they just don’t want to be sold.

Let’s dissect the three keys to dialogue selling which are: Words, Methods and Delivery

  1. WORDS: Well, of course you need words-right? But words can’t do the work all by themselves. In fact, one study even showed that sales persuasion is 55% voice inflection, 38% body language and just 7% the actual words you use. So, choosing those words wisely is extremely important. What’s the secret? Consider these four components:

Use their names: This personalizes everything you do and helps you to draw people in. After all, everyone loves to hear their name.

Make your words your own: In other words, if everything else you say to them is on a ninth-grade level, don’t throw in a word like “indubitably!” You’ve just got to be yourself. I’ll give you an example. Early on in my real estate career, I had a hard time listing doctors and attorneys, because I mistakenly thought I had to come off sounding like I had some sort of advanced degree. I just couldn’t do business with them to save my life until I realized I just had to be myself. People know when you’re trying to be something you’re not, so be yourself. It really does pays to be genuine.

Use power words: What I mean by power words are those kinds of words or phrases that refer back to what your product or service can ultimately do for your client. Lacing your conversation with their names (the ultimate power word,) and those words that touch on the thoughts, concerns, expectations and emotions of your clients helps you keep them engaged and connected to you and your presentation. Speaker George Walther is a master at “Power Talking” and it might be a good idea to sit down and study those words that make the most impact on your presentations. Let me give you a few examples:

I Care

You’ll be happy

Great return on investment

Avoiding complications

Help or Help You

Peace of mind

Saves you heartache

Avoid mistakes

Protecting your family

Use as few words as possible: You know I’ve never met a great speaker, communicator or salesperson that was a “talker.” Your skill as a communicator or a salesperson isn’t the ability to recite long narratives or drone on and on. A great rule of thumb I’ve always taught is “NEVER sell with blah-blah what you can sell with blah.” You get the picture. Want to take that one step further? If you really want to see how effective someone is at selling, videotape them and watch it back without sound. You’ll be able to see if they’re communicating by watching their face and body gestures and their prospects’ reaction. Try it!

2. METHODS: Methodology can be a little tricky. Just remember that you are almost always selling to more than one person such as spouses or business and/or personal partners. When you understand that opposites attract and that there’s also a good chance that one is and “Analytical Al or Ella” and one is an “Emotional Ed or Ellie” then you realize that you have to be able to communicate effectively with both. How?

Use facts with emotional words. The analytical person needs to see and hear the facts and numbers while the emotional person needs to connect to your words. For example, “That should give you both with an 18% return on your investment and provide you with the peace of mind you’re looking for.”

Use visuals: I always tell my students that a picture is worth a thousand…dollars! Sure, it’s worth a thousand “words” to most people, but when it comes to selling, a visual or picture is worth a lot more than that. Using visuals such as brochures, articles, special reports, graphs, newspaper clippings, etc. with the right corresponding words allows you to communicate with both the visual person who needs to see, as well as the auditory person who needs to hear the details. Start building a tool chest of collateral materials that can be used as valuable visuals during different aspects of your presentation and practice how to best use that visual and in what situations.

Use Questions: Asking questions throughout your presentation is a perfect way to keep your customers with you. Both analytical and emotional people need to participate in the process. For example, when you’re communicating great facts and figures, and the emotional person is clearly in over his or her head, a question such as, “Would that provide peace of mind?” or “Does that sound like something that would work for you?” is a great way to bring them back into the conversation.

Break-it-down into numbers:  Breaking your presentation down by the numbers makes it easier for the emotional person to understand, and makes the process “complete” in the eyes of the analytical person. For example, use phrases such as: “three step process” or “part one of four” or “six point presentation.”

3. Delivery: Your successful delivery lies in facial expression, body language and voice inflection. You want all three to match the mood of the conversation. In other words, if you’re talking about something sad, don’t plaster a huge smile on your face. If your topic is serious, ensure that your expression matches that emotion.   Most importantly, always remember to look people directly in the eye. When you do that you’re demonstrating sincerity, caring and a genuine interest in what they want and think. Consider many of the top stars in the entertainment and radio industries – they got there because of their ability to use their voice to communicate and engage the listener. Practice your voice inflection by adding pauses, slowing your pace in some areas, speeding it up in others or raising and lowering your pitch.

The bottom line is this. BE yourself. BELIEVE in your product. BECOME a Duke or Duchess of Dialogue Selling and BE Successful! I wish you well!    

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