Change the customer’s mood, if it’s not receptive. If the customer is not in the right frame of mind for the meeting, switch gears and address this. Insisting on progressing with the pitch will likely backfire. If his mood won’t change, his mind won’t either. So change the customer’s mood and watch his mind follow.
Any meaningful communication calls first for a connection. If you two don’t connect, the communication is unlikely to be productive. And connection is emotion. “He didn’t inspire me with confidence”, could be the reason why you failed the interview despite having the requisite knowledge and skills. To the question, ‘Why did you buy from the 4th sales person despite the other 3 pitching the same thing?’, the customer, even you, may have found yourself saying, “He understood us.” Or, “He was so confident.” Or such like emotion charged response that demonstrated a connection.
Change customer’s mood; he’s human
Now customers are as human as you and I. It is possible to find them in an unreceptive mood when you arrive at the appointment. I’m not implying here that customers are always in a receptive mood by the way. No, far from it. They are usually guarded and slowly open up as you gain their trust. That’s why it’s necessary to align your objectives to the buyer’s for a faster close. Anyway, I’m referring here to finding a customer grumpy or distant or distracted or plain angry or in any emotions you do not want your customer to feel. This is any frame of mind that will call for a reframing so as a connection can be derived.
How to change customer’s mood
Now then. A concern ridden, “You seem to have something on your mind. Did I come at bad time?” is ok to ask, if it is clear he is distracted. Yes, I’m aware that it’s an appointment and the ideal situation is that he has his full attention on you. Now, that’s difficult if he’s just received a call that his son has been rushed to hospital and he wants to be done with you before he rushes there.
It’s difficult too if a crisis has just developed at work. For instance, a colleague in the factory has been injured and being the factory manager he needs to attend to this. Or, his about to go for a COVID test; or, his laptop has just crashed and his data had not been backed up. In all these instances, he may mean well to give you, your time of day, but it’s highly unlikely to be productive if you ignore his mood.
Forming a connection
So first change his mood, and hopefully his mind will follow. And so to your concern, don’t be surprised to see his eyes light up in appreciation and him responding, “Yes. Sorry about that. It’s just that something personal came up. But let’s continue.” Don’t yet. Prod further. “Are you sure? It’s Ok if we postpone this to a time when you are more settled. It’s not a matter of life and death.”
He’ll likely hesitate briefly, and you know he wants to agree and so you make it easier for him. “Tell you what. You go attend to what you must. Let me know if it’s ok if I check with you in the evening, how it went.” His eyes sparkle at your show of genuine concern and he says, “That’s ok. Thank you for understanding,” An emotionally charged connection has been made. You changed his mood. When you do a follow-up sales call, days, even weeks later, him changing his mind to agreeing to what you are saying, will be that bit easier.
Follow-up sales call
Inadvertent as it is, it’s an easy way how to follow-up with a customer without being annoying. Perseverance in sales is not just about getting numbers, it’s about patience and understanding. Emotions are as important in customer service as they are in sales. Selling is after all giving a service, and giving a service is selling.
Incidentally, the customer may respond, thus, “No, it’s fine, I’m sorry. In fact, do you mind giving me 15 minutes to sort out an issue with my laptop and then I’ll be back?” Please don’t tell me you’ll say, no.
Changing the mood of the customer is an essential element of a sales call. It’s how you connect emotionally with customers and build a lasting emotional connection with them.
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