Why you should practice permission selling

Permission selling is rarely practiced. This is unfortunate. You practice permission selling when you seek the prospect’s agreement before taking any action that involves them. Permission selling involves the use of statements like, “Is it okay if I…?” or, “Do you mind if we….?” You catch the drift.  Here are 3 reasons why you should practice permission selling. The more if your selling is largely conversion based.

You align to the prospect’s frame of mind.

When you are selling moving services, loans, land or mortuary services, prospecting is not something you do actively like, say, one selling insurance services. The former services involve conversion, not ‘selling’. I mean, you don’t go out telling people, “Hi! I’m selling mortuary services. If you are dead, you should know our mortuary services,…” or ask for referrals, “Do you know anyone in your family dying soon?”. Of course, not. When selling these services, prospects come to you in response to your marketing activities or via referral.  And when they do, they are already interested in your services. To use sales parlance, they are hot leads. Their frame of mind however, is, “Court me first; it’s not marry me, now!” Traditional selling goes for marriage now; however, being alive to the prospect’s frame of mind, permission selling goes for courting. Here’s why.

You cover all the steps in the sales cycle

That they are a hot lead is both good and bad news. The good news is that half your job, the tougher half, (prospecting) is done. The sad news is that the average salesperson assumes this means, jump to close. It doesn’t. This is because you ignore all the other important steps of the sales cycle. As a reminder the steps are prospecting, interviewing, presenting, validating, negotiating and closing. The hot lead just covers prospecting. Going for close is skipping all the steps in between-much to your detriment. (Read more about that here Build your bridge to successfully sell a lead)

practice permission selling

Now you know why your conversion rate is low. You went too quickly to kissing her before she sent out the “I want you to kiss me signals.”  To get there with the prospect,  try using permission selling instead. For instance, at interview stage, ask the prospect, “I’d like to ask you a few questions about your situation to better align what we have to what you are looking for. Is this OK?” This is seeking authorization to progress to interview. And it aligns itself to the already ‘sold’ frame of mind of the prospect.  When you don’t use permission selling the prospect feels rushed.

Practicing permission selling gives the prospect a sense of control

When you politely ask questions, seeking permission to proceed, the prospect feels in control. And in an industry where the buyer-seller relationship is fear, instead of value-based, permission selling removes the feeling of selling being doing something to somebody rather than something for somebody, or with somebody. The prospect feels inspired to voluntarily open up about his situation. He feels he is in charge, when he responds with, “Yes. That’s OK. You can start the moving the items from my son’s bedroom and finish with mine.” Or, “Yes, I’d like that.”

Try it out. Let me know how it goes.


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