In his recent workshop, one of Richard Bandler's mentees asked how to go about improving his sales technique. Here's Richard's advice to his mentee.
Richard Bandler: Your clients come in, they have needs and they're always going to be making decisions. I mean that's the nature of your clients, they come in and when you ask them, "What do you want?" they have to make a decision. I do it all the time because my clients that are coming in, most of them don't really know what they need and I know that right off the bat. If they knew what they need, they wouldn't be here in the first place. Your business may be different, if you sell certain things, people know they don't have a car and they need one when they go into a car lot. But even when I worked at a car lot, which I used to do as a hobby, I did it during the oil crisis and I went into a Mercedes lot and sold the biggest gas guzzlers there were.
When I found behind the lot there were all these Lincoln Continentals and Cadillacs back there in the weeds, I had somebody cut down the weeds, polish the cars and sold Cadillacs that got like eight gallons to the mile in the middle of the oil crisis in 1979. The owner of the lot said, he goes, "We can't give the cars away." I said, "Don't worry about it, I'll sell them all." That's because the people that came in, all they were talking about at that time was what they thought they needed. When they came in, they'd go, "Well they're beautiful cars."
If they didn't come in, they'd be across the street at the Toyota lot and I'd go over and stand on the edge of the lot and look at them like this. They'd walk up, I'd go, "You going to buy that car?" and they'd go, "Well yes." I'd go, "Wow, you don't have any kids, right?" and they'd go, "Well yes, I have two kids." I'd go, "Oh, well you don't like them," and they'd go, "I love my children." I'd go, "So to save a little money on gas, you would risk your children's lives because if that car gets in an accident you're going to be looking at your kids arms coming out through their skin and their heads and their eyeball hanging out. What are you going to say your wife, I saved a few bucks on gas?" They'd go, "Well what do you think I should do?" I'd go, "I think you should come with me," take them across the street and show them a big giant Cadillac. Imagine that Toyota hitting this and they'd go, "But what about gas?" and I'd pop open the trunk and I'd put in a 75 gallon reserve tank. I go, "Since this car is $3,000 and that new car over there is $20,000, you could buy a lot of fucking gas. I mean excuse me, power windows, leather seats, all this good stuff." I said, "You weren't really asking the right question about what's important. Yes, you want to be able to drive for a long time without having to buy gas because you don't want to wait in line but are you willing to risk your life or your children for it?"
To me, I'm always looking at them and making the questions more important than the ones they're asking. They go, "Well I need to save a few bucks on fencing." I go, "Really? That's how you think about it, is how much money you're going to save?" Well I've had salesmen... I worked for a company once and the salesmen sold chain link fence. They all looked at me and they said, "All chain link fence is the same." I said, "No, it isn't because when you look at the fence you either feel like you made the right decision or you don't." That's what a sales person does, they lead you through the way in which people make decisions. What makes it faster is by taking control of that process. So whatever they tell you is the hierarchy of making a decision, it's probably not right. You've probably talked to a lot more people that have bought your services or the products that you sell than anybody so you probably know more about what's important than they would even suspect and so you have to back them up. You go, "Look, most really uneducated people believe," and then tell them what they're about to say to you and then they won't say it. If people come in to buy a car and they would go, "Well you can buy a car anywhere," and I'd go, "Yes, you can buy any car anywhere. Nowadays you can buy one online but that doesn't mean you'll have the right people to back it up when that car breaks or when something goes wrong."
This is the starting point for Richard's discussion of his sales strategy - Richard went on to give far more advice on how to really make selling work and prevent buyer's remorse. It was, indeed, a real masterclass.
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