How you can influence somebody with a simple phrase

Now, I came across this study and this study is quite eyeopening and it shows you how you can influence somebody with a simple phrase that is negative. Yeah. Here it comes. They did a study and what they were looking to do is that they had a person who needed money for a parking meter, right, person needs money for a parking meter, and the study would say, just approach any random pedestrian and asked them if they would be willing to give you money for the meter. So in other words, you would approach somebody and you say, “Excuse me, would you be willing to give me some money for the meter?”

Now, what do you think the yes rate was on that one? What do you think it was? 10%, 20%? Yay. If you said 0%, you’re probably from the East coast. That was a joke. If you’re from Midwest, especially Minnesota, you probably said 80% would say yes. Again, that was a joke too. But the study revealed that 50% of the people agreed to give the person some money for the meter. Wow. 50% decided to give them money for the meter. So then they wanted to find out, is there a way to increase that number? And what they decided to do was to use a phrase that would acknowledge the resistance to giving somebody money, acknowledge their hesitancy, and then make the request. So instead of just say, “Would you be willing to give me money for the meter?” They edit this phrase at the beginning, a preamble goes, “Look, excuse me, sir. I know you might not want to, I know you might not want to, but would you be willing to give me money for the meter?”

What do you think happened? That’s right. There was a spike in the number of yeses. Why? Why did that work? Why did that work in the majority of cases? Let’s analyze this. By acknowledging the resistance, I know you might not want to, but, and by the way, you realize that but negates the previous statement, but the interesting part here is that you’re acknowledging that they might not want to do it. I know you might not want to, but is there any way you’d be willing to give me money for the meter? And so I think this is a simple, powerful way to kind of lower the buyer’s resistance. I know you may not want to, for example, but would you be willing to start next week? Let’s say I want to ask somebody to start a project, right? And I know they’re busy, but I said, “I know you might not want to, but would you be willing to start next week?”

Or how about this one? Let’s say you’re trying to set up a meeting and you say something like this, “I know you might not want to, but can we get together next Monday for 30 minutes or so?” And again, you’ll feel the difference because again, you’re acknowledging that they’re busy, that there may be some resistance, but by doing that, you lower that resistance. How about this one? “I know you might be busy or you may not want to, but buying this now will save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.” That’s a nice way to do an upsell right there. I know you may not want to, but buying this now or adding this feature will save you a lot of headaches and a lot of money in the long run.

So there are so many ways, and by the way, you don’t have to use the I know you may not want to, but. You can come up with your own variations, maybe say something like this, “Maybe now isn’t a good time, but, maybe now isn’t a good time, but can we get together on Monday for 30 minutes or so?” Or how about this one? You’ve heard this one. “Look, I know you’re really busy, but would you be willing to get together for five to 10 minutes next week so we can discuss this?” That’s if you’re trying to get a meeting. So there are so many ways that you can use this, but again, the request is always going to be there. But by putting this preamble, acknowledging the resistance that, in other words, they’re busy, they’ve got other things to do and they may not want to do it. For some reason, psychologically, that kind of takes us away from this reactance mode.

Remember, when people push you into a corner, you react, right? When people force you to do something, like you have to attend that meeting, you’re like, “No, I don’t.” And so that causes that reactance. But by saying you may not want to, you may not have the time, phrases like that remove the person out of the quarter and give them options. Because isn’t that, as human beings, what we want? We don’t like people to restrict our freedom. Would you agree with that? We don’t like anybody to restrict our movement, our freedom, our ability to do anything, but we appreciate when somebody acknowledges that we might be busy, that we may not have the time, that I know it’d be a great sacrifice to them if they were to do me a favor. By acknowledging that, you’re more likely to get a yes than a no.

Leave me some feedback. I love to hear your opinion or how you would use this strategy in your business. Let me know what you think, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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Let me think about it

Today I want to post about that one statement, that one comment that customers make at the end of your presentation that you hate to hear, and the words are, “Let me think about it.”

Don’t you just hate that when you do a presentation, you think you’ve done everything right, you’re ready to make the clothes, and the customer says, “Let me think about it.” Why does the customer say, let me think about it? Well, there are several reasons the customer may want to say, “Let me think about it”. And what I’ve seen salespeople do is when they hear that the automatic response, the knee jerk reaction is to say something like this, “Okay, Mr. Customer, I know you need to think about it. When would be a good time to give back to you?” In other words, “When would be a good time for us to meet again?”

And sure enough, I want you to understand that once the customer walks out that door, once to customer walks out the door, the chances of them buying from you have gone dramatically down, and I’m emphasizing the word dramatically down. If a customer walks out of that room, the chances of you closing that deal have just gone down. So we don’t want the customer to walk out of their room because when they say, “Let me think about it.” Do you think they’re really going to think about it? Hmm, I don’t think so. I think some people, maybe a small percentage will, but the majority of customers will walk out of there and not give it much thought.

Given today’s busy schedule, everybody’s going to be what? Running around, and as soon as they walk out of the meeting, just like a goldfish with eight seconds of memory, they’re going to be on to something else. They’re going to totally forget about what you just said in that room. It’s going to become a low priority. Now, how do I know this? Well, we did an interesting memory curve study. Now listen carefully to these numbers. So if you’re driving, listen to this later again and write these numbers down. But if you’re in front of a desk, get a pen, get a piece of paper, you’re going to want to write this down. We did a study when it came to memory and here’s what he discovered. I’m giving you a summary of the whole study. Basically, he said that within 24 hours, people will forget 75% of what you just said.

Let me say it again because I really want this to impact you. Within 24 hours most people will forget 75% of what you just said. That means if the customer says, “Get back to me tomorrow,” by the 24-hour mark, they’ve already forgotten 75% of what you’ve told them. Even worse, we also concluded that within 30 days, customers will forget 90% of what you said. Within 30 days, they’ll forget 90% of what you said, and the 10% they’re able to recall, 50% of that is incorrect. So in essence, they will only retain 5% of the information accurately that you delivered.

So when somebody walks out of the room thinking, telling you rather, that they’re going to think about it, guess what? They’re not going to think about it that much. They’re going to move on to something else. So if you let the customer walk out, you can almost kiss that sale goodbye because they’re not going to really think about it now.

So what do you do? The customer says to you, “What do you think about it?” Most people, again, will respond as follows. It’s almost like a knee jerk, Pavlovian dog type of reaction. The customer says, “Let me think about it,” and you typically say as a salesperson, “Mr. Customer, I understand that you’ll probably need to think about this. When can I get back to you?” And then now you’re going to try to reschedule something and you know what’s going to happen. They’ll say, “We’ll get back to us in a week.”

Well, you know in the week they’ve already forgotten 75% of what you’ve just said, and then trying to reschedule the meeting is going to be a nightmare. By the way, just a note, you should always try to reschedule the next meeting at the end of that first meeting. Keep that always in mind. I always rescheduled the next meeting at the end of that current meeting. But putting that aside, I want you to close the deal there because, again, it’ll dramatically go down, your chances of closing it if you don’t close them at that moment.

So what do you say? Instead of saying, “Oh, Mr. Customer, well let’s get back together again. Let’s have another meeting. I understand that you have to think about it.” Don’t say any of that. Here’s what I want you to say. Here’s what I want you to record and put it in your head, and again, use your own words. I’m going to give you my words, use your own words. When a customer says, “Well, let me think about it.” I want you to say, in the nicest way but still very firm and aggressive, say something like this, “Mr. Customer, when someone tells me they need to think about it, it either means one of two things. It either means that they’re not interested or they’re interested, but not sure. Which one is it?”

Oh, isn’t that good? Because now I gave the customer an option. They have to tell me are they interested? And if they’re not, they’ll let me know. So let me say it again. The customer says, “Let me think about it. You say, Mr. Customer, when someone says to me they have to think about it, it’s either for one of two reasons. One, they’re not interested or they’re interested, but not sure. Which is it?” And notice I say, “Which is it?” I’m forcing the customer to give me an answer, and in most cases, the customer is going to say, “No, Victor, I’m interested. I’m just not sure.”

Now let’s pretend for a moment that we’re selling a billing system. Okay. Let me just put the meat on this example, just to give you a real raw example. I’m selling a billing system and they tell me they’re interested, but they’re not sure. Okay. So now I know that. And by the way, if they say they’re not interested, well guess what? You’re done. The only thing you can do there is, “Can you tell me why you’re not interested?” But essentially the deal is done. You’re not going to get it. But most people will always say, “I’m interested, but I’m not sure,” which means that you miss something in the presentation. You didn’t answer a concern or you didn’t block an objection. You missed something. That’s why they’re not sure and they needed to think about it.

So here’s what you’re going to say. As soon as they say, “I’m interested, but not sure.” You’re going to say the following. Write this down. You’re going to say, “Mr. Customer, when somebody tells me they’re interested but they’re not sure, they’re not sure for one of three reasons. It’s not a fit. The functionality is not there, or it’s finance.” And what you do is you walk through it slowly, “Mr. Customer, is this product a fit? Does it meet your needs?” The customer’s going to say, “Yeah, it does fit my needs, Victor.”

“Okay, so it’s not fit. So the product does fit well. What about functionality, the features of the software? Does it have all the features, Mr. Customer?” And maybe right there is when the customer says, “You know Victor, I like your feature set, the functionality, but it has a couple of things that that are missing.”

“Like what, Mr. Customer?” And then you could have another re-engaging conversation, and if there’s something missing that the customer wants and you know that you can develop it and deliver it, well, then you can block that objection. But let’s assume for the moment that the customer says, “No, it has the right features and functionalities. It has everything we want and more, Victor.” Then I said, “Mr. Customer, well it’s not fit, if it’s not function, feature set, then it has to be financed.” And the customer says, “You know Victor, it is more than we expected to pay.”

Okay, great. Now we know that it’s the money. If it’s the finance piece, we now know that it’s the money. So that’s when we can say to the customer, “Well, Mr. Customer, I understand that. You see the value of the product.” They’re going to say, “Yes, it’s just beyond our budget, Victor.” That’s when you as a salesperson can introduce maybe a net 30, net 60, net 90. In other words, they can pay for it in 30 days. They can pay for it in 60 days. They can pay for 90 days, or maybe you have a payment plan set up. See, most people don’t like to admit that they don’t have the money. They feel bad. They feel somewhat embarrassed also, but by framing it this way, it’s a more clever way of getting to the answer of why they need to think about it.

So let me repeat this again because this is important. If you use this, you’re going to close more deals. The customer says, “Let me think about it.” You respond with, “Mr. Customer, when someone says they need to think about it, they’re telling me that for one of two reasons. The first one is, is that they’re not interested. The other is that they’re interested but not sure, which is it?” Customer response, “I’m interested, I’m just not sure, Victor.”

“Okay. Mr. Customer, when someone says they’re not sure, it’s for one of three reasons that they’re not making a buying decision. The first one is fit. Does this product fit?” Have that discussion with the customer. If it is a fit, great. “The second reason, Mr. Customer, is typically functionality, features. Does this product have the features, the functionality you need?” Then you have that discussion. “So if you can resolve the fit, if you can resolve the functionality, in other words, you have all the features or you can implement them very quickly. Then Mr. Customer, if it’s not fit, if it’s not function, it has to be financed.” And that’s when you can have the money discussion.

Okay, get the idea of what I’m doing here? It’s very simple. I am funneling the customer into making a decision. “Let me think about it.” Two options, interested, not interested. “I’m interested but not sure, Victor.” “Great, if you’re not sure, there are three reasons. Let’s go through three reasons.” And when you go through the three reasons, they’re going to find out whether they really want to buy or not, but you’re going to remove every excuse for not buying. And that’s what you do instead of leaving the room. When they say, “Let me think about it,” again, try to close the deal there because that’s your best chance of making the sale happen.

5 Resolutions to Make As a Small Business Owner in 2020

With the new year quickly approaching, many people are taking time to reflect back on the peaks and valleys of the current year. As a small business owner, the next few weeks provide you with an opportunity to look back on the positives and negatives 2019 brought your business and make a plan to tackle this coming year. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips for you to include in your small business resolutions for this coming year.

Invest in the Proper Software

Technology is always evolving and as a business owner, your knowledge of what’s out there should be doing the same. Keeping up on the latest software is essential to helping your business run smoothly and efficiently. These days, you can accomplish just about any of your day-to-day tasks via an app or software platform. For example, our easy to use time tracking software not only logs how and where your time is spent on projects but also the miles you travel for work and provides the much-needed clarity surrounding the time spent on a client project and the unbilled hours per task. Investing in a program like this is a great way to ensure accuracy and efficiency which in turn generates profit for your business.

Streamline Your Finances

If you’ve been utilizing your personal bank account to serve your business needs, the new year is the perfect time to open an account solely dedicated to your small business. Up until now, you may have been able to slide by, but mixing your personal finances with your business will only cause you to stress in the long run. Before opening an account, think of the features you desire most. If 24/7 access to your funds, simple payments, and the ability to share information with your co-founder or team are must-haves, a digital bank account may be the best option for your business. Opening an online bank account is quick and easy to do and requires less time spent waiting in line at a bank leaving you more time to tend to your business needs.

Expand Your Social Media Presence

Simply signing up for a Facebook or Twitter account does nothing for your business if you’re not properly utilizing it. In the new year, make it a point to familiarize yourself with social media and all the ways in which you can utilize the various platforms to serve as a form of free advertising for your business. If social media is totally foreign to you, consider checking out one of these online courses or look into workshops available near you. If time is an issue, but you’re still interested in expanding your companies social presence, you may want to bring on a social media expert to join your team. In this day and age, there are various concentrations of expertise when it comes to social media so you’ll want to be sure to select the right candidate for your business needs.

Give Back to the Community
As a small business owner, you may know a thing or two about building from the ground up. In your early days of business when you were just starting out, it’s likely you received some form of help from the community in which your business is housed. Maybe a local bakery donated treats for your grand opening or the auto body shop in town placed your business cards on their front desk, either way, people rallied to support you in your efforts. In the new year, make it your resolution to return the favor and give back to your community. If your business is in the position financially, you can sponsor a local sports team or make a monetary donation to a charity near and dear to the area your business is housed. If funds are tight, volunteering your time at an animal shelter or soup kitchen means just as much! You can even turn this into a team-building activity and select one day a month to volunteer with your employees and their families.

Work on Your Personal Brand

As the owner and face of your business, it’s important to maintain your brand. You want your brand to correlate and be a reflection of the values and goals your strive for within your day to day operations. Maybe you feel you’ve got somewhat of a personal brand established but you’d like to shift directions or maybe you’ve been so tied up in building your business that you haven’t had an opportunity to build your brand. Either way now is a better time than ever to work on you. While there is no “one size fits all” method to building your brand, this article provides some tips on where you can start. Keep in mind, like your business, it’s okay to switch up your brand every now and then in order to be the best owner you can be and steer your business in the direction of success.

These next few weeks of 2019 lend you the perfect opportunity to review both the successes and failures you’ve experienced as a business owner this year. Once you’ve analyzed the peaks and valleys, you’ll be able to set the resolutions necessary to start the new year off on a great note. Remember, your business is always evolving and there is no right or wrong way to do things. Each year is a learning experience and a new chance to be the best business owner you can be.