Do You Use the Power of Contrast When Selling?
Frank Belzer is the Sales Archaeologist and Author of Sales Shift.
Have you heard the story of the girl-scout that sold more cookies than anyone else?
She would start by offering a ticket to a gala; the gala ticket was $5000 for a table. She asked over and over again until she got a no. Then she would say “well how about some cookies? They are only $12 a box?”
This young lady had discovered something very powerful – sometimes people need to see contrast as they go about making a decision. Contrast allows us to see clearly, it defines the edges; it calibrates the eye and helps us every day of our lives make good choices in everything from clothes to driving. It also helps when we sell.
Are you helping your prospects to see the contrast clearly? Are you providing the right type of comparisons for them to consider? Are you leaving it up to chance or controlling the process?
- The contrast between doing something and doing nothing
- The contrast between you and any competitors
- The contrast between now and later
- The contrast between long term and short term
- The contrast between the easy choice and the hard choice
- The contrast between best for their business and best for their ego
The list could go on couldn’t it?
So many times we are with a prospect or client and we assume that the contrast is obvious and crystal clear. However it may not be clear at all. We need to walk our prospect through the scenario and help them see the difference. We need to ask questions that will uncover the sometimes subtle differences that might be lurking in the background – unnoticed.
What is involved in doing that? Is it really difficult? Is it a complex style of probing and questioning that only few can master? Not really.
“Usually when I’m talking with someone about ___ there are several options they are considering…”
Then simply ask questions related to your experiences, your clients experiences or their experiences. This will help them consider all the implications of the choice that is in front of them. The advantage is that if you bring it up (rather than a competitor or someone else) you set the context. It also demonstrates confidence and belief in your solution.
Our decades of analysis show us that most sales people shy away from conversations related to competitors or current solutions, preferring to talk about themselves instead. Great Sales People go there and they do so fearlessly.