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    Top Secrets: How Do Top Performers Sell?
    What do you do when the pressure is on to boost your sales performance? Do you push your prospects harder? Say whatever is necessary to get appointments? Concentrate on rapport - building techniques to get prospects to like you?

    These are just some of the tactics you may have used to make sales. So you may be surprised to learn these are not the methods used by most top sales professionals. Top sales pro's don't convince, persuade, or "help" prospects to buy. Instead, they play smart. They target their efforts carefully, and they view selling as a process of mutual communication and agreement.

    Let's contrast these two different approaches. The first is the traditional sales method. Think of it as the art of persuasion. The second approach is what we call High Probability™ Selling, or the art of agreement and commitment.

    Know Your Mission
    The big difference between these two approaches is the overall mission you set for yourself. If you're like most salespeople, you set goals something like this: Find prospects who apparently need your products or services. Make appointments with as many of those prospects as possible. Then do whatever it takes to get them to buy. But there are two major flaws in this approach:

    • You waste a lot of time and energy on prospects who will probably never buy from you.
    • You turn prospects off. Getting prospects to buy requires mental manipulation. This makes your prospects defensive, suspicious, unreceptive, and resistant, and puts you in an adversarial relationship.

    If you use a more practical approach to sales, you have a very different mission: Find the prospects who already know they want the benefits of your product or service. Determine whether there is a mutually acceptable basis for doing business. Then the close grows naturally out of this mutual exploration.

    Take a Closer Look
    This practical approach to sales differs from the traditional approach in several ways, you're able to:

    1. Disqualify all low - probability prospects. Instead of wasting time with people who are unlikely to buy from you, you concentrate on people who already want to buy the product or service you offer.
    2. Do business only with prospects with whom you have mutual trust and respect. You develop the ability to determine quickly if this relationship exists. If it doesn't, you quickly terminate the sales process. Like disqualifying low - probability prospects, this prevents you from investing time and energy in people who will be more trouble than they are worth.
    3. Identify what a prospect's buying intentions are. When someone becomes a low - probability prospect, you can cut your losses immediately and move on.
    4. Determine what your prospect wants and whether you can deliver. As soon as you realize you cannot meet the prospects conditions of satisfaction, you disqualify that prospect and move on.
    5. Honestly discuss the pro's and con's of your product or service. This builds a relationship of trust and respect between you and your prospect. If your prospect believes the benefits of your product outweigh the flaws, you'll get the sale anyway. If not, isn't it better to know upfront than to watch the deal fall through at the last minute or end up with a disgruntled customer?

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