14) THE IMPORTANCE OF ALIGNING WITH OTHERS
HAVING OTHERS ALIGN WITH YOU
If you want people to align with you, it’s important to steer the conversation into a direction that enables them to say ‘YES’ as much as possible. If, for example, they say they are experiencing a lot of stress at work, you may ask them: “So what you’re looking for is something that will help you feel less stressful, less anxious at work, is that correct?” (They’ll reply, ‘Yes’ and that will be your first ‘Yes’ in the conversation.) Proceed: So let me ask you, “When you are feeling stressed at work, where in your body do you feel the stress…on your neck and shoulders…does your stomach hurt…do your legs get wobbly?” Response: On my neck on shoulders. You: Oh, so you’re feeling it mostly on your neck and shoulders, right? (your second ‘Yes”) Proceed: “I have 3 products that I would like to talk to you about. Let me tell a little about each of the products, then I’ll ask you a few questions as we go along so we can both
zero in on the product that will best meet your needs. Shall we do that?” (3rd
‘YES’) Proceed with presentation of product and questions aiming for as many ‘Yes’ responses you can get.
“So based on what you told me, in my professional opinion, out of the 3 products we talked about, either of these two products (name the products) will work really well for you. Out of two products that I recommend, which one do you gravitate toward? Whatever he/she picks, you reply with: “I think you
made the best choice.” (I’ve never gotten a return item when the customer picks their own product. As a matter of fact, if the item didn’t help they come back and buy the second item recommended). At this point assume the sale and STOP TALKING! This is a critical point in the sales process. Whoever talks first does not win! If you talk first and blabber on about one more thing you thought about or start talking about the price or whatever comes into your mind, you lose. So start the paperwork and if the customer talks about price or whatever else, you keep on filling out the paperwork and answer or rebuttal in the calmest of ways. Keep reassuring him/her that they made the correct choice.
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ALIGNING WITH OTHERS
People want you to agree with them on whatever they think or feel. So say ‘yes’ to them as many times in the conversation as you can.
If someone complains that one of your products is so expensive, don’t blast out an immediate no-it’s-not and don’t be apologetic. Instead say something like this: “Yes, I used to feel the same way, too. Then I found out how expensive it is to produce, and how limited the materials are...( talk about the benefits)…So today, I can’t believe that I think it should cost more.”
If they complain about waiting on the phone forever with customer service, don’t start off by defending the company and spitting out reasons why that’s the case. Say something like this: “Yes, I know. I had that same experience myself. I guess the holidays (or the call volume …) gets to everyone. Sometimes I can be patient and understanding, but other times I’m embarrassed to say, I lose it. I’m sorry you went through that. Now… this is something that has helped me to get to them more efficiently…or this is something I do while I’m waiting…
If someone complains about a product…it didn’t work…I wasted my money…it made me feel terrible... don’t start with defending the product or the company. Instead, look at this as a great opportunity to boast about your company’s return policy and their great commitment to providing the best customer service. Immediately offer them a refund or a credit. Talk about how much integrity the company has about returns, how they stand by their product and customer satisfaction…how, as customer, they never have to worry about trying new products.
After you have assured them that they will receive a complete refund, then and only then can you ask them questions to figure out why the problem didn’t work for them. Say something like this: I’m surprised that the product didn’t work for you. This is a very popular product and frankly I’ve never had a return on this product. How long did you use product x…how did you use…what reaction did you have…?