Navigating behavioral cues was the subject of a recent HubSpot blog post. Vanessa Van Edwards runs a behavior research lab called the ‘Science of People’ that focuses on helping salespeople. Her six psychology tips to enhance sales calls complement many of Dale Carnegie’s tried and true Human Relations principles.
Give the prospect a positive punch. Van Edwards recommends, “Start with a bang- Never start a sales meeting or pitch by talking about bad weather, traffic, or being busy. Always begin with a positive comment or anecdote.” Similarly, principle #2 from bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People and featured The Dale Carnegie Course is, “Given honest, sincere appreciation.” For example, a sales professional may recognize the prospect’s recent successful launch of a product or service, or compliment something specific that the prospect is wearing. By kicking-off with a positive comment or compliment, sales professionals warm prospects up and demonstrate their genuine interest in them.
Don’t criticize the competition. Dale Carnegie’s first Human Relations principle is, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” While it is tempting to highlight areas in which competition fails, research shows that when you badmouth someone else, your audience projects those same traits on you. This phenomenon, called spontaneous trait transference, is a psychological quirk that can sabotage your sales pitch. As Van Edwards explains, “If you say your competitor is low quality and unreliable, your potential client can’t help but associate those traits with you, even if they know logically that you are talking about a third party.” It’s better to be silent than to criticize, condemn or complain.
Use premium labels. The 28th principle, “Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to,” reinforces that assigning a positive label to the prospect cues them to actually live up to that label. Van Edwards notes, “When you are with a client or potential customer, give them good labels… the client will actually want to be one of your best customers and try even harder to be a pleasure to do business with.”
Be proactive by providing an agenda. Dale Carnegie said, “Only the prepared speaker deserves to be confident.” Articulating an agenda and procuring the prospect’s agreement is a sure-fire way to demonstrate that you respect the prospect; are well prepared and vested; and most importantly, that you are talking “in terms of the other person’s interest,” Dale Carnegie’s 8th Human Relations principle. Providing an agenda will also you maintain control so as to ultimately help keep the sales meeting on track.
Exercise emphasis. “Dramatize your ideas,” is Dale Carnegie’s 20th principle, and underscores the critical nature of acting passionately when presenting your topic, idea, product, service, etc. By emphasizing key words and phrases, whether through voice inflection or body language, you will appear more passionate, convincing and articulate to the audience.
If you are eager to see your sales performance soar, consider enrolling in a Dale Carnegie Sales Effectiveness course.