Selling Is Like Kissing
Just think back to the first time you kissed someone of the opposite sex. That might be a LONG time ago for some readers but try anyway. You remember how exciting (or scary, for some) it was. You felt your heart racing and you weren’t really sure exactly what to do. You knew that the lips should probably touch but you weren’t sure if you should close your eyes or not. You did close them because this was your first kiss and you were somewhat embarrassed by all of this.
I remember my first kiss. I missed the target somewhat and felt awkward and silly. Oh, it felt good all right and I sure wanted to do it again someday but for now I was satisfied. I got my first kiss.
What does selling have to do with kissing? More than you think, probably. Just think about that first kiss and you will learn how to sell. Kissing is a perfect metaphor for selling. Let’s look at all the aspects to this first kiss and you will see that if you are a good kisser, you will be a good salesperson.
Kissing Rule #1
Know whom you want to kiss.
Determine exactly whom you want to sell to. The Kissee is the prospect. First, you have to find the right person to kiss. Same with selling. You wouldn’t just go around kissing anyone now would you? No. You would look for someone who matched a certain criterion of someone you would want to do this activity with.
Why don’t more salespeople sell like that? It seems that many salespeople go after just about anyone. They really don’t have any idea of who is the “ideal” client. They really don’t know who are most likely to want to kiss. They really don’t know, for the most part, if the person has enough interest in them or not.
Generally, salespeople go after just about anyone who is breathing. It takes more than breath and a pulse to be an ideal kissee, (prospect).
What I see, far too often, is salespeople going around giving small kisses to a great number of people looking to find the a “hot” kisser. They were told by their friends that kissing is a numbers game. If you kiss one hundred people, you will find at least one person who will be interested. You’ll make one sale for every hundred prospects.
That might be right, but the problem is, it takes a long time trying to find the one who will buy. Also, being rejected 99% of the time is no fun, especially when you have such a fun activity to engage in as kissing (selling).
Who is your “ideal” prospect?
Where to they work?
What corporate level?
How much do they earn?
How old are they?
How long have they been in their industry?
Are they likely to become repeat buyers?
How do they make buying decisions?
Are they people who know you?
Are they people who now own a competitor’s product?
Where will they buy?
How much budget do they usually have?
How long is their buying cycle?
Is a.m. or p.m. the best buying time?
Are they in the habit of buying on the spot?
Who are they buying from now?
You should know exactly who buys what you sell. It should be written down. I’ve heard people tell me that they sell to “corporations.” Really? Which ones, small, medium, large or multi-national? How much revenue does the “ideal” corporation have? Who is the best person to talk to in the corporation? Knowing this in advance changes your whole approach.
Kissing Rule #2
Make sure they are leaning towards you.
The kiss, or sale depending on how much you are following this metaphor, is the goal. Sure you might be nervous. Sure you might know what to do but questions always linger on in your mind about whether they want to be kissed. Does this “ideal” prospect want to buy? How do you tell? How can you know for sure if you should take the plunge and try to make the sales? Look for these signs:
Are they leaning towards you?
You can’t kiss someone who is leaning away from you. The same in selling. You can’t really sell someone who is backing away from you. Still, that is the approach most sales people take today. It’s called cold calling. Sure some might call it “gold calling” and “warm calling” but if you don’t know the prospect and you have no way of knowing without some prior contact, it’s still cold and you probably hate doing it.
Who likes to kiss someone they don’t even know? Not me!
If you want to have a good first kiss make sure that the prospect is leaning toward you. Preferably get them to call you. Instead of chasing and chasing them, which is the approach most salespeople take, I recommend get them interested. Give them an irresistible offer and wait for them to approach you rather than you chasing them.
I often mention in my seminars that you should and can have more prospects than you know what to do with. People laugh and think I’m somewhat naive to say such things. All I know is that that’s exactly the way I sell and it’s the way our students sell. I am not interested in trying to sell someone who has not first approached me in some way. The reason for this is that the minute they advance towards me in any fashion, I know I have someone who is pre-disposed to buy what I’m selling.
If I walk around the Mall in Downtown KL with a sign on my chest that says, “Kisses RM2.00, One Free Sample Allowed” and someone comes up to me, then I know that I have a strong likelihood of closing the sale. Get the picture?
Kissing Rule #3
Make sure that you have enough time and that the location is right.
You can’t kiss someone on the run. You can’t sell without the persons full attention. I’ve seen salespeople who are so desperate for a kiss (sale) that they will talk to anyone and in almost any situation. You can’t sell effectively when there are kids screaming in the background, the telephone is interrupting every 4 minutes. Be sure that you have their full attention and that you have enough time to finish the job.
The best kissers take control of the situation. When I was dating my wife, she never let me kiss her in just any location. If her father was around, there was no way to make the sale.
When you sell, make sure it you have enough time, attention and location to do a complete and professional presentation or simply reschedule it to a time that is more convenient which will yield better results.
I know of some insurance salespeople who bring along a children’s video whenever they make a sales call in a home with small children. They simply plug in the video and they are almost guaranteed a solid hour of uninterrupted time. Don’t sell in less than ideal situation. You are a professional. You don’t need to beg to sell people. No, change your approach.
The reason so many people put themselves through so many difficult situations is that they don’t have enough prospects. Get more. Give them some reason to call you, some irresistible offer. They will.
Mail 5,000 post cards in your city and offer a Free Audio Cassette Tape. Record a 20 minute sales presentation and at the end have them call you. If you send out 5000 post cards and they are done right, a good number will call you. Shirley Yip, from Kuala Lumpur and a member of The Mastery Institute is a very innovative salesperson. She is very successful yet she is always willing to try new things. Recently, I sent her a letter and she sent the reply by audio cassette. It was such a novel idea that I couldn’t wait to open the envelope and listent to it. She is putting her sales presentation on audio cassette and will give away a certain amount every signle day. People like Shirley Yip will surely win in life because she is willing to try new things. I love learning from and been around wonderful and successful people like her.
Kissing Rule #4
Do you have their consent?
The most appalling thing in the world is to try to steal a kiss. Has anyone ever done that to you? It sort of reminds me when I used to go to the theater with a girl when I was younger. Half way through the movie, I’d slowly stretch my arm over my date’s shoulder and slip my arm around her. Before long, I’d get a slap and the arm would come off quickly. Some people have tried the same thing with kisses. You can’t really have an effective kiss without the other persons consent. You can’t sell someone either without their consent.
Has anyone ever tried to sell you something even though you made it quite clear that you weren’t in the market? Isn’t that annoying? It sure is and still, desperate salespeople try to sneak a brochure, name card, flyer or presentation without determining if the prospect has given approval to make an attempt.
One day, Buck Rogers, then Vice President of IBM went on a sales call with two junior representatives. If they landed this account, it would have been one of the largest ever in the history of the company. They arrived 10 minutes early. The Chairman of company they were calling on made them wait 30 minutes.
Buck Rogers decided to leave and the junior reps followed. He was on time and felt that the man must simply be too busy and he left. He was a professional and did not want to sell under those conditions.
The Chairman called the next day. Buck simply told him that he was there on time and that if he was serious in talking he would come back again but that he wouldn’t wait. He conveyed a sense of confidence, not arrogance. You must stand your ground. Stop begging for business.
Kissing Rule #5
Have a clear idea of the target.
If you are going to kiss someone, you must have a clear idea of where the kiss is going to
land . Are you aiming to kiss this time or are you just checking for interest? Are you looking to close or simply qualify? Once you know what you want to do, then you must fix your attention on that and make sure you are not sidetracked. You must accomplish the objective. You must achieve the outcome you set out to achieve.
Selling and kissing are so much alike. In kissing for the first time, it is so easy to get off track. You might get scared and decide not to kiss. That’s a wrong move, don’t chicken out, do it. The same thing in selling.
Some times you get scared and decide not to attempt to close. Maybe on the first kiss you decide that a kiss on the cheek is all you want to attempt. Then as you get closer you want to kiss on the lips. You allow other things to change your course of action. What should you do? I’m not sure! I’ve succeeded and failed in both situations. The best bet is to do what you have thought about doing before the presentation begun. If you are on a fact-finding mission than find the facts and get out. If you are there to make the sale, kiss quick and leave.
Kissing Rule #6
Only kiss if you intend to marry!
One kiss often leads to more kisses. It’s natural. It’s what should happen in selling too. One sale should lead to another and another and another. Okay, we won’t take this metaphor too far. I will say this though, in my vast experience at kissing and selling, I can tell you that the best person to kiss is the person to whom you have made a lifetime commitment to in a ceremony we call marriage. Marriage has permanency, trust, commitment, respect and honor
If you want to sell someone, my suggestion that the best approach is to sell them as you would court and marry them. Marriage is based upon communication. Why do so many people sell hard and never call after the sale? That’s cheap! Why aren’t you in regular contact with your client base? I recommend being in touch with them at least 12 times per year. Imagine building a marriage if one spouse only called twice a year! The relationship would die. The same in selling.
The old way of selling uses manipulation to get a kiss or sale. It’s a “one-night stand” model. No, in the 90’s, we must kiss with a view to marriage. We must sell with a view to long-term, trusting relationships. This will ensure happier customers, more consistent incomes and much higher referral rates.
I know this is true because after my first kiss, I went back to my chums and told them all that the girl was such a good kisser. Words spread for good kissers and it does too for good salespeople.
Original post here.