So You Want to Sell More?

I know, I know.  What does a bean-counter, accountant geek know about sales?  Actually more than you might think.  But setting aside all pre-conceived notions, I wanted to share an article I discovered today.  It’s about the physiological changes in people who are asked to talk about themselves.  It is really quite fascinating.  Here is the article:

Facebook, Twitter, other social media are brain candy, study says

By Deborah Netburn

May 8, 2012, 2:05 p.m.
In her article, Deborah says:

“Researchers at Harvard have gotten to the bottom of why so many of us are compelled to share our every thought, movement, like and want through mediums like Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest. In a series of experiments, the researchers found that the act of disclosing information about oneself activates the same sensation of pleasure in the brain that we get from eating food, getting money or having sex. It’s all a matter of degrees of course, (talking about yourself isn’t quite as pleasurable as sex for most of us), but the science makes it clear that our brain considers self-disclosure to be a rewarding experience.”

So what does all that have to do with selling more?  Quite a bit, if you think about it.  Effective selling initially involves active listening during the approach, interview and demonstration phases.  You as the prospective seller should only be talking 20% of the time or less while trying to determine and clarify the needs of the prospective buyer.  So if you are listening 80% of the time, that means that the prospect is talking 80% of the time.  If you are asking the right questions, they are talking about themselves and/or their company.  Now refer back to the physiological response above as determined by the smart folks at Harvard.  I think that if you have allowed the prospect the pleasurable experience of talking about themselves, they are likely to be in a much more favorable state of mind to give strong consideration to the value proposition you are trying to present and ultimately sell.

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