It’s our conversations that shape our results. We live in the Age of the Consumer, and it takes more than a just good price and a good product to win. Today, it’s the way you treat each customer, and the way you communicate your value, that matters most. Whether you are trying to secure an appointment, gain a commitment, or close a sale, your success is determined by what you ask, what you say, and how you act!

Customers will always seek information, but influential conversations go way beyond a simple exchange. The best communicators understand that in order to truly influence others, you have to do more than give them information, you have to get through to them.

Last month in Part 1 of this article, I shared how by applying the first law of influential conversations, Your Style Trumps Substance. Initially, to your communication, you can become a trusted advisor who your customers want to engage with, connect with, and listen to. I also shared how by applying the second law, Their Feelings Dominate Your Facts, to your communication, you can become a person of insight who sees beyond the words, gains the personal edge, and creates value that is both powerful and unique.

This month in Part 2, I will help you take advantage of the remaining two laws of influential conversations. You will learn what it takes to lean-in and lead your customers, create an environment of urgency, and inspire action. Make no mistake, the quickest way to improve your results is to improve the quality of your communication!

Law 3: Their Words Matter More

We all want to be able to lead our customers to take action and do business with us. The problem is, the only way you can get anyone to do anything, is if they want to do it. Your customers are human, and no human-being likes being told what to do. We want to do what we want to do when we want to do it, and if it’s not important to us, then it’s not important.

You cannot have an influential conversation if you don’t get through to your customers. The best communicators get through and confirm that their customers get it. What’s more, they ensure that their customers personally own their existing problems and the solutions to those problems. One of the ways they accomplish this is by asking timely purposeful questions. It’s all about taking what you know needs to be said and asking the questions that guide your customers to say it. Your customers have to say it if you want them to own it!

Anytime you encounter a situation where your customers’ expectations need to change for you to successfully take the next step towards a sale, the most effective way to facilitate that change is to ask questions. This is true whether the conversation is price related, payment related, product related, or personnel related.

Statements are notorious for causing disagreement, but the right questions allow for discussion. Moreover, statements rarely change peoples’ perceptions or actions; but the right questions influence what your customers focus on, think on, and take action on.

The best communicators harness the power of questions. The right questions can help you create curiosity, create credibility, collect game-changing information, connect with your customers, create level five value, and close a deal! In short, nothing is able to fuel and advance your opportunity with a customer more than asking the right questions.

While questions are a great tool, there are two types of questions that should be avoided at all cost.

1: Questions that harm or diminish your trusted advisor status.

Never ask a question that forms a wall between you and your customers. As a trusted advisor, it is you and them, in it together. You must be headed in the same direction if you want to reach the same destination.

2: Questions that don’t leave the door open for further discussion.

Never ask a question that creates a take-it-or-leave-it scenario. Great communicators are careful to intentionally leave the doors open with their customers no matter what. If you leave the door open, then every ‘No’ is nothing more than a ‘Not yet.’

Customers buy for their reasons, not ours. I have no doubt that you provide your customers with reasons to buy; but in order to have an influential conversation, your customers have to own it. Their words matter more!

Law 4: Interaction Fuels Action

Nothing inspires action more than genuine interaction. Interaction only happens when both you and your customers are physically taking some sort of action together. This could be filling out a survey together, completing an application together, experiencing a product together, or selecting an option together. The key is that whatever action you’re taking; you’re taking it together!

Unfortunately, we are the ones that typically complete all of the activities. We simply ask our customers questions, and then we take the corresponding action, while our customers sit and wait. If your customers are only exchanging words with you, they are not fully interacting, and you are missing out on an important opportunity to really lean-in and lead your customers.

We are the ones that routinely arrange our customers’ choices. A true professional shows their customers the way, but if your customers cannot build and manipulate their choices through some action on their part, then they are not truly interacting.

All too often we demonstrate our product rather than help our customers experience the product. Whereas, in an influential conversation, all of the feeling, flipping, pushing, pulling, turning, and twisting is done and experienced by our customers, not us.

The best communicators know that the magic doesn’t happen when your customers watch or listen to someone or something, the magic happens when your customers interact and experience something meaningful. Your customers don’t want a verbal brochure. They want a professional who gets them and makes the process fast, fun, and interactive! Influential communicators intentionally create an environment of urgency by leveraging their personal connection, their own urgency to help, and the momentum created by interaction.

The four laws of influential conversations are dependable guideposts that can help you positively influence more customers to take action and buy. Professionals that align their communication with these principles enjoy conversations that result in more engaged customers that are eager to listen, and willing to follow. If you want to build your personal influence, become a trusted advisor, and leverage solutions that are aligned with what really drives your customers remember: Style Trumps Substance Initially; Their Feelings Dominate Your Facts; Their Words Matter More; and Interaction Fuels Action. By applying these four laws, you can not only get through to more customers, but you can improve the customer experience, drive appointments, and increase sales!

Author: Mike Hirschfield CEO, Assured Influence

Mike is on a mission to empower, equip, and exalt sales and finance teams everywhere! Mike has served in both franchise and independent dealer groups, leading teams as large as 80+ to reach new heights of achievement. Mike teaches how to build personal influence, become trusted advisors and leverage personal solutions that are aligned with a customers’ most powerful buying motives. Mike empowers teams by developing their ability to build connections and lead customers to take action and buy now! EMAIL: Mike@AssuredInfluence.com

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