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Sales Behaviors That Make It Easier To Engage with Buyers With Nancy Bleeke [Episode 499]

What actions and methods are you taking to make sure buyers want to talk to you?

Nancy Bleeke, President and Chief Sales Officer of Sales Pro Insider, and author of a great book called, Conversations That Sell, joins me for the second time on this episode.


Sales Pro Insider now has a completely virtual group facilitated offering, that is doing fantastically. 12 people and a facilitator meet by webcam, with breakout groups, for two days, with no travel cost.

Nancy explains how to ‘ditch the pitch.’ Get over wanting to tell people everything that you can do without it being important to the prospect. Have conversations where the prospect speaks the most.

The default sales behavior is to pitch. Have one or two sentences ready to give context to what you do. “We help companies to grow their sales. To find out if that’s something we can help you with, I have some questions for you.”

Tim Wackel suggests asking, “Do you think we’re ready for a proposal?” This helps you when you know what their need is and they are willing to meet. Nancy had a client double their conversion by selecting the right time to give a proposal.

An important commitment is to meet for the proposal and go over it. Don’t send it. Take them through it. Every conversation throughout the sales process needs to connect to what’s important to them, or it’s a pitch.

A good story to tell is about a previous customer. The story answers four questions, within 30 seconds. The prospect gets involved in the story, and self-persuades. John Steinbeck said people only want to hear stories about them. Help them relate.

Behaviors have a trigger, a process, and a reward. Even bad habits have a ‘reward.’ The reward for telling a story isn’t how good you feel about what you said, but the value the customer received from it, to continue the conversation.

People you are selling with, don’t want to be handled or overcome. They want a solution, so they talk to you. You want a sale, so you talk to them. Collaborate with them, don’t handle them. Help them work through the decision process.

An objection is just a question. It means, I don’t understand. It’s important to understand the question they are asking, which means that will take some questions in return. Both parties may need more information. It is not an adversarial situation.

Michael Bungay Stanier says, listen without judgment. Don’t raise your defenses. Stop and listen to what they are saying. Don’t cut them off. Don’t interrupt.

Pattern recognition leads us to jump to conclusions. Fight your bias. Ask questions before assuming. Train yourself to bypass the amygdala hijack. Prepare and practice asking for more information. Respect what they need to say.

Don’t think about shutting the customer up. Collaborate. Find out what they’re asking, before discounting or changing scope. Take a breath and ask deliberate questions.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.