The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 28, 2009 • Issue 09:12:02
Be the sale
|| Intuition is reason in a hurry.|
- Holbrook Jackson
In telemarketing you are taught to say the same thing on each call and not vary or embellish upon the script. It is a numbers game. If you make 100 calls a day and only one out of 10 callers responds favorably to the pitch, that is seen as a pretty good day.
While the technique is effective, it is limiting. As a seller, you are not able to use your personality or body language to influence the pitch. Equally, you are not able to "read" the prospect's body language or the atmosphere of the business in order to recalibrate or modify the pitch to maximize your chances of making the sale.
In effect, telemarketing minimizes all that you are as a seller - that intuitive side you may not even know you have, or use. But when merchant level salespeople (MLSs) go on sales calls, all their senses are employed in steering prospects toward the close. Even that most mysterious of senses comes into play - the sixth sense.
I know that
Intuition can be defined as that sixth sense, or that feeling in the gut, or that little voice inside your head. It allows you access to the right information just when you need to know it. In fact, looking through an intuitive prism is akin to knowing the question and its answer simultaneously. It somehow gives you clarity of thought, even when you are in complicated or confusing situations.
So intuition is instinctual. But it is more. It is awareness of instinct. When you are aware that intuition is in play when you are involved in a pitch and you trust that intuition will steer you in the correct direction, intuition only enhances your technique and your ability to alter it on the fly to suit your needs.
Intuition helps you:
- Find the right words to say at the right time
- Generate rapport with prospects
- Predict prospects' behavior
- Recognize opportunities
- Convince prospects to say yes
Practice makes perception
For example, you call on a potential client, expecting to pitch him or her with cheaper pricing than your competitors. But you notice that the prospect seems upset or flustered. When you ask why, the merchant replies that the receipt paper jammed in the terminal, which caused the merchant embarrassment. Your instinct kicks in; you help fix the problem, and you mention that the terminals you sell never jam.
Or you're at the local grocery store to pitch your standard line - superior customer service. Then you see a rack of prepaid cards languishing at the back of the store and something is triggered in your head.
You ask the merchant at checkout - as a customer, not a sales rep - where their prepaid cards are. When the merchant says they're in the back, you say why not put the display nearer the checkout, where shoppers can easily see it?
A month later, the rack is now up at the checkout and the cards are selling. The merchant remembers your suggestion, or maybe you mention the previous conversation. But the merchant is impressed with your advice, at which point you drop your name and the ISO you're affiliated with. Presto, you have just established a new merchant relationship that may pay off immediately or in the future.
In both instances, the approach you took was not based on mechanically following your usual procedure, like you would recite a telemarketing pitch to the hundredth contact that day. Instead, you improvised, given your reading of the environment and the merchant.
Expand on impact
Of course, intuition applies to all facets of life. It may direct you to open a door for an older person with a cane, or return to a pedestrian the wallet you saw him or her drop in the park. In your private life, it may mean presenting your partner with roses for no apparent reason or calling your mother just because she came to mind.
Whatever the case may be, intuition can have a profoundly positive impact on all aspects of your life. Taking action with inspiration and awareness has a way of doing that.
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