Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Say All There Is To Say, Then Let The Chips Fall Where They May..."

by Sid Walker

Selling Without Wrestling

In the 1998 romantic fantasy, Meet Joe Black, Anthony Hopkins plays a mega media mogul who is about to die at a relatively young age. As the movie opens, Brad Pitt is a sales rep sitting in a coffee shop who by chance meets Hopkin's daughter, a young medical doctor played by Claire Forlani.

Pitt and Forlani have a love at first sight connection. They part but never get each other's names. Pitt then walks away from the coffee shop, gets hit by a bus and dies instantly. This provides a body that the personality of "Death" can take to come and get Hopkins. So Death (in Brad Pitt's body) ends up at the Hopkins estate and appears to be a friend of Hopkins.

Claire Forlani can't believe that the guy she met in the coffee shop is a friend of her Dad's. Pitt, now with his body inhabited with the personality of Death (not the guy in the coffee shop) and Forlani fall in love. Forlani knows something isn't quite right, but is so in love she ignores her intuitive warnings.

At a critical point in the movie, Hopkins confronts Death, who is in love with his daughter, and asks him what his plans are for her. Surely she can't have a long-term relationship with Death.

Death says that they love each other. Hopkins explodes and says that what they have isn't love because she doesn't know who he really is. She is in love with the guy she met at the coffee shop not Death. He further explains that love is knowing everything there is to know about someone and only then can the other person choose to be your partner based on who you really are.

I won't spoil the ending in case you never saw the movie. My brief description of the story can't capture the great acting and opulence of this visually spectacular epic. It is worth a look, or a re-look.

So why have I added movie critic to my long list of duties? If you are a Relationship-builder in your approach to sales rather than a Client-Controller, you care more about people and your relationship with the client than you do about making the sale. Sure you want to make the sale, but you are not going to do everything you can to get your client to buy like a Client-Controller would. You are going to help your client make an educated decision that feels right to them and trust their decision whatever it is. This is the basic premise of the Selling Without Wrestling® approach.

It occurred to me that this is the same point that Hopkins was trying to get across to the personality of Death in Brad Pitt's body. You say everything there is to say to the person you care about. You tell them everything there is to know about you, and then let the "chips fall where they may." (You trust the other person to do what feels right to them.)

As a Relationship-Builder, you find out everything you can about your client's finances, how they feel about what they are doing with their money, and what their hopes and dreams are. You find out what they want that they don't have. You show them options on the best ways to achieve their goals. You educate them on the pros and cons of the best options. You make them aware of the consequences of not doing anything. And then, at the end of all that, you ask them to make a decision based on what feels right to them. You and your client, "say everything there is to say to each other, then let the chips fall where they may."

I once coached a woman named Leslie who was selling Long Term Care insurance with some Client-Controller types. They were doing a very aggressive one-call close sales approach. She was dedicated to the concept of Long Term Care insurance and what it could do for people. She was very technically astute about the products and had been a nurse for many years prior. But she felt horrible using the tactics of the Client-Controllers.

After hearing Leslie relate all the frightening details of the aggressive approach being used by the Client-Controllers, I asked her this question. Could you have an appointment with your parents tonight and help them make an objective decision about whether or not they should own Long Term Care Insurance? She said, "Absolutely!" I said, that is all you ever need to do with anyone!

I said go help people make an educated, objective decision that feels right to them. This isn't about trying to sell everyone you talk to. This is about helping people make the decision that feels right to them. If it turns out to be a sale, great. And it often will with this approach!

If the conversation doesn't turn into a sale, you have still succeeded in helping someone make an informed decision that feels right to them. What often happens when you treat people with this level of honor and respect, is that they will find something else they need to buy and you end with the sale of another product.

And who is more likely to be willing to give you referrals, someone who has just been hammered into a corner, or someone who really appreciates you for the approach you have taken and the help you have given them in making an informed decision that feels right to them.

Rent the video Meet Joe Black. It will give you an analogous metaphor to hold the power of the low-key approach. (This movie isn't violent but it isn't for kids.)

As to Leslie's success...I talked to her a few weeks after we had our conversation. She left the Client-Controller's to work on her own selling Long Term Care and was making one or more sales a week without all the trauma and drama!

Enjoy your summer,

PS: If you'd like to get Sid Walker's free ebook: "How to Psych Yourself Up for Prospecting" go to this link :

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