Dan Kennedy On Selling
After learning Dan Kennedy’s Magic Bullets for Business Success, he taught us his most closely guarded, never before revealed, Secrets of Hardcore Selling. Since I received a copy of Zig Ziglar’s book Secrets of Closing the Sale twelve years ago, I’ve been a serious student of sales, and I’ve never heard anyone talk about selling the way Dan talked about it at the SuperConference.
What is Hardcore Selling?
Hardcore Selling is about taking away a persons free will and having them act in a way they habitually wouldn’t.
Sound harsh? Manipulative? Cruel? Actually, hardcore selling is the polar opposite of those things when you truly understand your prospects and customers. People are inherently indecisive. They can’t make a decision, and they rarely make the right decision. Believe me. I realize it seems a bit strange, but according a Gallop Poll 85% of Americans don’t believe they’ll have enough money to retire. On average Americans don’t retire until around the age of 67 years old. So why, after spending 40 some odd years working, don’t they save enough money to retire?
Simply, people rarely make the right decision. Most people inherently know they make poor decisions, which is why they don’t like making decisions.
Why Customers Can’t Make a Decision
Wife: What do you want for dinner?
Husband: I don’t care. What do you want?
Wife: Do you want to go out for dinner?
Husband: I don’t care. Do you want to go out for dinner?
Wife: I don’t care. I guess. What type of food do you want?
Husband: I don’t care. What type do you want?
Wife: I don’t know. What do you think about grabbing some Italian?
Husband: Sure. Italian sounds good. Where do you want to go?
Wife: I don’t care. Where do you want to go?
Husband: Doesn’t matter to me. I’ll let you choose.
Wife: How about Olive Garden?
Husband: Sounds good.
Wife: Okay, what time do you want to go?
Husband: Umm, I don’t care. What time would you like to go?
Wife: I don’t care either. How does 7:00 sound?
Husband: Sounds good.
Sound familiar? If not, listen to your friends and co-works talk while trying to make a decision. This is not an uncommon conversation. Actually, it’s commonplace. Here’s why your prospects and customers can’t make a decision:
- Incapable – they don’t have the ability or knowledge required to make a decision
- Poor Value Judgement – When someone buys a new set of golf clubs rather than save for retirement, they are making a poor value judgement
- Cheap – they gravitate toward the lowest possible price
- Negligent – they just don’t make a decision
- Habitually Indecisive – most people are guilty of this. They can’t make a decision easily. Ever.
What does this mean? It means that you can’t trust your prospect or customer to make the right buying decision. You, as the professional, have to be willing to do everything in your power to help them make the right decision – which may very well be purchasing your product or service. You have to be willing to offer your product or service in the most compelling way possible; and if they don’t buy, you MUST be willing to followup.
What Customers/Prospects Do After You Offer Your Product or Service
Most people are mistaken about what happens once you offer their product to a prospect. Most incorrectly assume that their prospect rushes out and buys from a lower priced competitor. Actually, that rarely happens. We assume this is the most common decision simply because it’s the most visible – meaning you see or hear that your prospect has purchased from your competitor. Rarely do you hear or notice that your prospect hasn’t done anything or decided to wait another three months to make a decision.
You see, the two most common results for your customer after not buying from you is to either do nothing or simply delay their buying decision. If you sincerely believe that your product or service will have a positive impact on the life of your prospect, their decision to wait or do nothing can’t be an acceptable decision for you. If you sincerely believe that your prospects lives would be better with your product, you owe it to your integrity to adamantly try and persuade them to at least buy from you competitor.
Let me give you an example to help illustrate this point:
You sell fire detection systems for homes, and today you have a scheduled appointment with John Doe. John lives in an older, less affluent part of town. You arrive on their door step at exactly 2:59 – and confidently knock on their door.
Mrs. Doe opens the door and you see three small children, one with a toothless grin that reminds you of your nephew. As your ushered in to their living room, you spot Mr. Doe sitting in a well worn recliner. He’s glued to the flat-screen television on the wall, intermittently shouting praises or frustrations at the players running up and down the court on the screen. Only after a stern word from Mrs. Doe does he notice you’ve entered the room.
Something about the smell of the room reminds you of the local ballpark. Your nose indicates traces of pizza, popcorn, and cotton candy. As you’re making small talk, you notice the thread-bare sofa, the holes in the carpet, and small finger prints scattered across the walls.
Mr. Doe is quick to let you know that they have no intention of buy your fire detection system, and they are only interested in the free $25 pizza gift certificate they get for sitting through the presentation. He quickly fills you in on their financial situation. He was laid off three months ago and hasn’t been able to find another job. Little Tommy suffers from ADHD and his medications cost the family $100 a month more than they can afford.
The more he talks, the more unsure you feel about even attempting to sell them your $1,295 fire detection system. After all, they can barely afford Tommy’s medications. There are so many things that they need. Christmas is only a couple of weeks around the corner; and if you sell them your fire detection system, you will certainly be taking away the children’s Christmas presents.
So, you decide to do what any kind-hearted, compassionate sales person would do. You don’t even attempt to close them at the end of your presentation. You say your goodbyes, wish them well, hand them their pizza gift card, and quickly move on to your next presentation.
Just a few days before Christmas, you begrudgingly grab a copy of the newspaper to begin the daunting task of selecting a gift for you wife. There, right on the front page of the paper in bold font is the address reading Family of Five Killed in Horrific Fire. As you scan the article, you can feel the blood drain from your face, and you get a queasy feeling in your stomach….it was the Doe’s.
Should you have pushed them to buy? Should you have used every closing technique in the book?
You Have to Truly Believe
Do you truly believe in your product or service? Does it bring value to your customers? Does it make a difference in their lives? Does it prevent them from suffering needlessly? If not, you need to find a new product or service to sell. If your like us at Ugly Mug Marketing, though, you passionately believe in what you sell.
At Ugly Mug Marketing, if we don’t believe what we are selling will truly benefit a particular customer, we will refuse to let them buy from us. If we know a new website will benefit a business and they don’t want to buy from us, we’ll provide them with a list of our competitors and encourage them to buy from them instead. We believe in what we do…how about you?
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