It’s important to remember that you’re always selling something. This is an automatic process. Whether you’re selling a new idea to your boss, selling a reason you should be hired, or selling your children on going to bed on time, these are things that happen automatically. As soon as it’s clear what outcome we want to achieve, we automatically begin selling.
This process, when natural and organic, never comes across to the other person as a sales pitch. It comes across as an idea or belief you feel strongly about and are influencing the person to follow your lead. It works best when emotion is used to drive this “sale” as its seen as a genuine request.
Once we break away from the automatic nature of selling it starts to become forced and unnatural. This will cause the person to feel like they’re being sold something. Once they have this feeling, whether real or imagined, the sale loses its magic. It’s easy to lose sense of our innate, automatic-selling ability when we learn too much about sales. We learn about delivery: cadence fluctuations, verbal tone, body language, keywords, triggers, etc… Once we begin consciously including these proven sales strategies in our pitches, they ironically start to work against us. Why? Because we aren’t in flow anymore. We’re no longer selling automatically.
So how do we fix this? How do we keep our sales pitch automatic and natural? The key ways to do this are easier said than done. A good example is “Practice Makes Perfect”. Yes, practicing new strategies will eventually become automatic – but the “perfect” part never happens. As a salesman, you should always learn more about how to influence people to buy into your sale and incorporate new techniques. But, it’s important to distinguish between a practice-pitch and an automatic-pitch. A practice-pitch is one where you consciously incorporate newly learned strategies or techniques. An automatic-pitch is one where these strategies and techniques are already ingrained in your pitch and flow naturally.
If there isn’t a lot riding on the sale (already not interested or little potential for a big sale) this is when you practice your new stuff. If you have to pitch 100 people before selling 1 person, this is a perfect condition to practice new concepts so they become automatic. Now, if you’re under pressure to deliver a sale, have limited prospects, are pitching a “whale”, or anything that causes you to feel pressure – don’t practice. Let your sale be automatic. Most people can tell when they are being sold, by instinctively picking up on subtleties in your “new” practice-pitch.
So in short, to increase your influence and sales, and to lower your energy expenditure – let your pitch be natural and automatic. Don’t try to sell. Don’t let it be obvious you’re selling. This will only come from practicing new techniques. We are all already born great salesman. It’s the technicalities and tying to better our sales process that actually becomes detrimental to our success if we aren’t conscious of how we deliver our message. Practice, practice, practice until your new and improved pitch becomes automatic.
To close this off, it’s also important you don’t fear the prospect realize you are selling them. It’s just as important to ask for the sale with confidence. You just don’t want your prospect to realize that every component of your interaction is related to the sale. You want to be human and treat them as such. If you’re selling a thermometer, you shouldn’t start the conversation with “Hey, what’s the temperature outside where you live — oh you haven’t been outside? Sounds like you need a thermometer. Thermometers are great here’s why…”. Instead, spend more time listening, let your brain automatically decide the best sales pitch and approach. You’ve already done hundreds of practice pitches of all types. This is where you become confident you will automatically choose the best strategies for dealing with this specific person’s needs.