Use the Sales TRIUMPHS Model to Outperform
Your Sales Competitors
By Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Susan has been
doing well in her sales career for many years. She understands how
to make cold calls, how to follow up on leads and referrals and how
to offer excellent customer service. Yet, she’s amazed at how much
more successful her colleague, Michael, is, when she puts much more
time and sweat into her work than Michael seems to do. She wonders
what is missing in her approach.
The key difference
between Michael’s and Susan’s approaches is the fact that Michael
has trained himself to be an “active listener.” He uses the
T.R.I.U.M.P.H.S. model to not only to help him maximize his sales deals,
but even when he is not “selling” anything, it is a powerful
technique that helps him communicate effectively with his wife and
This model works
wonderfully for virtually any product or service that one is
selling. Here are the components of your sales
T Treat your
client/customer with respect and value.
Developing rapport with the prospective client/customer is a crucial
first step. Smile, position yourself at the same level (sitting or
standing, depending on what the client/customer is doing), and
slightly lean toward him, maintaining eye contact. Make sure your
cell phone is on silent and you can give undivided attention to the
Listen to what
the prospective customer is saying and don’t shuffle papers or start
thinking about your response. Just listen to her. Regardless of
what the person asks, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need
to answer immediately. It’s ok to say, “That’s a great
question. Give me a day or so to research our products to find the
one that precisely addresses your question.” Some prospective
customers can be long-winded, nervously asking a lot of questions,
especially with expensive products. Cutting off a speaker may lose
you the rapport you need to develop. Always give the speaker the
courtesy of finishing a point before you interject yours. Again,
take notes so you won’t forget what you wanted to say.
the meaning of what your client is telling you before you actually
The best way to
understand your prospective customer is to make sure you are
listening carefully and the best way to do that is to reflect or
paraphrase what you heard him say before you comment on it.
An example is, “What I’m hearing is that you are not certain that
our product will serve your needs.”
I “I statements”
are powerful. As you paraphrase and reflect back what the buyer is
saying, you can use “I statements,” which are very powerful. For
example, “I am getting the feeling that you are uncomfortable
with this product and would like some other options.” For you
to start with “You” would be much more threatening for the buyer.
“You don’t like this product.”?
It is important to
realize that by understanding what the listener is saying, doesn’t
mean necessarily agreeing with him. You are simply showing that you
are hearing his concerns. Example, “Fred, I hear your concerns
because of your last experience with a similar product. Let me get
the information you will need to make you feel better about this.”
Always acknowledge the speaker and his position before voicing
U Understand the needs and goals
of your client/customer.
If you are genuine
and sell quality products that will truly satisfy your customer’s
needs and desires, the customer will trust you. That includes not
selling him the most expensive product if you believe it is not
right for him. Nothing gains their trust more than you being honest
Monitor the tone and mannerisms of
the prospective customer.
Body language is
so important that studies point out that only a small percentage of
what is “heard” by a listener are the words of the speaker. Most of
what is “heard” by the listener is tone of voice, smiling, facial
expressions, vocal inflections, etc. Watch for all of these indices
of your customer’s mood and attitude. You might even wait for a
pause and make an interpretation of what you are sensing. An
example is, “I am feeling as if you believe that I am trying to
force you to buy this product. Is that what’s going on in your
P Probe gently and with respect.
Your job is
to try to understand what your prospective client/customer needs and
how you can accommodate those needs. The only way to show people
that you have exactly the product to satisfy those needs is to ask
gentle questions about their goals and hopes (related to your
product). An example is, “If you could describe the ideal
software to solve your business problems, what would you like it to
do for you?”
H Help your client feel safe in
purchases, such as insurance
policies, automobiles and investment products,
clients needs to feel safe discussing her specific money issues.
Gently probing about personal and family situations that affect
their pocket book requires them being able to trust you. This
entails ensuring confidentiality and showing genuine concern for
their needs. If you expect them to share their biggest fears and
insecurities, you must focus in on what they’re saying, be sensitive
and assure them that you will help them to meet their goals.
You’d be amazed at how much you show the speaker you are listening
by frequently summarizing what you just heard. This will also help
you to focus and remember what the speaker is telling you. If you
have hit the key points in your summary, the speaker will feel
validated and closer to you. If you missed key points that he is
trying to convey, he can inform you about that at this time.
Practice this with friends and family. It’s easy to get the hang of
it and it really works!
Sticking to this
model will surely
bring you your share of triumphs over your competition!
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