What is sales if not persuasion and influence? Harry Mills counteracts popular myths about the profession in this episode.
Harry Mills, author of a new book called Zero Resistance: The Science and Secrets of Supercharging Your Sales by Eliminating Buyer Skepticism and Mistrust, joins me on this episode.
Harry is in Queenstown, NZ, “one of the most beautiful areas in the world.” Harry discusses the natural features, tourist activity, and wine production.
Harry sees resistance as the single business challenge that sales professionals face. He noticed in 2010 that shoppers had gone in one year from five web searches to 10 web searches for one purchase. This gave new power to the buyer.
Sellers in all environments are finding it much harder to get early engagement. The average B2B seller is getting in 62% or later into the buying process. Harry says direct persuasion needs to be replaced by insight-led selling.
Exaggerations by salespeople have created skeptical buyers, resistant to direct persuasion. Direct persuasion is using your reasons to influence the buyer. Self-persuasion is helping the buyer find their own reasons to buy.
Harry explains why self-persuasion has not been implemented in sales processes. He set out to establish a methodology with tools for building an empathy bridge, giving customers a choice. This is how he wrote Zero Resistance.
Harry compares old ways to build rapport with his way to generate trust. The empathy bridge was inspired by Nelson Mandela. First, eliminate friction to lower resistance.
Harry discusses applying his model to selling SaaS. Research the client to understand their deepest fears and concerns, and find deep connections and commonalities with the buyer. This leads to an empathy bridge.
After building the empathy bridge (after research), establishing fused identity, use stories to build connections.
The inside sales model uses one meeting to establish rapport. Consider whether the buyer sees you as a friend or a foe. Does the buyer see you have their long-term interest in mind, or your own? Do they see you can deliver?
The customer needs to help in crafting their solution, working with the salesperson on a sketchpad or whiteboard. Explore possibilities that would help the buyer; ask them to imagine the solution that will work for their needs.
Insight is about what the customer wants; the vision of what they want to be. Harry asks the buyer about their imagined future. He cites Steve Jobs, Andy Groves, and
Jeff Bezos on looking forward and reasoning backward.
A complex sale involves all the solutions tied into the strategic vision. Harry uses illustrations to capture one or two key points and leaves the rest to the imagination. Know more about the customer than the customer does.
The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.