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Here Are Those “Dirty Tricks”
I Promised You Last Week…

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

I really hate to say “dirty tricks,” but these honestly are “subliminal tricks” I’m going to talk about here.  And if that isn’t a dirty trick, well, I don’t know what is.

Last week I offered some “non-dirty tricks” to help you be more successful in your sales calls.  This included:

  • Get an “upfront contract” (mutual agreement) of the purpose of your meeting BEFORE the meeting starts.
  • Pull out a piece of paper and ask them “What’s Most Important to You?
  • Don’t ever answer a question “blindly.” Instead, say “Well, that’s an interesting question. Why do you ask that?
  • Summarize and “play back” their answers to them, to (1) demonstrate that you were listening, and (2) make sure you really are on the right path.

The above are all good clean honest and justifiable steps to take to have a good sales meeting and improve your closing ratios.  Now let’s get into some more subtle and perhaps slightly more questionable tactics that will nonetheless make your prospects more comfortable with you, and almost certainly lead to more sales.

Subliminal Trick #1: “Use Your Personal Energy”

Use your Personal EnergyI hereby confess that I blatantly stole this trick/tip from one of my industry heroes, Mr. Brian Van Bower.  I sat in on Brian’s “10 Ways to Crush the Competition” session at the 2015 IPSPE (where I’m pretty sure he did NOT get his butt chewed…), and admired that he brought up the subject of “Ki” (or Chi or Ch’i, or Qi).

He told me later that he has an entire 2 hour session just on the subject of Ki; He felt it was that important.

Ki (pronounced “key”) refers to
“The vital energy that animates the body internally.

I’m well aware of Ki, and a firm believer in its power, but I must admit I never considered discussing it in a sales class– at least not until I saw Brian talk about it. But now I realize it’s EXACTLY one of the “dirty subliminal tricks” I’ve been trying to teach all along.  Now I don’t have 90 minutes (or a year) to teach this deep Eastern concept of Ki, so let me simplify and pragmatically suggest the following:

  • Stop for a moment, close your eyes, and FEEL the incredible energy surging all over inside your body.
  • Think of this energy as LIMITLESS, and readily available to you anytime you want it.
  • Recognize that this “human energy” inside you actually reaches BEYOND your skin, and can touch the people around you.

Yes, I know, kind of “spooky” nebulous stuff.  But know this – people with a powerful Ki will often be referred to as “charming” and “charismatic” and “magnetic” and “fun to be around.”  And I’m thinking that’s not a bad thing for ANY salesperson, especially a swimming pool salesperson.

Now if this concept is all too fuzzy and spiritualistic for you,
then try this instead: BE ENTHUSIASTIC.

Because if you simply get yourself excited and enthusiastic about helping someone obtain their “dream come true,” you’ll pretty much accomplish the same result.

Now let’s move on to the rest of the tricks, which I promise are a little less spooky and more “nuts and bolts” things that you can grab onto and utilize.

Subliminal Trick #2: Listen in “Beta Mode”

Be an active listener

This too may sound “spooky,” but this is truly based on hard science. The fact is that the conscious human brain runs on brain waves, and is always operating in one of 2 modes, either “Alpha mode” or “Beta mode.”

  • ALPHA Mode: The relaxed, uninterested, energy-conserving auto-pilot mode, which is exactly where the human brain PREFERS to be, 100% of the time.  This is considered “normal.”  (It might also be considered LAZY, and that would be accurate.  That’s the way our brain works.)
  • BETA Mode: The full-on, wide-awake, fully-engaged, high-alert status where the brain is running at full capacity, paying attention to all inputs at once, and actively searching for answers. This mode is reserved exclusively for IMPORTANT STUFF, like a house on fire, or watching a football game, or going out on a first date. It also works when a mother hears her baby cry, or when a stranger calls out your name in a crowded room.

When you are selling to someone, you most definitely want them to be in “beta mode.” 

If you notice your prospect’s eyes glaze over,
then you know they’ve slipped from Beta to Alpha,
and you can bet your sales pitch is pretty much over.

But let me be clear – it’s not just your prospect’s brain we’re worried about. YOUR brain needs to be in beta mode also – ESPECIALLY when your prospect is talking. So you need to conscientiously train yourself to “listen in beta mode.” Be fully-engaged, wide awake, on high-alert status, paying close attention to every single input your prospect provides.

This should be easy, because the whole point of your sales meeting is to help your prospect find a solution to their “problem” (which is to get a new pool).  But if you ever felt like one of your sales calls “ran on autopilot,” then you know that YOU slipped from beta to alpha, and you probably lost the sale.

Subliminal Trick #3: “Mirror” Your Prospect.

Mirror your prospectNow this one is just about as easy as it gets, which is ironic, because you can spend months if not years studying and practicing the concepts of recognizing “personality styles” and utilizing different personality measurement tools.  This includes such well-known assessment programs as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI), the DiSC Behavioral Styles system, the Wilson Learning “Social Styles” quadrant system, and even neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

But here’s the problem – you can waste a lot of time and focus trying to figure out Is this guy a Driver or an Analytic?  And is she a High-i or a High D? And then you have to try to figure out How should I sit for the analytic?  And what should I say to the High D? Well, the answer is – DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.  All you have to do is “mirror your prospect.”

Don’t worry about all those “rules.”
Just “mirror your prospect.” Do what THEY do.

  • If they’re in a hurry, you should be in a hurry.
  • If they want to chat and socialize, then you should want to chat and socialize.
  • If they lean forward, you should lean forward.
  • If they lean back, you darn well better lean back.

See?  Super easy. And your prospect may not know why, but somehow they will feel more comfortable with you than they did with the previous salesperson who did NOT mirror their style or attitude.

Subliminal Trick #4: “Twinkling Eyes

Twinkling EyesThis is probably my favorite, because while it really is a dirty little trick, it totally works in just about ANY face-to-face conversation with another human being. (And yes, that includes DATING.) I’m sure you’ve heard someone described as having “a twinkle in their eyes.” Well, that “twinkle” is the result of a very real and natural scientific phenomenon.

When someone is genuinely interested in someone else (and their brain is in “beta mode”), then their eyes will involuntarily and rapidly look back and forth at each of the other person’s eyes.  That’s because you cannot look at 2 different eyes at the same time.  So instead – if you are interested in the person – you will look first at the left eye, and then the right eye, and then the left eye, and then the right eye, etc., and continue that at a rapid pace throughout the conversation.

And here’s what’s happening when you do this – whether voluntary or involuntary.  The light in the room is always reflecting off of your moist/wet eyes.  When your eyes shift, the light reflecting off your eyes shifts slightly also.  Most people won’t notice your pupils moving, but they will subliminally see the slight flicker of light when your eyes move.  Thus when it happens rapidly, you get “a twinkle.”

The light reflecting from your moving eyes causes a “twinkle.”

Ideally, this would happen naturally.  But if you ever want to make absolutely certain that the person you’re talking to understands that you’re interested in them, try looking at each of their individual eyes rapidly, back and forth.  They won’t know why, but somehow they will feel more attracted to you.  (See?  It really is a dirty little trick!)

By the way – the opposite of a twinkle is a “STARE.” It’s also referred to as a GLARE, because the eye is NOT moving, and you feel the other person’s white hot light just burning into your skull. NOT a pleasant feeling, and NOT the way you should treat your prospects.

Subliminal Trick #5: The Momentum of “Yes”

Start the staircase of YES

This is probably my LEAST favorite trick, because it really is manipulative.  (I would argue that the preceding 4 tricks are NOT manipulative, because they are designed to make you a better and more engaged and animated listener and salesperson.)  But it is still a real trick, and I would be cheating you if I left this out.  This dirty little tricks says:

If you get your prospect in the habit of saying “YES” right up front, then it will be much more natural for them to continue to say “YES” when it’s time to close the sale.

Now of course there is no guarantee this will happen, but it does in fact tend to stack the deck in your favor. And thousands of successful salespeople will swear to its validity.

Here are some easy, clever ways to start the momentum of yes:

  • Is now still a good time for us to talk?
  • Is it OK if I sit here?
  • Is it OK if I take notes?
  • Here’s what I was planning for this meeting… Does that sound right to you?
  • Is it OK if I take a look at your yard?
  • Did I hear you correctly… Did you say ________?
  • Would you be interested in seeing my proposal?
  • etc.

Well, I hope that by sharing these “dirty little secrets,” I haven’t destroyed your image of me. (I’m really not trying to manipulate you.)  I do this because I really want you to sell more pools.

To your success,

2016 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

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