Required Reading: The Key to Selling More Is Selling Nothing
Sales coach and trainer Joe Pallo claims to have developed an approach that has helped hundreds of top sellers double or triple their production without spending more time at work. Called the EARNING system, Pallo spells it out in his new book, How to Sell Nothing: The Logical Way to Make the Emotional Sale. In the following interview with CRM editor Leonard Klie, Pallo offers a logical blueprint for making the emotional sale by first creating the relationship.
CRM: You say in the book that salespeople today talk too much and don’t listen to customers or prospects. Why do you think that is the case?
Pallo: If you ask most salespeople, they will all admit that they have all talked past the sale. Personally, I believe that whoever is talking is buying. In a selling situation, if I am talking more than you, I am literally buying your objections. We need to get prospects talking. Doctors can’t treat a medical problem until the patient tells them what’s wrong, and I can’t sell you until you tell me what’s wrong or how and why to fix it.
You say the answer for this problem is for salespeople to sell nothing. How does that work?
There are two sales that need to be made: the logical and the emotional. Both are important, but the logical sale confirms the sale, the emotional sale makes it happen. We need to sell to what prospects want (the logical piece), but most important, to why they want it (the emotional piece).
You advocate for salespeople to repeat back what the prospect said? Why is that important, and how does it translate into closing the deal?
One of the biggest complaints prospects have with sales is that no one listens to them. When you take the time to listen to someone and repeat back what was said, it does the following:
- It shows that you listened/cared.
- It confirms the message.
- It gets them to think, “I like this guy. He gets me.”
Mentally, it gets you on the same side of the table before you even start selling.
In the book, you propose the EARNING system. What are the seven steps in this system, and can you briefly explain each of these?
E = Evaluate the prospect’s current reality, gathering the data.
A = Advantages, finding out what prospects like about their current vendor or situation. In this step, prospects are telling me their hot buttons, what I need to close on.
R = Revise. What do prospects want to change? This is the major reason they will go forward.,
N = No. Who can say “no” to the next step? This looks at whether I have the decision makers in the room.
I = Interpret back. Repeat what the prospect said. This is a huge piece.
N = Nothing. Ask the prospect what will happen if nothing changes. This creates a sense of urgency.
G = Gain. This looks at the pay value if the prospect’s issue is fixed or resolved.
You encourage salespeople to focus on building emotional relationships. How can they do this?
What people want is important, but why they want it is extremely important. I strive to never speak, teach, sell, or coach until people tell me what they want and why they want it. Then I simply sell that.
What is the one message you want readers to take away from this book?
It is easier to sell what prospects want to buy vs. what you want to sell. Our job as salespeople is to take the time to allow prospects to say not only what they want but why they want it, and then sell that. It takes all the ickiness away from sales and allows you to close with confidence.