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Find The Hidden Treasure
If you find the hidden treasure when you are talking to a potential client, you will dramatically increase your chances of gaining a client. What on earth do I mean by that? This hidden treasure sounds so mysterious.
I would go so far as to say that the majority of people selling never ever find this treasure. In fact, the majority do not even go looking for this treasure. They don't even know it exists and they have no idea how "golden" it is.
The hidden treasure is the "reason why." It is the reason why your potential client wants their problem solved (desire fulfilled) and the reason why they want it solved now. The real reason why is not initially obvious and requires you to go digging for it.
You go digging for the hidden treasure - the reason why - by asking questions. You will probably have to ask several questions to find it. Your potential client may not even know their reason why until you ask questions to uncover it.
Just suppose you sold a weight loss program, and Mrs. Smith contacts you and says she wants to lose weight and is interested in your program. It would be VERY tempting to immediately start telling Mrs. Smith all about your program and the price. Mrs. Smith would probably say thank you for the information and then ring up your competition and ask them about their program and their price too. Why shouldn't she? Wouldn't you?
In fact, telling Mrs. Smith about your weight loss program is what most (90%+) people would do. After all, that is what Mrs. Smith said she is interested in. Yes, but.
Yes, Mrs. Smith is interested in a weight loss program but WHY? What is Mrs. Smith's reason why?
If you go looking for Mrs. Smith's reason why - the hidden treasure - you will not only increase your chances of gaining Mrs. Smith as a client, but you might find more treasure. Let me show you what I mean by continuing with this example.
Suppose that instead of telling Mrs. Smith about your weight loss program, you instead ask: "Mrs. Smith, why is it important for you to lose weight right now? It may well take a few more questions, as Mrs. Smith may not have thought this through, but then Mrs. Smith finally explains that her daughter is getting married in six weeks time and she wants to look great for the wedding photos.
Although Mrs. Smith said she wanted to lose weight, what she really wanted was to look great for the wedding photos. Losing weight is just the vehicle/solution Mrs. Smith has focused on for looking great in the photos.
Now that you have uncovered Mrs. Smith's reason why - the hidden treasure - you can now tailor a solution to meet Mrs. Smith's reason why she needs your program.
I mentioned before that when you find the hidden treasure, you might even find more treasure as well. By tailoring a solution for Mrs. Smith to look great for the wedding photos - you now open up all sorts of other possibilities. Originally it was all about weight loss but weight loss may now only be part of the solution. Your solution could include other services that you offer or that your associates offer, i.e., an exercise program, a stress reduction program, hair styling and makeup, etc.
So by finding the hidden treasure - the reason why - you are able to give Mrs. Smith what she really wants (and it wasn't weight loss). And it could be a lot more than what she previously asked for.
What if there is no hidden treasure to be found? The beauty of going in search of the hidden treasure is that if you can't find it, then chances are the person you're talking with would never become your client at this point in time anyway. So the sooner you can determine this the better it is for both of you.
The example with Mrs. Smith was a simple example but I guarantee that you can apply this principle with your own clients. Go in search of their reasons why. You may well uncover that you can help them in far more ways than both of you thought possible. Plus, if you go in search of the hidden treasure, you will build an even stronger relationship with your clients.
Have fun finding the hidden treasure.
(c) Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2006. You are welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end).
About the Author: Tessa Stowe helps Coaches, Consultants and Service Professionals who are resisting selling their services as they don't want to be seen as pushy and sales-y. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at http://salesconversation.com