Salespeople need to be powerful.
Author Robert Greene, famous for writing books like The Art of Seduction, The 50th Law, and Mastery, wrote one of the best books on power called The 48 Laws of Power. In it, Greene draws lessons from the most powerful people to ever live, including Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and P.T. Barnum.
As an exceptional historian, researcher, and storyteller, Robert Greene provides the definitive guide to obtaining power. The lessons in this book are excellent for ambitious salespeople looking to take their skills to the next level.
That’s why we’re giving you five invaluable power lessons from The 48 Laws of Power to help you improve and close more sales. Use them to understand how you can gain power and seize control of your sales calls.
Law 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary
When it comes to sales, you can easily say too much. “Overselling” is a big contributor to lost sales. Unfortunately, when salespeople hear silence, they mistake it for a prospect’s uncertainty and ramble on to give them more reasons to make the purchase.
Don’t do this. It makes you less powerful and destroys your credibility. The prospect will believe that you are hiding something by constantly steering them toward the product’s best qualities.
Instead, clearly explain the benefits your product or service provides, then stop. If the prospect is silent after you finish, that’s completely fine! Let them think through their options. If they stay silent for a while, ask them if they have any questions, or if you can clarify anything.
This shows them that you’re there to help them make the best decision, not force them into a decision they’ll later regret.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure you don’t say too much:
- Think before you speak. Don’t blurt out responses. Make sure you’re saying something because it helps give them a clearer understanding of their problem and the potential solutions.
- Make your point, then stop. If the prospect has any questions, they will let you know. Belaboring the selling points erodes your trust with them.
- Get comfortable with silences. The prospective client is probably thinking. If the silence continues, ask if they have any questions or would like you to elaborate on anything.
Use self-control and give your prospects more by saying less. You’ll build comfort and trust, your power will increase, and you’ll make more sales.
Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation - Guard it with Your Life
Your reputation can make or break a sale before you even say a word.
Imagine your best friend tells you to buy a car from his friend Richard because he’s trustworthy and gets great deals. If Richard tells you he can give you the car for $2,000 less than anyone else around, you might buy the car immediately.
Now, if your friend tells you to go to a dealership but to be careful because their sales reps are sleazy, you’ll have a different experience. When the rep tells you he can give you the car for $2,000 less than anywhere else, you’ll want to go home and do research first before purchasing the car.
That’s how powerful your reputation is. And you build a great reputation by being honest, trustworthy, and helpful.
Sometimes that means turning down a sale because it isn’t right for the customer. It can be hard and may hurt your short-term sales, but a good reputation will greatly benefit your long-term self-interest.
Allow your reputation to precede you and your job as a salesperson will become much easier.
Law 13: When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to Their Mercy
Although you aren’t typically asking your prospects for help, you do ask them to buy from you. The same principles apply to this situation.
You don’t get a person to buy from you because you want to make the sale. They buy from you because they believe the purchase will make their life better.
Stop thinking about how you can convince them to buy and instead think about how your product or service will benefit them. Maybe you need to brainstorm with the prospect to see what solutions will be best for their situation. Maybe you need to ask them questions so you can understand their problems better.
If you don’t, you may see their issues as petty problems that can be ignored. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Don’t assume you know how the prospect feels. Let them tell you what’s important to them, so you can give them what they need.
Lastly, don’t ask for the sale because you’ve put so much effort into helping them in the past. That doesn’t matter to them. What matters is that you can make their lives better. Show them how you can do that.
Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies
Don’t waste valuable time by explaining your product’s features to prospective customers.
Product features are silent enemies. They don’t give prospects an opportunity to see how the product will benefit them.
Potential customers need to envision their dreams and desires and visualize how your product will help them achieve those fantasies. This may sound immoral, but it’s not. You don’t have to lie or manipulate the other person. You just want to evoke an emotional response rather than a logical one.
For example, rather than telling a prospect that your product can save them an hour every day, ask them what they would do with that extra hour. Would they spend it with their kids? Would they work on a side project? Would they indulge in some much-needed relaxation?
Those are their dreams. Show them how your product will help them achieve those fantasies by saving them one hour every day.
Law 40: Despise the Free Lunch
It’s a human tendency to feel obligated to someone who does a favor for you. This law states that you should avoid all free offers because they usually involve a trick or hidden obligation.
But instead of avoiding “free lunches,” offer them to prospective clients.
By doing so, you can use the law of reciprocation to help you close deals. When you go out of your way to help prospective clients, they’ll feel a sense of obligation to you. This makes them more likely to purchase your services.
The goal isn’t to make other people easy targets, it’s to help every potential customer more than they would expect. Don’t force the sale – help them find the right solution to their problem.
Not only will this help you close the sale by eliciting their sense of obligation, it will help you build a following of raving customers.
Here are a few ways you can give prospects a “free lunch”:
- Give them something free. If it’s a free trial of your product, make sure it’s easy to sign up, with no hassle (or credit card) required.
- Provide excellent service for prospects. Do some research on their behalf. Help determine their problems and find the solutions.
- Be a friend. You’re not just trying to sell to them. You’re also building a relationship. Take some time to get to know them and see how their life is going.
Potential clients are much more likely to buy from you when they believe you’re there for them and not just the sale. If you consistently deliver great value you will be rewarded for your efforts.
These five laws of power by Robert Greene are great advice for salespeople. But so much more can be found in the actual book, which we highly recommend reading.
If you want to become a powerful, successful salesperson, grab your copy to increase your closing rate today and check out these best sales books.