Fear Factor Sales
Here’s a little fear factor just in time for Halloween and Dios de Los Muertos aka Day of the Dead (which is not a scary celebration, but a celebration of deceased loved ones).
A conversation with one of my students got me thinking about the use of ‘fear’ in sales. Really, what we were discussing had to do more with cold, hard reality than fear, per se.
I’ll put this in the context of real estate just as an example. The cold, hard reality is that what was worth $1.5 million a year ago, may now only sell for $800 thousand. And the hard, cold reality is, this may possibly decrease even more in the coming year or two.
My student asked me, “Would you really emphasize the bleak outlook? Won’t that scare the crap out of your potential client?
I told him, emphatically, “Yes and yes.”
Why must you emphasize the hard, cold reality instead of attempting to focus on the sunny side of life? First off, you have to talk real to them or they’re going to look at you like you’re some guy from outer space. Selling yourself as the solution to their problem of selling their house isn’t going to happen if you can’t sell their house (seems obvious, right?). Reframing yourself as the solution to their problem through persuading them that if they need to sell, and sell now, then they’re going to have to face up to that hard, cold reality. They’re not going to get what they thought they were going to get based on last year’s numbers.
If you sugar coat just to get a listing they don’t need you because you can’t understand the reality that they’re faced with today. There isn’t a person in the country, and probably the world over, that feels confident in anything and if you try to act otherwise, you’re making a mistake.
This is how to sell in tough times. This is how to do it. This is worth its weight in gold. You need to have the attitude that you are a pro and they are so incredibly fortunate to be able to talk to you and that you can help them, but they’ve also got to face reality.
So get clear with them. Why did they invite you there? Why now?
And yes, I’m going to scare the stuffing out of them. I’m going to balance that with, yes, it’s scary, but it can be done. I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m simply saying, we’ve got to be smart here, really smart.
Fear works both ways, and so a word of caution here. When you’re afraid, you’re unconsciously passing on to your fear prospects. You are the rock. You can’t be afraid and moreover, you can’t be afraid to tell it like it is. You have to just come out swinging.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland