A good salesperson does not sell, a good salesperson reinterprets and re-signifies things. In a way we are all sellers, since we are always selling an image, a service, an idea, a program or a product. Selling is about much more than simply getting the other to buy something, it is about influencing, persuading and in certain cases 'manipulating' contexts. According to Felipe Riaño JaramilloAn expert in negotiation and public speaking, understanding these 3 concepts is essential if you want to become a good salesperson.

Riaño is a psychologist and publicist, with master's degrees in communication and psychoanalysis and a master's degree in negotiation from Harvard Business School. He has also collaborated with the CIA and FBI on persuasive body language and advanced persuasive interrogation. Within the framework of the talk 'Why doesn't a good salesperson sell?', During and Campus Party Colombia 2021, the psychologist gave his advice to become a good salesperson.

First, the expert ensures that influence is related to leaving a long-term legacy. It's about being influential in people's decision-making or just being present in their minds when a topic is discussed. Riaño explains that being influential is about sustainability and that it is something like being a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King, people who still influence us today. As opposed, manipulation is short-term and is about how to make an environment more favorable to me or both parties in a sale.

Meanwhile, persuasion covers the medium term and seeks to generate trust and credibility, things that are different but must go together. An example of this could be your relationship with your father. You probably trust your dad blindly, but if you talk to him about stock investing and he's not exactly an expert, you may not believe him very much. In the case of a negotiation, you must have credibility and generate trust in your counterpart. Trust is built in the project of communication with a client in the long, medium or short term. Keep in mind that influencing, persuasion, and manipulation of contexts must be linked in a sales process.

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The 5 Golden Rules to sell by Felipe Riaño

1. Know how to profile to communicate

Before starting a sales process, you must understand who you are going to sit with. Whenever you are going to negotiate with someone, find out about him or her, the company and the sector in which it is located. If for some reason you find it difficult to investigate, at least try to find out what his psychological profile is. There are 4 types of psychology and communication profiles that have been proposed from the investigations carried out by the doctor Carl Gustav Jung and used by organizations such as the CIA, the FBI and the Mossad of Israel.

    • Panther: They are dominant people and their communication style is to the point, they do not like detours, they hate them. It is usually the profile of many leaders.
    • Peacock: They love to show themselves and are good at interacting with other people. The negative turkey is very scattered, does not concrete ideas, hates being overshadowed by others and wants to always be the center of attention. Negative turkeys generate relationships out of opportunism.
    • Dolphin: They are very collaborative people. In the case of negatives they are very naive and take advantage of them all the time. A panther with a dolphin would be Michelle Obama, since she is a leader and strong but is seen as human and collaborative.
    • Owl: They are analytical, rational, and wise. His behavior is very systematic and rational to the point of being able to. A negative owl is very introverted and does not know how to relate.

Knowing what type of profile the person with whom you are going to negotiate has is essential to know how to relate to them. The goal of a good salesperson is to be a chameleon and to achieve adaptability.

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2. Principle of similarity

"Meeting people who share our tastes, beliefs, values ​​or cultural aspects makes us feel more comfortable in their presence and makes us open up in trust with them"says Riaño. Trust is the heart of a sale and to create it you must first generate empathy with your client and know what needs they have to solve them. The idea with this is to generate long-term relationships that have value.

3. Use the 5 verbal techniques

    • The power of repetition: Riaño explains that the brain is fascinated when something is constantly repeated, for example pop songs. In the process of a sale, repeat the keywords you want to position and the benefits of your product, but beware of overdoing it. The idea is to be subtle.
    • The power of metaphor: Metaphors involve almost the entire brain and our unconscious learns more with these types of resources. The unconscious manipulates 95% of our actions, decisions and daily intentions and the metaphor is a very good resource in the sales process. Riaño recommends being creative and saying things like "This product is like driving a Mercedes, but with this one it is as if you were driving a Ferrari".
    • The paraphrase: Repeat the same words that your interlocutor is saying to talk about what interests you. Felipe Riaño explains that when the words are repeated, something called neural coupling happens and the client develops a synchrony with the salesperson. This is one of the simplest tools out there, but one of the best for a negotiation or consultative selling process and that is why you must actively listen to the other party.
    • Photocopy study: To increase the level of persuasion instead of saying please say why. By using this word, most people will automatically take your argument almost as valid. It is very useful for your customer to understand the reason and motive for buying your idea, product or service.
    • Reframe your words: The idea is to improve the aesthetics and the way the counterpart thinks or sees the negotiation. It is basically not answering a question that does not suit you and rather reframing it and talking about what you want to talk about so that the other person redefines what is being said.
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4. Paraverbal aspects

Use voice psychology to communicate what you want to say. Be approachable, but commanding, and emphasize the pace at which you speak. Try lengthening words, vowels, and emphasizing what is important like figures or key facts.

5. Non-verbal aspects

If you want to sell success, you have to project it. Persuasion is a way to change the perception of reality and reality is a series of perceptions that are built through verbal and non-verbal communication. For that reason, assume positions of security and dominance and, as Felipe Riaño says, "Create the story".

«A good salesman does not sell. Good salespeople give reasons why their product or service has to be bought. That is the difference between a good salesperson and other salespeople. In the end, communicating is influence and whoever does not learn to communicate in a sales process, others will influence for you, ”says Felipe Riaño.


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