Sales Management Digest

Finding and Using Your Prospect's Hot Button
Paul j. Micali
Imagination is the key to success in selling. Without imagination salespeople are faced with one struggle after another. By not using their imaginations, many salespeople never reach their full potentials. To develop a selling imagination is to open the door to new horizons because no two people buy a product or service for the very same reason. Each buyer has a specific motive in mind for making the purchase. When salespeople can match up this motive with one of the features or benefits of their products or services, they are using selling imagination in its truest form.

But most salespeople don't sell that way. While the style might vary, the end result is a long, drawn out presentation in which all of the features and benefits are paraded before the prospect. In other words, every prospect is given the whole dose. And this is done in the hope that the prospect, upon hearing something that satisfies his or her dominant desire of the moment, will interrupt and say "That's it! What you just said is most important to me." However, such interruptions rarely come. The entire presentation is suffered through to the bitter end, when the prospect says, "It's all very interesting - now, when will you be in this area again?" We all know what that means. There's no sale here today.

Psychologists have proved that 94 pecent of the time, people are thinking about themselves. You can prove this to yourself on any given day. When next you are in the company of others, listen very closely to the conversation. You will discover that over 90 percent of what they say is about themselves. What they did, where they went, where they are going, how they feel, etc. Therefore, it follows that when prospects are considering buying something, their main concern is...what's in it for them. And they always have a dominant desire. We call this dominant desire the "hot button." Once you have found the hot button of your build your presentation around it. And as often as you can hit that hot button in the process of your presentation, the better off you are. Because, with each occasion that you are able to hit it, you get closer to the sale. It is easy to find your prospects' hot buttons once you have gained their interest by letting them talk. Let them enter into the conversation very early in the sales interview. Invariably they will "spill" the hot button of the moment. And that's how this technique takes advantage of the human tendency of people to think about themselves most of the time.

It doesn't remain constant. Make certain that you never assume that the hot button of a prospect remains constant. It many times changes from day today.

After all conditions change and as some problems are solved,the prospect's dominant desire (his hot button) changes accordingly. If you are a good record keeper and you jotted down the hot button that you uncovered during your last call, use this information as a stimulator to get the buyer talking. Then listen very carefully for today's hot button. It may be quite different from last time and your presentation will have to be custom-tailored to fit the new dominant desire.

To ensure the success of the hot button technique it is important to always use the prospect's languag...not your own. For instance, you may be selling a product that is able to increase the profits of a company by reducing its overhead. If the prospect's hot button is more bang away at "profit." If the hot button is "overhead"...leave profit alone and concentrate on "overhead." On your next call, however, the hot button could very well be something else. Find it and then hit it as often as you can throughout the presentation.

All of us have been accused from time to time of only hearing what we want to hear. That's very much the case with prospects who are regularly cornered by salespeople who always have the best product at the best price. Don't be like your competitors. Use some imagination.

The trick is to remember to use the hot button technique on every single sales call. The best trifling for remembering is to immediately start the practice of isolating the hot button of everyone you meet, whether in a business or social setting. Just say to yourself, "That's the hot button of that individual." It will be great practice and will help your sales immeasurably.
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