I recently wrote part one of pattern interruption in sales. I showcased the “how” and “why” we break patterns during the cold call. So today, I want to show you just how powerful pattern interruption can be during the demo or sales appointment.
Also, I promised you cake for this one. That’s right, cake. So you can skip to the bottom to read about the “Nike Cake Girl” if you want, but I highly recommend sticking around and reading this post in full. It’s chock-full of brilliant pattern interruptions you can start implementing in your sales role today.
Let’s jump right into it.
Never Forget, YOU Are The Prize
One of the most ingrained patterns (or in this case, stereotypes) in sales is that the salesperson is a nuisance and the buyer is the prize. And sadly, many sales org’s and sales departments act in accordance as if this were true.
In reality, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The healthy sales mindset knows that mutual respect is necessary to partner in a deal.
So one pattern breaker is to frame yourself and your offer as the prize.
You might say something like, “We only work with clients that we have total alignment with. So I’m not sure yet if we’re the right fit for you. Let me ask you a few questions to get a better sense.”
When done right, this helps to gain the respect and attention of your buyer. It’s like playing hard-to-get, and it works because you put the thrill-of-the-hunt on your buyer. Now YOU are the worthy pursuit. And people always want what they can’t have.
RELATED: 4 Buying Signs Every Salesperson Should Know
First to Object
Ever get that awkward silence on the phone? You know something didn’t sit well with your prospect, and you can sense an objection is on the way. So what? Beat them to it!
For instance, if they wince at the price and you sense the objection coming — “It’s too expensive” — lay it all on the table and use their hesitation as leverage to move the deal forward. (Sales is basically Judo, after all). Say something like “Look, I know what you’re thinking, we’re definitely not the cheapest provider. The truth is, we’re actually the most expensive.” This is so bold that you must give it a few seconds to sink in. “But let me ask you a question…”
Ask them what it’s worth to solve their problem once and for all. Remind them of their pain points in a visceral way. Paint them a picture of the transformation they can have by working with you. When you stack the value, price is no longer an issue. What was once “too expensive” becomes “Wow! That’s a great value.”
I Have to Level With You
This one works wonders, but it has to be timed just right. If you sense tension on the sales call, or your prospect is pushing back, or if the call is trending south in any way, pull this pattern interrupter from your back pocket.
“Look…” and take a deep breath, “I have to level with you…”
Boom. Pattern interrupt! Your prospect is now hanging on your every word.
Let it sit for 4-5 seconds. Then follow up…
“There’s something you said earlier that really caught my attention.” And now you circle it back to their pain points. But this time dig even deeper into them. Ask them about the root cause of their pain and how it really makes them feel.
Just like that, you broke the pattern and completely changed the temperature and momentum of the sales appointment.
A Personal Touch
Cold calls. Emails. Demos. Cold calls. Emails. Demos. And on and on. This is how sales is done in the 21st century. But the top salespeople know that the 20th century (heck, even the 15th century!) hold keys to success, too. Enter the personalized gift.
The physical, personal gift, given to a hot prospect along with a personal note, can absolutely shatter the everyday impersonal pattern that plagues sales departments around the world.
A personalized gift is novel (hence the pattern interruption) and it shows you’re willing to invest in the business relationship. Below are a few examples of personalized gifts you can send to your prospects. Bonus if you can time it so your C-level buyer receives your gift on demo day.
- Coffee table book
- Notebook or planner inscribed with their initials
- A succulent plant or small terrarium
- Kitchen knife with their initials
- Concert or event tickets
Of course, a personalized gift isn’t groundbreaking stuff. But your prospects (and your existing clients) don’t get nearly as many physical gifts as you might think. And that’s crazy, because 99% of thoughtful gifts are well received! Whatever you do, just be sure the gift doesn’t have your company logo or name on it. This isn’t a marketing play, it’s relationship-building.
RELATED: The Power of Personalization in Sales
The Nike Cake Woman
To really knock a pattern sideways and get your prospect to stop and consider you, send them a cake! It worked for North Carolina’s Karly Pavlinac who sent Nike execs a cake with her resume frosted into it. Now that’s thinking outside of the box!
It was a risky move, to be sure, but it certainly got Nike’s attention. And after going viral, the story just about broke the internet last week. Needless to say, if she doesn’t find a fit at Nike, Karly will have her pick of top companies to work for.
In a similar way, think outside of the box when trying to connect with top execs. This approach makes the most sense at the enterprise level, where deals can net you $25-$50K+ monthly. The little bit of time and thought that it takes to prepare a personalized gift can pay off in dividends when approaching the Fortune 500 buyer. Just remember, no gift baskets and no company logos! It’s a person-to-person touch that we’re after.
So that wraps up pattern interruption in sales. This sales technique is incredibly effective at putting you in the driver’s seat of the sales appointment. And as we discussed last week, it can even be used on the cold call to book the sales appointment.
One thing worth mentioning, though, is that you must follow up your pattern interruptions with substance. You can’t just break patterns for the sake of breaking patterns. Thankfully, each time you interrupt a pattern you gain your prospect’s undivided attention and simultaneously open up fertile ground, allowing you to plant a seed for the sale.
Or, put another way, interrupting a pattern is like the self-alley-oop of sales. You’ve set yourself up for a slam dunk, so don’t miss!
Until next time…