I was talking to a friend yesterday who told me how he completely lost trust and rapport with a company that he was just about to spend money with.
Laser Eye and Hypnotic Sales Techniques
The odd thing is that it was all over a simple issue that happens in business all the time and could have been used by the company to a real positive effect. This article is about how you can use your competition to make you look great.
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
My friend is currently looking at laser eye surgery and has recently been to see a company for a consultation and quote. The company did a great job at building trust and rapport. My friend was seriously considering taking the service but then disaster struck.
My friend’s eyes have a particular complication and almost as an offshoot comment the company assistant told him that no other laser eye treatment company could deal with the problem. My friend felt a little uncomfortable because he felt as if they were putting the opposition down, but the real problem came later.
My friend always being the cautious type had planned to get check quotes from other companies before going ahead. It was almost a formality. But now he had a specific questions to ask i.e. can they handle his specific complication. There was instant breaking of rapport and trust with the initial company when my friend found out that the competition can handle his complication.
NLP Techniques, Positioning and Framing
We are often told not to put the competition down because it doesn’t look professional. In the case above it had real disastrous effects. And the daft thing is you can use your competition to make you look really good by talking them up.
Many years ago when I used to run a coaching business I obviously did my research and found out about the other coaches in the area, their product offerings and pricing. I then made sure my offering was substantially different and most significantly much more expensive.
If other coaches came up in the conversation I would happily tell my clients about the competition, what they were good at, what I liked about them and why you might want to check them out. Of course at the same time I am letting them know what makes me so different and the best solution to their challenge. This plus a combination of being more expensive (perceived value) often won me the job.
As time went on I refined this idea. I got to a point where sometimes I would refuse to take their business until they had been and spoken to several other coaches.
I used to say to them, “I know I am the best solution but this is only going to work when you know I am the best. So I want you to phone at least three other coaches, talk to them and get a quote. If they can do a better job then I don’t deserve your business. But once you have phoned three I think you will realise how good I am as your coach and we can start working together.”
I will let you work out the embedded command, presuppositions and internal representations that are going on in my statement…but there is more.
Questions are the Answer
I lo0st a few clients with that approach but I think I converted a whole lot more and I certainly had a lot of work compared to most of my peers. Over the years I have used variations of this approach in many different areas and industries.
When I was selling NLP Training I followed a similar pattern and one extra refinement I put on it was to develop a series of questions to ask an NLP Trainer to decide if they were right for you. I would spend time with prospects giving them a detailed process for how to pick the right training course and trainer for them.
As a result some people would find a different trainer to go with and that is a good result because I obviously wasn’t the right guy for them. But in many of those cases I still got the recognition, referral and reputation for being ethical and giving up front honest advice.
But many more people saw me as the trainer of trainers because I had position myself out of the crowd and was helpfully giving advice in your best interests. Others would take me through the process I had just shown them to decide if I were the best trainer for them. And of course I already have good answer prepared for my own tough questions.
Imagine the situation where I am sat with a prospect telling her that I am not prepared to take her business unless she speaks to several other trainers to establish if I have the best course for her. I then give her a process and a series of questions to measure all the trainers from. I would point out the fact that it is my own process and therefore I should come out looking good. She then takes me through the process as a bench mark and I give her great answers. I not only won a large amount of business I had great delegates on my courses.
I wonder what would have happened if this laser eye specialist had spoken differently. How much more rapport would they have had if they told my friend the key issues about the complication, what made it difficult to treat and the questions to ask any other company to make sure they are treating it correctly. Perhaps at the same time explaining how their particular treatment was a unique and special solution. Would they have got the business?
If you want to know more about hypnotic sales tactics then here is a completely free course showing you some of the most powerful ideas and tactics.