#27 – Stop Making this Sales Mistake
What has to happen for you to produce a sale? The sales process is a proven model that applies to many businesses. You work on enhancing rapport by providing more value and more proof, and as that all comes together, that motivates the client to make the purchase. But – on the other side of the coin – what causes someone to not buy from you? It’s the exact opposite. For some reason, you don’t build rapport adequately; you don’t provide value or proof, so the sale falls through.
How do you avoid making this mistake and ensure every pitch goes the way you want?
Today, I share a critical sales mistake someone recently made while trying to sell me something and how I turned that around and sold my program to them. I reveal the common sales mistake I see business owners repeatedly make and explain why this sales strategy doesn’t work. I discuss how you can rebuild rapport if you make that mistake and the linguistic patterns that will help you identify what your clients want. I share tips on connecting with a client so you don’t have to mind-read and how specific questions early in the meeting will help steer it to your desired outcome. I also share examples you can use to make your sales pitch more effective, what I believe is the ultimate sales approach, and why it works.
“Start listening, start asking questions because many people find an even greater response by opening up that perception.” – Jason Linett
This week on Hypnotic Language Hacks Podcast:
- A failed pitch from someone that tried to sell something to me
- One common mistake many businesses make when selling
- Breaking down the critical sales mistake, why it doesn’t work, and how you can fix it to rebuild rapport
- Linguistic patterns you can use to determine what your client wants to avoid the mind-reading game
- How asking specific questions early in your sales pitch helps steer your conversation in the right direction
- Language you can use to make your communication with potential clients more effective
- What I believe is the ultimate sales process and why it works
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Read the Session Transcript
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#27 Stop Making this Sales Mistake
“All I did was I asked you a question, and you started to respond with what you found to be important to you. So let me ask you this. If there was a program that helped you to better put these specific needs, and problems, and desires of your ideal buyer into specific influential language patterns, what would that do for your business?” And he paused, and he replied, “Well, I think it would help me to listen more at the beginning of the call rather than try to mind-read the potential buyer.” To which I went, “Exactly.” You know your business can change people’s lives, but you don’t yet have the right words to inspire them to take action. Imagine the changes you will create in your business as you tap into the secrets of ethical influence and positive persuasion, to not only better serve your clients but also to supercharge your financial freedom. I’m your host, Jason Linett, and welcome to the “Hypnotic Language Hacks” podcast.
I help entrepreneurs and business owners just like you to close more premium sales. And no, this isn’t about tricking or manipulating people, not at all. It’s about helping your prospects to appropriately sell themselves into your products or services. Please hit Subscribe, and get all the episodes now at jasonlinett.com. Let’s kick off this week’s episode with a simple question. What has to happen for someone to produce a sale? And here’s one specific model that would apply to a lot of people’s businesses, that fact that we’re enhancing rapport, and in the process of enhancing rapport, we’re providing more value, we’re providing more proof, and as proof, value, and rapport come together, that’s what motivates that person to then make that purchase. If we had to reverse this and ask, what causes people to not buy? Well, it’s the same criteria, just in reverse. We’re moving away from proof, we’re moving away from value, and we’re also sort of
eradicating that rapport and moving closer towards, let’s say, objections or whatever reasons why the person would not buy. I give you this as a very simple model because it’s through this context that I’m going to share “Stop Making This Sales Mistake.” This is Episode Number 27 of this Hypnotic Language Hacks series, and inside of it, I’m going to give you some very simple formulas that you can easily duplicate in your business. On top of that, there’s a bit of a clever story as to something that actually happened, where someone did not succeed in selling me something, and in fact, here’s the quick hero story which, with permission, I’m sharing this. Someone who did a cold call to me, I very clearly did not buy their product, and yet, by the end of the call, the call had shifted focus, and they ended up joining my online community based on what I’m about to share with you. We’re going to unravel one of the classic sales strategies and improve it in such a way you can
put this content to use right away. Sometimes it does come down to a few simple hypnotic language hacks. So I’d encourage you to head over to jasonlinett.com/27. That will bring you to the show notes of this week’s episode, “Stop Making This Sales Mistake.” Before we get started today, if you want to easily grab people’s attention, naturally build authority, and organically have your prospects wanting more from you even before you’ve made an offer, I’ve created a step-by-step program to help you to do just that. It’s called Business Influence Systems. And this is your opportunity now to visit jasonlinett.com to get a free behind-the-scenes tour of the exact hypnotic persuasion strategies that you can ethically use to better start up or scale up your business. If you want a proven framework to boost your confidence, attract premium clients, and inspire more people to take action with you, get Business Influence Systems now at jasonlinett.com.
Now, the disclaimer to the story I’m about to tell you is that, yes, the names have been removed to protect the innocent, though I did get permission from the person this is about because, as he put it, “I learned my lesson.” And by the end of the call, this was not entirely my intention, we reversed the sales pitch. He was calling to pitch me. By the end of it, in a very non-salesy way, he joined my online community. And I’m going to make this extremely general, and you’re going to see why. Otherwise, there are some people in this audience who would go, “Well, what software is that? What about this? What about that?” Here’s the point. There’s a piece of software that I use in my business. And what it does for me is a bunch of things…email automation, it’s kind of the gateway for the sales of my programs, my products, and my services, and it kind of talks to other things that I use for automating memberships to online communities like Business Influence Systems.
So I’ve publicly mentioned the company that I use, which, switch that out, there’s lot of other providers. Find that one that works for you. And I get a phone call. “Hey, I see that you use fill in the blank software. Could I chat with you about that?” And I answered the call. I didn’t recognize the number, but it was a time of day I thought it would have been someone who I was expecting. And here I was, on the other end of a sales pitch. Now, here’s the next part, which is what this entire episode is all about, “Because I sell this other competitor’s software, and our software cost a lot less money, and it’s less confusing, would you like to hear more?” To which I responded, “No, thank you.” Buckle up, here’s where it gets interesting. This person then began to press a little bit more. Now, the pain points that they were hitting for me was that, again, what you’re using is much too expensive, and it’s very confusing software.
To which this was my entry point, and again, I had a few moments, so we got into a conversation about it. To say, well, first of all, overall, annually, the cost of that software…it’s one of the subscription-as-a-software products that’s out there. Overall, it cost me, and this is a little visual, but I’m making the international sign for not too much. However, that piece of software is the hub of so much of my business, and it produces this much more income. So by comparison, I’ve never really labeled that software as being expensive because I know here’s what it helps me to satisfy. That small amount of money, I can draw a straight line to about 250X from. You know, it’s not the software that’s producing the income, the software makes it easier to produce the income. So it’s not that expensive to me. “Well, yeah, but it costs this much money a year,” he pressed. To which I go, “That’s not the equation that I’m hunting after.” And I told a quick story.
Stories are great because of motivation as well as metaphor. It’s similar to a story of a video camera that I owned a number of years ago. And when I purchased that camera, I thought that video camera was expensive because I had never spent $1,800, $1,800 for a camera before. Yet by the time the camera died six years later, it did not owe me anything. By the time that camera died, I had produced more than a million dollars of income over the years as a result of videos I had filmed with that camera. So by comparison, that camera was massively cheap, right? And suddenly, I hear the gears turning on the other side. And again, he’s the one pitching to me. He hits the second point, and he goes, “Well, yeah, but it’s confusing.” To which I responded, “Well, that’s kind of the nickname of this software after all these years. But then again, they’ve got this new campaign builder which makes the platform really easy. It’s click and drag.
If you can reorganize the icons on your computer desktop, you can design an advertising campaign. So really, it’s one of the easiest things I’ve ever used because it’s truly a ‘what you see is what you get’ platform. If something’s not working, it means you haven’t coded it. Plus, on top of that, I can find outsourcers all around the world to run this thing for me.” “Yeah, but a lot of people find it confusing.” “I know, but I’m not buying this software for other people. This is what we’re using. Hey, do you mind if I jump in for a moment and ask you a question?” “Yeah.” “You’re calling a bunch of people today, right?” “Yeah.” “Do you mind if I ask how many have bought based on this pitch?” He goes, “Well, it’s a bit of a numbers game.” I go, “I know, I know, but how many have purchased?” To which here was the magic answer, “Zero.” I asked a follow-up question, “How many people have you called today?” He goes, “I think you’re in the lower 20s. But then again, it’s about building relationships.” I go, “Yes, however, you’re breaking rapport with everybody.” He goes, “What do you mean?”
I respond, “Well, let me ask you this. What have you done so far to research the average user of this software?” And suddenly, he launches into a story about looking at different blog posts, looking at different articles that are online, researching their competitors. He’s an affiliate marketer for their competitor software, to which I went, “Pause there for a second. Do you see what you’re doing?” He goes, “What do you mean?” I say, “Do you see what you’re doing right now? He goes, “Explain.” I go, “You’re feeding me the criteria. All I did was I asked you a question, and you started to respond with what you found to be important to you. So let me ask you this. If there was a program that helped you to better put these specific needs, and problems, and desires of your ideal buyer into specific influential language patterns, what would that do for your business?” And he paused, and he replied, “Well, I think it would help me to listen more at the beginning of the call rather than try to mind-read the potential buyer.”
To which I went, “Exactly.” We chatted a little bit further and…yeah, I know you’re watching this now, member of the community. So let’s talk about this fatal flaw, this Stop Making This Sales Mistake. It comes down to a very simple principle. Now, one of the biggest mistakes that I see business owners, and I’ve been guilty of doing this myself over the years, one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve often noticed is that we unintentionally try to mind-read our buyers. We try to mind-read our audiences. And let’s balance this out because I just told a story which on paper could read as, “Look how clever I am.” Well, here’s the opposite story. Number of years ago, there was a major conference that I’d been invited to speak at, and they asked me, “Do you want to do a one-day event after the presentation, after the conference?” To which immediately I said yes. This was an incredible opportunity. Now, in the shape of my business, I know one of the things that has helped over the years
to build my business more than anything else. So here’s what I did. I completely outlined out a one-day event to promote a training around this one theme. I spent all sorts of time, energy, and money setting up cameras, putting together the sound, and kind of outlining out a number of videos. I went into that fancy email automation system that I hinted at and programmed a whole opt-in sequence to guide people through the journey of making the decision to sign up for the class. And I’m so proud to tell you that by the time the event hit, here I was the morning of the event, and one person had signed up. Clearly not the response that I had hoped for. Which to round out this specific story, I reached out to that individual and said, “I’m going to give you a couple of options because, clearly, this is something that you have an interest in, however, let me give you an update, you’re the one person who signed up. So here are some choices.
Option number 1, we’re already here, and, clearly, I’ve prepared for this class, and this is the thing that’s built my business, and rather than getting a one-day training, you’re going to get a one-day exclusive consulting workshop. So we can do it, and we might even be done a little bit faster because we don’t have to do Q&A with a big room. So Option number 1, we’re both here, you’re signed up, let’s do it. Option number 2, we’re kind of in a beautiful island, sort of paradise location, and we could easily do this some other time. You know, we can do this by way of…Zoom wasn’t around yet at the time of the story…we can do it on Skype. We can connect remotely. We might even space it out over two or three calls, and you’ll still get the information, but because we’re technically in a vacation spot, let’s do it later. Or Option number 3, did you see Michael, my friend, was teaching this other workshop?” She goes, “Oh yeah, I was so interested in that one.” “So, great. So how about this? How about we transfer your registration to Michael’s class. And I sell a product for $2,000 that teaches this as one of the modules.
I’ll just give it to you. Let’s walk you over and intro you to Michael.” And I was there on a vacation with my family, and we all got the day back. So what’s inside of that story? The same problem this other person was making. I was trying to mind-read my audience. Now let me tell you the end of this story which then goes forward about a year. I sent a message out to my entire email list, asking them, “What is the biggest pain point of your business? If you had one specific goal to accomplish in the next 12 to 18 months, what would it be? And overwhelmingly, they responded with the same answer. So I designed a two-day workshop around that theme. And at a similar event the next year, we promoted it for, like, maybe $700 to $800 a person. Sold out at 330 people. I had people fighting to want to get in, and it was a great business week and helped a whole lot of people. So when I say stop making this sales mistake, let’s simplify it down to two words, mind reading.
And mind reading is a powerful strategy, and we mean this a little bit metaphorically here because we’ve not yet tapped into the skills of telekinesis and telekinetic…is that even the right word? Psychic abilities to begin to read the exact language of somebody. The comedian Emo Philips, “How many people in the audience have telekinetic powers? If that’s you, please raise my hand.” Love that joke. So the mistake people often make is they try to mind-read the audience. Now, let’s go old school on this for a moment because we’re going to sort of beat down this problem but then we’re going to build it up with solutions you can use right away. The old-school way of doing this, you would often see this in sales videos. You would often see this in commercials. You’d very often see this in, like, long-form sales copy. It’d be that experience where there’d be the language of, “Now, I know what you’re thinking…fill in the blank. I know what you’re thinking. You’re concerned about X, Y, and Z.”
Now, this was what that person with the software was trying to do with me. He was trying to mind-read the specific pain points that I was facing in my business. There’s a risk to this. It’s a bit of a gamble because if he hit the points exactly right, bam, like winning the lottery, we’ve got instant rapport, and suddenly, I have found someone who understands me. This stranger gets me. Tell me more. I need help with that. Right? So that’s what happens if we make the mind-read and we turn out to be correct. On the other hand, what if he made the mind-read and he was wrong? Either one of two options. One, we break rapport and get a very fast answer of, “No,” or you’re on the call with someone like me, and I turn the tables and sell you on my program. That was the result of that story. So the mind-read pattern, to go, “I know what you’re thinking. This is what you’re thinking. I know you’re considering this.”
Which again, if we’re right, we’re on board, if we’re wrong, as I found most people often are when they try to do this, we’ve now unintentionally broken rapport, and it’s going to be a harder game to start to rebuild. If only there was a very simple linguistic pattern to completely rebuild this. Well, first of all, here’s an option which doesn’t even require fancy linguistics. Option number 1, “Hey, what pain points are you seeing in business right now? What’s the biggest challenge that you’re facing?” Here’s a fun one, too. This would work if you are on the receiving end of a call or a consult, and this person has scheduled time to meet with you. This is a bit of a mind-read, but you’re going to see the twist as to how we actually make this work. I’ve learned over the years, that very often there’s a specific catalyst that causes someone to take action, that usually by the time someone ends up on a call with me, something has happened in their life which is now telling them something’s got to change.
And if I’m on Zoom with that person, if I’m face to face, what I’m looking for right now is, are they nodding? Most cases they are. Here’s a bit of framing. “So even before we talk about my product or service, do you mind if I ask what was that catalyst?” And I encourage you right now to make use of the principle that you have two ears and one mouth. You need to start listening. “What was that specific catalyst? What was that moment where suddenly you realized something had to change?” And in calls that I’ve had over the last couple of weeks, I did this big email campaign, and no one read the emails. I put out this big high-production video, and from my analytics, people stopped watching after the first 30 seconds, if they even clicked at all. This is what’s telling me now what their buying criteria is. This is also what’s informing me how qualified of a client that they possibly would be. So it’s by asking a simple question at the beginning and opening up those ears, what happens?
You start to hear the exact buying criteria and specific pain points. So guess what, my friends? You don’t have to mind-read because they’ve told you. Part of the history behind this, by the way, is inside of the hypnotic profession, my career began as a professional hypnotist, working with clients for things like stop smoking, and losing weight, overcoming fears. That was the origin story, which then morphed into better scaling my business, and over time, discovering the same methods that I was using to help my clients produce change turned out to be the same methods that we can pick up and drop into the sales conversation, not just in my business but yours as well, to have people wanting more from us even before we make an offer. So in some of those demonstrations, I have a whole other community where I’m teaching other hypnotists how to be more effective in their change work. And let me go off on a bit of a soapbox here because in that world, there’s a popular phrase that
“the client writes the script for you.” And let me just openly tell you a little bit of a biased opinion, a lot of people are saying that because that’s a popular thing to say. They’re not actually doing it. They ask a lot of great questions, but then they do some sort of canned, cookie-cutter approach to change. They’re using some prewritten protocol rather than better adapting to the person in front of them. In that community, I did something kind of interesting a number of years ago. With permission, I had a number of clients who signed a waiver. And for private release just to my students, they got to watch the entire session from, like, walking in the door to walking out the door. And oftentimes, there’d be a bit of a play-by-play commentary because here’s why. I could draw a straight line to bits of conversation that we had prior to the change work session to when I fed that information back inside of the change strategies. Do you hear what’s happening here? It’s all about opening up that calibration, opening up that sensory awareness,
and really listening to the person who’s in front of you because they give you all the criteria that they need. So Option number 1 to stop making this mind-read sales mistake, ask a question, and genuinely listen. Here’s a quick, fun riddle. Why is it most people don’t remember names? Because they weren’t actually listening when you told them. When you were telling them your name, they were thinking of the next thing they were going to say. How do you remember names better? Actually listen when the person tells you. Genuinely care while you’re at it as well. That also tends to help. So Option number 1 to eliminate the mind-read would be to simply ask a question, and listen. They’re going to give you the criteria that’s important to them. It’s also a fun place where you often might see that your entire fancy sales process…I teach a multistep system inside of Business Influence Systems in terms of high-ticket phone sales, high-ticket consultative sales. But then again, if the person is already at the point of buying, “Hey, I’ve looked around.
I’m looking for something within this price range that does this.” “Oh, that’s what I do.” “Okay, great. When can I sign up?” Sometimes it might be as easy as that, and you don’t have to run the entire machine. Option number 2. Option number 2 to eliminate the mind-read mistake is to metaphorically cast a wide net. Cast a big, open net. And this is where, again observing your person in front of you, whether in person, whether on Zoom, or whatever the platform, and seeing what connects with a hit. Here’s a simple linguistic pattern to do this. Two of them, actually. Option number 1, some people. Option number 2, many people. Here’s a few examples of this. “You know, because some people, when they’re making use of that software, kind of get a little overwhelmed because it’s a little expensive at the beginning, and they might even find it confusing.” And then you stop talking.
Because what happens next is that’s like a little bit of a fish hook. And if that was the market this guy was inside of, at that point, they may respond, “Oh, yeah, I’m watching my credit card every month getting charged, like, 300 bucks. And as soon as a log in, I don’t know where to get started.” Do you see how his original pitch would have been a better option there? Instead, the mistake was he started with the assumption. So, some people. Then again, many people. I use another example. “Many people often get a little overwhelmed when it’s time to create some sort of home exercise program, and what they often discover is if there was one specific piece of gym equipment that they could purchase and learn a bunch of moves around that which costs less than 100 bucks and there’s nothing to break on it, they can get started with their own home fitness even faster.” “Oh, what would that be?” [vocalization]. There’s the visual representation of casting out the fishing line…I’m not a fisherman…casting out the fishing line, and the fish biting the hook.
So using the patterns of either some people or many people, and then observe and see what they would be interested inside of, see what specific pain points they’re looking after. Because once we understand where the buyer is in their journey, where the specific pain points are, this is what informs us what information we need, what data we need to share, and how to better guide them down throughout our experience. So two strategies inside of this, one with two examples. Option number 1, ask a question, see what they come back with. Option number 2 is using one of two patterns, which, this works amazingly, by the way, in print because the opt-in is basically them nodding their head and say, “I have that issue.” Because, you know, some people often get confused with all sorts of funnel marketing strategies. And what they often begin to realize is if, again, you could put the right words in the right order to have your audience wanting more from you even before you make an offer, that’s when they’re the most ready to make that decision.
If this is resonating with you, check out this website. So, again, giving that simple call to action that if this is a match for you, here’s the result. Now let me round this all out with sort of a bigger-picture idea, which is that, in my opinion, the ultimate sales process is a bit of a spider web. And what I mean by that, I’m always about building systems, that’s why the program, the community, Business Influence Systems, we made it a point to have the word systems inside of that. Though, some people are moving toward pleasure in terms of creating a result. Then again, some people are moving away from pain to make a decision. So what you should do is as soon as you’ve built one specific system for marketing your business, take a step back and ask yourself, “What are the pain points that this funnel sequence is responding to? What are the mind-reads that are embedded inside of this?” But then ask yourself, “What else is there?” And maybe that becomes another sequence.
This kind of brings in a whole other conversation about the longevity cycle of a lead. I can track one time at a conference, I was there, and at the time, one of my main products was Membership Access, $47 a month. We’ve since pivoted to the Lifetime Access. But at this event, I could have left and been frustrated to go, “That sucked. I made $47.” But then again, to fast-forward the results of this specific conference 18 months later, I could track well over $100,000 from that event. This person who first saw me there signed up for a class, signed up for private consulting. This person talked about me to a relative. They became a client as well. These five people traveled down from Canada to attend a live event here in the Washington, D.C. area. And over time…here’s the benefit of, again, that fancy software that I mentioned earlier. Here’s what happened. I can look and see they had participated in several different webinars, several different sales offers,
but here’s the difference. They responded to different trigger points because it’s always a combination of their experience matching up to my messaging. So what’s the one marketing mistake, the one sales mistake you need to stop making? Stop trying to mind-read, start listening, start asking questions because many people find an even greater response by opening up that perception. You have been listening to the Hypnotic Language Hacks podcast with Jason Linett. Please stop everything, and start exploring jasonlinett.com for even more business influence and persuasion resources. Make it a priority right now to subscribe to this program and listen to every episode because the next one may reveal that one hypnotic influence secret to massively scale your success. Change your words, change your business, change your life. Get even more at jasonlinett.com.