Selling is fundamentally a question of the influence of mind over mind.

If you as a salesperson exercise no influence whatsoever upon the mind of your customer, but the customer does all the deciding, you are not a real salesperson. You are an order taker. (Please read my article: Are You an Order Taker or an Order Maker?)

There is a certain proper influence that every mind may have over every other mind. This influence arises from strong personal character, from a knowledge of products and services, and from a knowledge of the science of selling.

Your character, knowledge, and abilities can be improved and strengthened in the interest of your work (and career as a salesperson). First, let us clearly understand the distinction between proper mind-control, and hypnotism or other forms of mesmeric influence.

Proper mind-control

If you arrange your thought and presentation logically, so as to lead your customer into the proper attitude toward your products or services, you are well within your rights. So is the salesperson who introduces new and overwhelming arguments, and he who studies methods of so impressing his personality on a customer as to inspire confidence.

Certainly you can’t justly criticize a salesperson for studying his customer’s face and manner in such as way as to find out the exact minute when he would be most likely to consent to a purchase, or for any other studious effort to learn exactly when to urge his strongest points. The salesperson must learn when his argument is at its best, and, conversely, when the customer’s mind is in its most receptive condition. That is the minute for action. You must be able to recognize it when it comes, and must practice every possible method of bringing it about. You must compel the buyer to minimize any objections in his mind and to become enthusiastic over the advantages that you have presented.

This is proper and legitimate mind-control. It has nothing to do with hypnotism, mesmerism, making a sale to an intoxicated or demented person, or any other unfair method of taking advantage of an abnormal condition of the buyer’s mind.

The following are examples of legitimate mind-control:

  1. A salesperson finds a buyer opposed to his product because he does not understand its features (and benefits). A simple explanation of benefits compels the buyer to change his mind.
  2. A salesperson finds that a buyer is impulsive and enthusiastic. He therefore describes his products enthusiastically and secures the order “on the spur of the moment.”
  3. A salesperson finds it difficult to secure the buyer’s signature to an order. He watches his customer’s face until it shows a keen interest, then hands him pen and paper with a request to sign, at exactly the right moment.
  4. A salesperson learns that his customer is inclined to favor those salespeople for whom he has a personal relationship. He therefore cultivates a feeling of friendship between himself and his customer, and uses it to secure an order.

These are simple examples, but they make the meaning clear. You will no doubt be able to add many similar examples from your own knowledge, such as the use, at the proper time, of the names of well-known customers of yours.

The formula for developing a mind control is very simple.  It is a study of the five senses and the manner in which they influence the mind, and a constant effort to apply in practice what you have learned.

Next post in this series will be about using the five senses in selling – please subscribe to my blog to be notified when a new post is published.

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Mind Control in Selling is a post from: The Science and Art of Selling by Alen Mayer