Tom Hopkins carries the standard as a master sales trainer and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on selling techniques and salesmanship. Over 4,000,000 people on five continents have attended Tom’s high-energy live seminars. Tom personally conducts 30+ seminars each year traveling throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, and the Philippines.
Tom Hopkins is the author of 17 books, including “How to Master the Art of Selling™,” which has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide. This mega-selling book is considered a must-have reference guide for top selling producers in every field of sales. He has also authored three selling-skills books in the popular “Selling for Dummies®” series.
Tom’s talent of teaching in a creative and entertaining style has brought him a tremendous following, as well as constant demand for appearances at regional and national conventions each year.
One of America’s most successful and dynamic businessmen, Tom Hopkins did not find success easily. He quit college after only 90 days. At 19 years of age, married and with a baby on the way, he took a job in construction. It wasn’t long before Tom decided that doing physical labor was not the way he wanted to spend the rest of his life. So he quit the construction job and took a job he thought would be easier: selling real estate.
Six months into his real estate career, Tom’s income was averaging just a month. He wasn’t earning a living, but had fallen in love with the real estate business. After discovering that all the top producers had extensive sales training, Tom set out to learn everything he could about how to sell professionally.
Armed with drive, determination and knowledge, Tom Hopkins built his sales volume to over ,000,000 within five years. Word of Tom’s record-breaking sales success soon brought repeated requests to conduct sales training seminars across the country.
In 1976, he founded Tom Hopkins International, Inc., and dedicated his life and his company to teaching and inspiring others through his seminars, books, audio and video training programs. Today, over 35,000 corporations and millions of professional salespeople through the world utilize his professional sales training materials daily.
Tom has a new webinar to assist you and keep you from wasting energy on any goals that might not be realistic (thus making you want to stop setting goals). He invites you to watch the webinar with your goals for 2016 in mind. Determine if you need to make any adjustments to those goals or even change them up to be more exciting.
Follow this link to the webinar on his YouTube channel. Enjoy it!
Article – Reflective Listening Skills
Just as important as asking the right questions is listening to the answers — carefully!
There’s a practice called reflective listening that’s great when working with buyers. Reflective listening encourages additional conversation.
Reflective listening is a natural activity when speaking with friends and family. It involves the nonverbal listening skills as well as verbal encouragements such as:
“Tell me more.”
“Then what happened?”
Use this same skill with buyers. When the buyer answers your questions and provides valuable information to help you make the sale, give her your feedback about what she is saying. That demonstrates you are actively listening, and it encourages her to continue talking.
For example, listen to how a television or radio talk show host encourages his guests to talk. He does not interview his guests like a news reporter, drilling them with one sharp informational question after another. Rather, the talk show host encourages relaxed yet lively conversations fueled by open-ended questions and reflective listening.
One of the more subtle tools to accomplish this is to ask reflective questions that repeat what was just said. The buyer says, “I’m not sure if we will do anything this year with such a tight budget.” The salesperson responds, “You’re uncertain as to how you’ll work within your budget?”
That’s a reflective question(also a porcupine question). The salesperson changed the buyer’s words a bit, but the question reflects back to the buyer the essence of what was just said. It demonstrates to the buyer that she has been heard and requests elaboration.
When the buyer mentions a need that you want to learn more about, reflect the essence of what he just said, and do so with a similar energy level. Then remain silent until the buyer speaks. When you maintain a listening posture, the buyer will take your cue and often keep on talking.
-Excerpted from my latest book “When Buyers Say No”.
Making a smooth transition from establishing rapport to getting down to business takes some practice. Awkward or what I call “jerky” transitions definitely put a dent in the level of competence you display.
In order to get down to business, it’s wise to develop and use a transition strategy as to what you say. Try something like this: “Mr. Kraft, let me begin by thanking you for the time we’ll share here today. I hope we can consider this meeting somewhat exploratory—meaning my job as a [name of industry] professional is to show you how our dynamic company is helping businesses like yours.”
By saying something like that, you are not only making the transition to business, but doing it in a way that doesn’t add pressure to the situation. You’re “exploring” what your company might do for them, not selling anything—yet.
Wishing you greatness, Tom Hopkins
Program: Selling Secrets from Tom Hopkins
Tom Hopkins is the author of 17 books, including “How to Master the Art of Selling™,” which has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide. This mega-selling book is considered a must-have reference guide for top selling producers in every field of sales. He has also authored three selling-skills books in the popular “Selling for Dummies©” series. In this program Tom will give you his secrets to selling success.
A message from Tom:
What is the emotional process that leads to a purchase? It begins with a new development in buyers’ self-images. That is, buyers see themselves in a new way. If the projected purchase is small, that change need only be small, but if the purchase is a large one in relation to buyers’ income, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large.
Such a change can come about very quickly. It can take place within a few minutes or even within a few seconds. Champions are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales interviews. They are quick to reinforce the buyers’ new idea that they can have and enjoy, will look good in, and be complimented on, deserve, need, and are worthy of, the marvelous new goodie they like. When you see that eagerness, reinforce their self-image. Do this and they won’t just like your product, they’ll want it, need it, realize they can’t get along without it, and then they’ll buy it.
A few words of caution are in order here, because this is selling’s most common and most abused technique. It’s automatic in the old-time bazaar, overused in the boutique, and heard too soon almost everywhere that apparel and accessories are sold at retail. “It really looks good on you,” they say about everything you try on. Sometimes they’ll say it without even glancing at you. It’s sad when a fine technique is beaten into a total turnoff by total insincerity and carelessness. Yet when used right, this is a powerful technique. It requires attention; it requires discipline, but given that, it delivers the results.
Here’s how to do it: First, be genuinely interested in doing your best for clients, and show this interest by asking questions that will tell you what they’re seeking to accomplish. Rise above the limitations of your own taste and preferences. Recognize that what’s right for you isn’t right for everyone, and make an intense effort to see the world through your clients’ eyes.
Second, use your expertise to guide clients to the best solution for them that your inventory provides.
Third, wait for positive stimulus from clients. When you get it, if you believe they’ve found something that helps them achieve whatever effect they want, reinforce their image about that purchase. Avoid the worn-out phrases they’ve heard a thousand times; stay away from the words they stopped believing years ago. Concentrate on your customers.
Say sincere and positive things that reflect your customers’ uniqueness, and you’ll not only make that sale, but also create clients who’ll send you referrals and buy from you again in the future. The key is to discipline yourself to wait for their positive input. Unless you do that, you’ll find yourself bragging about something they don’t like and, before you know it, you’re caught in a web of obvious insincerity.
If you stick to the facts, if you constantly work on your buyers with logic and avoid arousing their emotions positively, what will happen? The mere fact that you’re a salesperson will arouse their negative emotions, and they’ll start fighting you. Your prospects are either emotionally for you, or against you–and you can divide your chances of selling them by a hundred if they’re against you. At my seminars I ask my audiences to give me emotional reasons that cause people to buy. Things like this will usually be suggested first: “They can afford it.” “It’s the right size.” “Prices are going up.” “It meets their needs.” Most audiences will give me several logical reasons why people should buy before they’ll give me a single emotion that will make people buy. This makes me believe that salespeople in general put too much emphasis on fact and too little on emotion. If we weren’t the jangling bundle of emotions that we all are, everybody would buy everything based solely on logic–and then wouldn’t the world be a dull place?
Become aware of the emotional process behind buying decisions and learn to help those decisions along–with emotion!
Wishing you greatness,