February 2018

The sales profession obviously relies on the spoken word. Thereby our verbal skills in essence are the nucleus of effective selling. To successfully convey product information and to trigger emotional buy-ins, we are dependent upon what we say and how we say it. Yet, for a profession that relies so heavily on the spoken word, it has always amazed me the amount of acronyms we use.  Any sales conversation replete with these verbal shortcuts can make your head spin. Where’s the decoder!

Here’s a small sampling:
•    ABC (Always Be Closing)
•    ABS (Always Be Selling)
•    AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)
•    FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits)
•    LAARC  (Listen-Acknowledge-Assess-Respond-Confirm)
•    LAIR (Listen-Acknowledge-Identify the objection-Reverse the objection)
•    TED (Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me)

For anyone who is a fan of the award winning 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, you will understand how both ABC and ABS drove the sales process. The movie depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen. The corporate office sends a sales trainer to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. The four salesmen are supplied with the names and phone numbers of prospects, many of whom lack either the money or the desire to actually invest in land.  The desperate sales agents then use deceitful tactics to make sales. This movie definitely portrays old school hard core sales. It is not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, over the years hard core tactics gave the sales profession a bad name.


Let’s take a look at a few of the above acronyms and how they apply to today’s way of selling.

ABS (Always Be Selling):  What has changed since 1992 is that how we sell today is so vastly different. There is no way to successfully maintain a sales career in today’s world by being hardcore. I personally prefer to re-define ABS. I believe sales professionals in the housing industry need to Always Be Showcasing.  I have not observed that many agents who know how to properly showcase their product. Sure they point out, (usually they just verbally list), their features. But as buyers go from community to community, the features listing approach becomes white noise. This is not the desired goal. The word showcase is usually used as a glass cabinet to display something. An agent certainly wants to display their product to make it distinctive and of value. But to showcase also means to show something’s or someone’s best advantages. 

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action):  This is a method of motivating people to purchase by gaining their attention, interest, desire for the product, and then inspiring them to take action. This requires listening to your buyer, incorporating information obtained through discovery (to personalize), and thereby create desire. Then you can request your buyer take the required action steps.

FAB (Features, Advantages, Benefits):  Salespeople must focus on the benefits a customer will gain from their product. Pointing out granite countertops in the kitchen is no great deal as just about every company includes granite counter tops. Perhaps your standard granite is a higher grade than the competition? Or your standard is either granite or other quality option? Now you can discuss your advantage and benefit over the competitor.

LAARC:  This is essential when handling customer’s objections and concerns. 
•    Listen to what your prospect has to say and wait until they finish before you jump in to resolve it.
•    Acknowledge the prospect’s right to object and the validity of their objection. Otherwise they may take your response personally and the conversation will descend into a no-win contest. 
•    Assess the situation. Ask questions to probe for further detail. You know when you have completed the assessment stage when you can fully understand someone’s objection. 
•    Respond. Always be careful to ensure you respond fully and adequately to the objections given. Do not drift from the stated objection or else you may end up creating more objections. 
•    Confirm. Finally, check with your prospect that they have understood your response and confirm that it resolves their concerns.

Do you know your sales team’s verbal effectiveness? Do your agents incorporate AIDA, FAB and TED into their sales presentations? LeBlanc & Associates wants to be your partner in confirming your agents’ verbal agility through the video shop process. We won’t use acronyms or take shortcuts. We promise you will not need a decoder to understand our reports. It is easy to connect B2B. Submit a request online, call or send an e-mail. 

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