The old school sales trainers love to tell us that what we need to do is build rapport with our prospects. They’ll tell us things like they need to like you, or people buy from people they like. But you know what this is focusing on exactly the wrong aspect of a relationship. It’s not about them liking you. Instead, we need to focus on building a connection with a prospect. This means creating a relationship built on trust, and respect. Once you have both of those, you are now in that category of a trusted advisor. It’s all about connection. In this chapter, I’m going to show you four easy steps to immediately connect with any prospect and sales. Check it out.

Number one, open with a provocative question. You know what, nobody trusts or respects the Yes man, the person who will just say or do anything to make you happy, right think of those people in your own lives. Instead, we’re far more trusting and respectful of people who challenge us to look at our goals and our challenges differently. Rather than open your conversations with the goal of making a new friend, provoke your prospect, challenge them. For example, a client of mine in the healthcare technology space, who sells directly to medical practices created this powerful opening sentence for prospects, he would say something like this. According to our research, 89% of patients nationally have a mediocre to poor experience with their medical practitioners. Many of our clients in the space struggle to effectively retain key patient data, they will worry that doctors and staff don’t enter in the most important information. Or finally, they’re just concerned about their patient experiences, do any of these issues, strike a chord with you. Now think about what just happened in that opening statement. There was a lot of challenging of the prospect, it’s throwing out some information at the same time challenging them to think about what are the experiences they’re creating for their patients, it really comes out swinging in a way and will really connect with a prospect who’s experiencing those challenges. And by the way, if the prospect isn’t experiencing those challenges from my client, then they’re not a fit. So how can you become more provocative with your prospects?

Number two, drop the enthusiasm? Nothing turns off prospects more than something that sounds like this. Hey, how are you today, I’m so excited to meet with you and tell you all about how we can help your company. It screams cheesy salesperson. And sadly, this is what most salespeople are doing on some level. Here’s a quick bonus challenge for you. Record your next few prospecting calls and listen for your sales voice. Notice does your voice go up a few octaves when talking to prospects? If so you need to drop that it’s killing your sales. Prospects immediately hear that sales voice. Instead just focus on being totally genuine, and real. No need to be smooth and polished. This is actually refreshing to prospects to talk to a real person. This is going to help you immediately connect with your prospect.

Number three, make it all about them. Let me ask you a question. Who is the only person your prospect cares about, themselves? Let me ask you another question. Who do most salespeople focus on, themselves? This, unfortunately is disconnect. Because each actor in this scene is concerned with a different person. It’s really true. And this is a major problem and it’s happening every day. You may say Wait, Mark, I’m not focused on myself. I can prove that chances are you are. Let’s just do a quick exercise. Pretend that I’m a prospect and just answer the following question. Why should I do business with you? Now pause the video and just write down how you would respond to this question. Why should I do business with you? Positive write it down? Alright, we’re back and hopefully, you did the exercise. Now let me ask you a question. Did you talk about your product or service? Or did you talk about the prospect? Now great salespeople are 100% focused on the prospect, not on what they sell or on their company. This is the key to connection. Number four, dig into their challenges. Like I said before prospects only care about themselves. And more specifically, they only care about the challenges that they’re actually facing. So when you’re talking to a prospect, the only importance you have to them is your ability to help them solve their challenges, period. So when talking to prospects focus completely on the challenges that they face. Ask questions to dig deeply into those challenges and how they’re affecting the prospect or their organization. When you get to this level, by the way, few salespeople ever get to, you become the doctor, the true expert, you have now built a deep connection built on trust, and, and respect.