The "Magical Handshake Model" for Sales Excellence

Ken Polino
December 20, 2010 — 1,115 views  
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Wouldn't it be nice if there was a simple model to use in the sales process, one that would always keep you on track? Suppose this model was extremely simple to remember and use, and always allowed you to keep your focus exactly where it should be: on your customers. Believe it or not, this model does exist; and once you understand and master it, you'll never "get lost" in the sales process again!

A few years ago, as a member of Toastmasters (a public speaking organization), I gave a speech with a different twist. My speech assignment was to "create," and then present, a unique sales model: one that encapsulated the entire sales process, would be easy to use, and would also produce superior results. The final part of this assignment was to convince my "company" (the other speakers) to buy into this new model, via a question and answer period following the speech. I named this new model the "Magical Handshake Model;" and when I presented it, and answered all questions, the assembly really loved it! In fact, the presentation went so well that I decided to keep the model, and use it in my training for the automotive industry. This model was so easy to teach, grasp and use, that I also gave it a separate chapter in my first book: "Rags to Riches: How to be Great at Automotive Sales!" And although I taught this model only to automotive Sales Associates, it can easily be used for virtually any product or service. So,what is this "Magical Handshake Model," and how do you use it?

The model employs simple mental imagery that will keep every Sales Associate on track, and it involves something you do with every customer: shake hands! When we shake hands with our customers, of course, it's a sign of friendliness; it also implies a willingness to be of service. So, I used a simple handshake as the "trigger" for recalling this entire process. The best way to explain and illustrate the "Magical Handshake Model" is through example, and the example I'll use comes from the automotive industry (my favorite); but you can easily apply it to whatever you sell. Before I give you the example and the imagery, however, let's review the number one mission in sales: helping people; you help your customers to make quality decisions about your products. In essence, our job is to help people-not just to make sales! And, when we always keep this mission clearly in prime position, the sales will come rapidly! So, keeping our mission in mind, imagine this scene:

As your customer, Mr. Jones, approaches you in the showroom, you both offer your right hands in preparation for a handshake. On Mr. Jones' right hand, he has written-on his fingers-his wants, don't wants, needs, emotional "hot buttons" and budget information. That's five categories, one for each finger and the thumb. On your right hand you have, also in writing, extensive information for every model in your inventory: model features, functions (how those features work), customer benefits for each feature, exact information on competitive comparisons, and vast industry knowledge-so you can answer any customer question in layman's terms. Again, that would be five categories, one for each finger and the thumb. Please don't be concerned with how small the writing would have to be! The imagery is all that counts; just "see" it briefly in your mind's eye. What happens next could be a scene from a science fiction movie: As you shake hands, perfect knowledge and comprehension of what's written on both hands flows instantly between you and your customer. It flows in both directions, like an electrical transfer! Then, within seconds, you'd be able to say: "I have the perfect vehicle for you;" and more importantly, your customer, Mr. Jones would reply: "I know you do. Let's get the paperwork started!"

Of course, in the real world, things can't happen that quickly; but, the "Magical Handshake Model" will show you exactly how to proceed! In the real world, you'll have to build great initial rapport with Mr. Jones, to get him speaking freely and openly with you. As you continue to build rapport, you'll get all the information you need to help him, from your customer interview (need analysis). This is how you obtain the information "on your customer's right hand;" and from this information, you should be able to create a "mind picture"of the perfect vehicle for your customer. Furthermore, you should know exactly how to demonstrate this vehicle for maximum impact and effectiveness. Your job is to be an expert, so you can carry out this process in an efficient manner (remember your right hand!).

Will this model always keep us on track? It really will: When you properly visualize and employ the "Magical Handshake Model," you'll always strive to find out what's "written" on your customer's right hand: wants, needs, "hot buttons," etc. And when you find out, you'll know exactly how to demonstrate and explain the perfect vehicle for your customers: the vehicle that satisfies all their wants and needs, etc. Everything will be naturally "on point" and precise! The beauty of this model is simplicity. What could be simpler? You help and you translate: you obtain all the information you need to help your customers, then you "translate" that information into the perfect model from your inventory!

In addition to always being on track, there's a hidden bonus to using this model: your "closes" will be automatic! After all, you've expertly demonstrated the perfect vehicle for your customers, covering precisely what they wanted to see; you've skillfully tailored your presentation to them. You won't have to SELL them anything: They'll be anxious to buy, and you'll merely need to ask for the sale!

As you master the "Magical Handshake Model," your closing ratios will begin to soar! You won't be able to help yourself, because your focus will be exactly where it should be:on your customers, throughout the entire sales process. They will know it and feel it; everything will begin to flow smoothly, and you'll never "get lost" in the sales process again! So begin today, master this model, and start to create your own "magical" results!

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Ken Polino