Did you ever wonder how the practice of bloodletting (cutting open a vain of a sick person to drain some blood) ever got started and why doctors used the practice for so long. (George Washington probably would have recovered if his doctors had not used bloodletting.) The answer is because someone had a plausible explanation for why it worked and sometimes patients did recover. This is the same way selling myths get started.
For example, almost all the well-known sales trainers tell their followers to look at a prospect’s LinkedIn profile for personal things they have in common with the person and then to start the call by talking about these personal connections. The problem is that this comes across as creepy or worse to many people.
Consider Steve Jobs - he appears to have been high in the Artist Temperament Factor which causes people to have a strong drive to create. These people feel very uncomfortable and instantly distrust salespeople who bring up personal things about them. For people with the Artist Temperament, the effective strategy is to open the call in a way that stimulates their imagination.
So how did the Personal Item Connection myth get started? It turns out that the only temperament type this works really well on is the high energy, highly verbal temperament type called the Socializer in the 7MTF System. They love to talk about personal items they have in common with other people. They are also overly friendly to everyone, which makes both you and your competitor think you have the inside track to an order. The vast majority of what I like to call "Stand-Up Sales Trainers" have Socializer as their dominant temperament factor. Given that this opening strategy feels right to them, they started teaching it as a universal one-size-fits all strategy.
The best research on temperament shows that there are 7 core temperament factors. These are taught in the 7MTF System along with the effective opening call strategy for each factor. If you use the wrong opening strategy, you create apprehension and distrust. This causes the prospect to be suspicious of everything you say from that point forward, which can kill a sale that could have been won. If you have ever encountered a prospect who seemed to misinterpret everything you said and expressed a negative attitude throughout the presentation, chances are you blew the sale by the way you opened.
On the other hand, the right opening strategy will build rapport and the prospect will be open to trusting you and eventually liking you. Instead of seeking ways to prove you are wrong, their emotions are predisposed to trust what you are saying. You still have to conduct the rest of the sale in a professional way that molds to their temperament, but at least you have an engaged prospect to work with.
To learn more about how to quickly determine each person's dominant temperament factor and the ideal call opening strategy for each factor, read the tab on the 7MTF System or contact us for a free demonstration.