Before I was a
Master of the Universe
, I did about a year in sales. I learned some very useful albeit cheesy-sounding conversational tricks that I will share with you today. Like most advice on TRP, this is heuristic in nature - it won't do anything for you unless you go out and try to apply it for yourself.
These are not magic spells, and making them natural will take practice and deliberate effort. However, they work almost unbelievably well once you have them mastered (amusingly, also like TRP). I'll run through a few categories and provide conversational examples where needed, along with warnings or pitfalls.
Rebuttals - or ways to overcome an objection
A-I-R, or Acknowledge, Ignore, Resume
The simplest and most effective rebuttal is to simply dismiss the objection itself. However, no one wants to continue a conversation or hear the sales pitch of someone who doesn’t give a shit about them. Fortunately, the brain sets the bar pretty low - merely
the objection exists is sufficient.
[you're introing a girl at a bar or pitching a prospect, when she/he stops you and says]
"Thanks, but I'm not really interested."
Response: "Yes, of course... or Yeah yeah - sure sure, [continue right where you left off]
This has 2 elements that make it work so well: it passively dismisses the objection as opposed to actively overcoming it, which can be offensive esp. with strangers, and it allows your flow to continue almost uninterrupted while forcing the other party to at least come up with a more interesting version of "no". Critical to executing this one is eye contact and a sincere expression - you cannot slink away. The max number of times you can use this is two - more than that and you alienate the other person, but try it only once and you might have missed the opportunity to shut down the initial "no" for free.
This is my #1 rebuttal but it took me a number of tries until I could sell it - this is BALLSY and has to be sold as such. IT WILL NOT WORK AT FIRST. Stick with it.
One idea only
Another simple one. You tell the girl you couldn't A-I-R or the business owner who just shut you down that you want to share one idea, and one idea only. Worst comes to worst, you can part as friends. This does 3 important things psychologically: it relieves the "pressure" on the target, it gets them listening fully again (because it's just one last thing), and it creates a presumption of familiarity with the friends line. This is useful to stop and turn around negative momentum in a conversation, and is a good last-ditch effort. In short, use this when you’ve fucked up but not yet totally blown it.
Obviously, this one is executed differently when you're after a girl vs. at work. At work it can literally be "share one idea only" because that works in the context.
“OK, I understand you’re well taken care of on the bank side of things, but I want to share one idea, and one idea only…”
If you're gaming someone, it has to be “just want to know 1 thing…” or “I can’t leave until…” Again, the goal is temporary pressure relief - you can sell men by making them feel like they’re
, but doesn’t work with women. Men look for reasons to be excited about an opportunity; women assume the opportunity is dangerous crap until they’re sufficiently distracted. This technique is a distraction when gaming, and a prod for excitement when selling.
Don't look at that, look at this!
This is slightly more complex, but only because there is an element of planning. To pull this off, you need to think of 2-5 things your target is probably going to throw at you. When I was selling stocks at the ripe age of 23, this was a pretty predictable list: I don't know you, I don't do business over the phone, I need to do my research, and the big kicker, I need to talk to my wife.
“I don’t know you”
“Well Jim, that exactly why I’m calling! How else would we get a chance to know each other?”
“I don’t do business over the phone”
“You’re telling me you pick up all your pizzas?!”
Do these sound stupid? Yes. Do they work? Yes – because the objection is also stupid. This technique requires canned responses because most peoples’ defenses are limited to the same 5 things. It’s genuinely shocking at first when you make 300 calls a day and NO ONE has anything different to say to you. You’ll find the same thing is true with hitting on women.
“I don’t give out my phone number”
“Your mom must be a lonely woman…”
“I have a boyfriend” (she probably doesn’t)
“I’m Mormon and have two wives. Want to be third time’s the charm?”
Do these sound stupid? Yes. Do they work? Yes –
because the objection is also stupid.
If you only remember one thing from this post, try to remember that.
Graceful exits – or ways to disengage without burning a bridge or looking like a dick
Agree your way out of it
Tough on the male ego, but immensely effective. If you blew your intro with one girl in a group, walking away kills your chance with all of them. Likewise, if you missed a close, you can come back and score later with this one. The most efficient way to lose and still be on good terms is to part with the other person feeling like you were in agreement with their point of view.
I once blew a close by calculating the exact cost of a sale to a prospect in my head, and when the confirm printed it had a $7 shipping charge attached. He got huffy and spouted some nonsense about dishonesty. To be fair, I fucked up by entering his frame (kowtowing to his penny-pinching bullshit) but I saved it by agreeing that I made a mistake, agreeing that the cost was too high, and apologizing before leaving.
I did this because there was no sale to be made that day.
I came back 2 days later with the exact same confirm printed and told the guy it was still a good deal – he became one of my favorite customers.
When you feel like closing is impossible, remember that it’s just impossible for that day. Sideline your ego and make the other person feel good when you part ways; you can try the same thing tomorrow or next Friday night and it will probably work – you already put the hardest work in by becoming familiar on good terms.
Passively dismiss objections before resorting to active dismissal
Men look for reasons to be excited about an opportunity; women assume the opportunity is dangerous crap until they’re sufficiently distracted.
Stupid canned lines work because the same 5 things every woman says to an unfamiliar man are ALSO STUPID.
If you fail today and exit gracefully, the exact same thing will probably work the next time on the same person.