In a recent update to his best-selling book “The Sales Bible” author Jeffrey Gitomer compares the principle of engaging a prospect and building rapport to a boxing match. The goal is to get the prospect to lean forward with interest and then knock them out with a value message.
“The principle of leaning forward is most easily defined in boxing. During the fight, boxers chase each other all over the ring. Jabbing and throwing punches. But occasionally, one boxer is leaning forward as the other is throwing a punch. The term used is “walking into a punch.” And the opponent immediately falls to the ground. Out cold. Your job, in establishing rapport, is to get the customer leaning forward with a pen so that when you slide the contract underneath it, he or she is ready to sign.”
It was an amusing metaphor (especially when you see Jeffrey deliver it at one of his live seminars), but it didn’t really hit home with me until I decided to improve my personal fitness by trying out membership in Title Boxing Club.
One of the core exercises Title Boxing Club teaches when you’re working out on the heavy bag is throwing combination punches. It’s not just a single punch that makes the primary difference in a fight, it’s a layering of a variety of punches — delivered in combinations — that challenges your opponent and gives you the winning edge.
Average salespeople only have one or two punches in their repertoire (that’s why they are average.)
They all learn the Jab — it’s a straight shot out with your dominant hand.
- Nice to meet you — Handshake.
Then they learn to throw multiple Jabs… the 1-2 Punch:
- Handshake + Business Card
- Business Card + Brochure
- Can I bid on that? + Did you get the proposal I emailed?
With wimpy little punches like these it’s way too easy for your prospect to block and jab back with a few punches of their own.
- We’re not interested.
- We already have a vendor.
- Our budget is already spent.
- You need to make an appointment.
They’ll pummel you into submission until you go away, or keep you dancing around the ring until you get tired of putting up a fight to win their business.
By throwing a creative combination of value-message punches that your prospect doesn’t expect, you can throw them off their fancy-footwork routine of negative, canned and programmed responses and objections — allowing you to earn a winning advantage and the opening you need to deliver a TKO punch right in their NOs.
Try these creative combo punches:
Jab + Right Cross
Engaging Question + Free eBook about your area of expertise
Left Body Hook + Right Hook
Your Business Blog + Daily Value Tweet
Right Body Hook + Left Cross
Video Client Testimonial + Personal Business Lead for THEM
Left Body Hook + Right Hook + Left Upper-Cut
Your weekly ezine + Interview your prospect for the next issue + Forward it to the media
Get creative with the kinds of punches you deliver and in the ways you combine them. See how many you can string together in a series of value-combinations.
Knock-out your toughest prospects with the value you deliver in advance of the sale, and then be sure to knock their socks off with service once you win the sale.
Note: This article original appeared in Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Caffeine #597 on April 16, 2013
Possessing creative powers beyond those of mere mortals, Don The Idea Guy is a Gitomer Certified Speaker helping businesses in need of customized and personalized seminars on sales, customer loyalty, personal development, and creativity. To book Don for your next event, go to www.GitomerCertified.com or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email or by calling 704-333-1112.