Therefore good sales is the art of good solutions, and as a salesperson your job is to influence your customer into agreeing that your solution is the best one.
Selling is a dance, plain and simple, you just need to know how to lead.
How do you do that? With the Five C’s!
To guide my employees at Curry’s Auto Service through the sales dance, I came up with a list of steps I call the Five C’s of Selling, which I taught them in a series of training classes.
The Five C’s – Commonality, Compliment, Connect, Collaborate, and Close – build upon one another and make it easier to convert more sales.I’ll dive in deep explaining each of the Five C’s in subsequent blog posts, but for now I want to give you an overview of what exactly I’m talking about, what I have trained my own employees in, and what is the cornerstone of my sales success.
I. Commonality is the want (and need) of human beings to be around people who are like themselves. Our friends are typically people who talk like us and share our values. They are people who see the world in a similar way and have the same mindset. Not always 100% true, but for the most part, people we are drawn to are similar to ourselves. For you as the sales person this means finding the common thread between you and your customer.
Example: I’m trying to sell you a car and I see that you have an infant car seat strapped into the back seat of your minivan. That observation tells me you probably have kids too.
So to use the first C - Commonality - I’d say: “Hey I see you have a child, that’s great! I have two kids myself. How old is your little one?” And from there we are off to the races using the common thread of kids to create commonality and bringing me one step closer to making that sale.
II. Compliment is simply tapping into the emotional trigger of liking people who like us. Isn’t that the truth? I bet you can remember a time when you learned that someone you never really thought twice about before actually liked you and bam! this person automatically seemed just a little more (or a lot more!) likeable than before.
When you compliment your customer you make them feel great about themselves, you make them feel liked, and because of that simple feeling they are more likely to do business with you.
Example: I’m trying to sell a digital product and the customer seems unsure about their computer savvy, and therefore their ability to use my product.
Each time they ask a question, when practicing the second C - compliment - I would say, “That’s a really good question, most people don’t think to ask that…” or “Great point!” or “I’m very glad you mentioned that…” The customer now feels smart, feels liked, and we are on our way to doing great business.
III. Connection is describing how your solution will solve your customer’s problem in a vivid, storytelling way. The best way is to weave that compliment you just gave them into a story that illustrates this solution. Human beings need to know what’s in it for them, and this story is how you deliver that and at the same time connect with them in a clear and personal way.
Example: Remember that car I’m trying to sell to the couple with kids? I want to now tell a story that explains the benefits they receive from my “solution” in a vivid way.
Using the third C - connection - I would say, “I like your choice in minivans, Mr. Anderson. When my kids were little I had a Caravan too, and it was probably the best car I’ve ever owned. I put Michelin tires on it because I wanted only the safest ride for my kids. I know you want the same thing for your kids, too. Come over here with me and let me show you the Michelins.”
Commonality (kids/family) + Compliment (I like your van) + Connection (best car/safe ride for my kids) … so far so good!
IV.The fourth C is Collaborate, I want you to show your customers you are working with them to find a solution. When you collaborate with your customers you empower them to make their decision right away.
Collaboration means asking affirming questions such as:
- “Does that make sense?”
- “Does that sound good?”
- “Is that fair?”
Example: I’ve now shown my client the tires, we’ve discussed (possibly) some of his objections so putting the fourth C - collaboration - to work I’d say, “I think adding the Michelin tire package would be a smart idea today, does that sound good?”
From there let’s head on into… the Close!
V.The fifth and final C in the steps to successful selling is Close. This C is actually the simplest part if you have followed the other four steps because all you have to do is ask!
With these Five C’s I firmly believe any sale is possible.
Have you tried all five of the Five C’s? Are you stuck on a particular C or have a customer who just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere in this process? Come on over to my Facebook page and tell me about it! I’m posting and talking and chatting with folks on my page just about every day so I’ll be sure to see your comment and I’m sure I will have something to say!