A sales process is something that is both duplicable and repeatable. In this episode, Alex Mandossian talks about the steps of the D.E.L.T.A. Selling Process and the reason why it is much more effective than other sales tactics. Learn why connecting is better than closing in ABC and still close sales through the exchange. Lastly, get to know the different certainties to make the sale in the process of intimacy.
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D.E.L.T.A. Selling Process
In this episode, you’ll discover number one, what the DELTA Selling Process is as an acronym and why it’s different than any other selling process you’ve ever experienced. Number two, you’ll discover who created the DELTA Selling Process and why it’s an alternative to the old sales techniques that no longer work as well. Finally, number three, why ABC is not about Always Be Closing. It’s about Always Be Connecting and you still close sales through the exchange.
The Story Of Jerry Acuff
This is the story of Jerry Acuff. He is a best-selling author along with Wally Wood of Stop Acting Like a Seller and Start Thinking Like a Buyer: Improve Sales Effectiveness by Helping Customers Buy. That’s his book. It’s a great book, I recommend you get it on Amazon. Here’s the story I first read on pages 18, 19 and 20. I recommend you lean in and read carefully because it’s a good one. Jerry was considering buying a BMW. That’s what I own.
I own a BMW. I love BMWs but I have a different reason for buying one than he did. Jerry wanted a bigger car and he was trying to decide between a BMW 7 series, which is one of the bigger BMW series, which is around $80,000 at the time. As well as comparing it to an Infiniti Q45 and that was around $60,000, about $20,000 less. Jerry was a loyal Infiniti customer, but he wanted to look at BMW.
When he went into the showroom, he was surprised that no one was pouncing on him as they do in most showrooms when the sales professional comes up and is soliciting and wondering what you’re doing there and if you’re in the market for a car. They left him alone, nobody pounced on him and he was able to sit in a few of the cars in the BMW 7 series cars. He was enjoying the experience when a salesperson finally came over and said, “How do you like that car?”
Jerry said, “I like it a lot.” The salesperson responded, “Are you in the market for a car?” Timeout. That’s a great question. That’s a great qualifying question. That’s a seeding question. It’s because seeding through storytelling is the new selling. He’s asking questions so quickly socratically. Socrates lived about 2,500 years ago. The Socratic method works in universities and it works in sales as well. The question was, “Are you in the market for a car now?” Do you sense the urgency? Time back in. Let’s keep going.
Jerry responded, “I’ve been thinking about getting another car. I’ll probably buy one in the 2 to 3 months.” There’s the qualification, time frame, and urgency. The salesperson responded with another question, “What other cars are you considering?” Jerry responded, “I’m looking at the Q45.” The Q45 is the Infiniti series. It’s $20,000 less than the BMW 7 series. Stay with me because it’s important.
[bctt tweet=”Seeding through storytelling is the new selling. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Here’s what the salesperson said. He said, “Mr. Acuff, that’s a great car.” Jerry responded, “Yes, I like it. I’ve driven several Infiniti models. I like the car, but I’m having a hard time understanding the difference in the price.” Jerry responded by continuing, “What makes this car, the BMW 7 series, worth $20,000 more than the Infiniti Q45?” The salesperson responded with such an elegant question rather than responding and that’s a big mistake many people make. You’ve probably made that mistake.
You respond with an answer instead of asking another question. Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People. He said, “The question mark is more powerful than the exclamation point.” The exclamation point is a statement. The question mark is a question and it’s like a hook. It looks like a hook to pull people in. Are you tracking with me? Here’s what the salesman said after he heard what makes the car worth $20,000 more than the Infiniti Q45.
The salesman responded with, “How much do you like really driving a car, Mr. Acuff, as opposed to only a car as a mode of transportation?” Jerry responded with, “I prefer a car as a mode of transportation. The driving experience, frankly, is lost on me.”
The salesman responded with this statement, “I’m afraid, Mr. Acuff that this car isn’t worth the money to you. You should get the Infiniti. The Infiniti is a great car. It’s got almost all the bells and whistles that the 7 series has. The BMW is about driving a car. If you don’t love driving a car, I wouldn’t spend the money if I were you.” Think about this for a moment. Let’s take a timeout. What did this do for the salesperson’s credibility?
In fact, Jerry asked that, in the final paragraph of page nineteen of his book. He openly told Jerry that the product wasn’t a good fit. That’s not only the takeaway, but that’s also transparent honesty. By doing that, he planted the seeds for a future sale and if not for Jerry, maybe for a friend or a family member, because he planted the seeds through a vignette or a short story and that’s the new selling. Seeding through storytelling is the new selling, which is the tagline of this show.
The bottom line is if you want to sacrifice short-term profit in exchange for long-term wealth, you do what that salesperson did. Once you realize that your product or service is not a good fit for the buyer, you’ve got to openly say so. That way you’re a trusted adviser. There’s incredible power in telling someone that the product isn’t right for them. I do this all the time with my $30,000 clients and $100,000 clients.
I don’t have a lot of them, but I have over 24 of them and for 30,000 or 100,000 clients, when they say, “What’s the guarantee?” I say, “By guarantee, do you mean the return on investment?” They say, “Yes. What’s the ROI?” My response is, “I can’t guarantee an ROI. In fact, the only guarantee is that you will never see the 30,000 or the $100,000 again.”
They say, “How can you say that?” I say, “Anyone who could possibly guarantee you an ROI is a liar or a future seer or somehow a prognosticator of what could happen. I’m not bad. I’m a marketer.” When they say, “How can you do it?”
I said, “Look at all my endorsements and testimonials. Would I risk my 30-year reputation on $30,000 or $100,000? I wouldn’t. I’m going to give you everything I got for less than the cost of a marketing professional at $100,000 or a personal assistant at $30,000 and that’s per year. I’m going to show you the fastest, easiest and most economical way to dramatically double your profits without spending a single dollar more on advertising or marketing costs.”
That’s the way I do my Clear Path Coaching or CPC. I do the same thing that the salesperson did that Jerry was describing in his book. I didn’t know it but I picked up the book and I first heard about Jerry’s book in The Monday Morning Memo that is delivered by my good friend and mentor, Roy H. Williams out of Austin, Texas. He’s been doing it for over twenty years.
The D.E.L.T.A. Process
He said, “Stop acting like a seller. Start thinking like a buyer.” I thought, “That’s a long title for a book and the subtitle is Improved Sales Effectiveness by Helping Customers Buy. I read it and in there I found a five-step process called the DELTA Selling Process. It’s something that Jerry made up. D stands for Develop. Develop a safe buying environment. The framing of the game is everything. You don’t want to only develop a safe selling environment. People hate to be sold, they love to buy.
Jeffrey Gitomer said that over the years and you’ve known this if you’ve read the other podcast episodes, but developing a safe buying environment, the way that salesperson did in the showroom is exactly what I do and I want you to do that too. If you move too quickly, you’re leapfrogging a few levels of intimacy and like in any relationship, it doesn’t work. You’ll be denied. You won’t get a slap on the face, but you’ll get denied.
[bctt tweet=”The question mark is more powerful than the exclamation point. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Developing a safe buying environment is what that salesperson did by letting Jerry sit in a few cars and feel comfortable. What does the E stand for of DELTA? Engage in meaningful dialogue. Dialogue is not a monologue. A monologue is one way. Dialogue is two ways and it’s more karmic. There’s an exchange. You provide value, they bring you back value.
By asking questions like, “How long have you been in the market for a car? Do you like that car?” Let me ask you a question. Do you like a car as a mode of transportation or because you love to drive? You a see BMW and I have one. I have a Convertible Hardtop M4 for which I love. It was made custom in Germany and shipped over. It dodged a few hurricanes in 2018 and I still have a few years on the lease and I’ll probably buy another one. I love that car.
The goal of having that car is because it’s the ultimate driving machine I love to drive. It’s one of the things I enjoy doing fifteen minutes to work, fifteen minutes back and listening to an audible book on audio. Over the course of a few weeks, I listen and read a few books that way, as well as reading them with my eyes. Develop a safe buying environment is the D. That’s framing the game. Engage in meaningful dialogue is the E of DELTA.
What is L? L is learn the prospect’s chief complaint. This is not what Jerry talks about in the book, but it’s my experience. Dentists in the dental business, you want to know what the chief complaint of the patient is, as well as chiropractors.
I look at that as not a problem or a predicament or a pain point. I look at it as what’s the key complaint that people have? What’s the chief complaint? Let’s say for a traditional author with a traditional publisher, their chief complaint is, “My publisher doesn’t support the sales of my book enough or they don’t print enough books.”
That’s been the chief complaint for over 50 years. The chief complaint of a franchisee of a franchise is no matter how supportive the franchise or the mothership is, it’s always, “My franchise never supports me enough.” If you learn the prospect’s chief complaint, not only the pain point, predicament, or problem, you’re going to learn a lot about how to talk to the objections that they may have.
What does T stand for? D is develop a safe buying environment. E of DELTA is engage in meaningful dialogue. L is learn the prospects chief complaint. T is tell objection obliterating stories to advance the dialogue. Telling stories is much more powerful than telling the prospect why they should buy. It’s the story is not challenged. A story is entertaining and it’s a narrative. People remember a story because it has a beginning, middle and an end.
The bottom line is by telling stories, you can tell a story for every objection you have. I believe there are seven plus or minus two. That’s 5 to 9 objections that every prospect has sometimes more but the sale doesn’t begin until the objections begin. Many people are paralyzed by an objection. That’s when the actual sales process begins so I like telling objection obliterating stories, which are the keys that unlock the doors to the barriers which open up to a new door.
You need a new key for that lock, a new key for the next lock. One key doesn’t open every lock if you’re with me. Tell objection obliterating stories, that’s the T of DELTA. The A is ask appropriate commitments that advance the sale. It’s not always about closing the sale. Many people are slammers. They go straight for the sale. You may have experienced that. That is transactional and in my business, the transaction is not the thing. It’s the relationship that’s the thing because it has residual value.
I asked for the appropriate commitments such as, “Would you like me to send you the letter of engagement next?” “Would you like me to send you the flowchart to how this works?” “Would you like me to write up the order?” Let’s do this so you asked for the appropriate commitment. The commitment is not always the sale.
D is to develop a safe buying environment is to engage in meaningful dialogue. L is for learn the prospect’s chief complaints, those are my words not Jerry’s, T is for tell stories to obliterate objections and finally, the A is ask appropriate commitment levels to advance the sale. A thing about objections, the selling does not start until you get the first objection.
The reason why the DELTA sales process is so different because it is a step-by-step process that even the new salesperson can adhere to, advance the sale and get better and better at it. I’ve taught my team this and I’ve adapted to it. I’ve taken a license to adapt personally.
[bctt tweet=”There’s incredible power in telling someone that the product isn’t right for them. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
A tip of the hat does go to Jerry Acuff, Wally Wood who wrote the book, Stop Acting Like a Seller and Start Thinking Like a Buyer: Improve Sales Effectiveness by Helping Customers Buy. It’s a brilliant book. It’s a white cover. You can see it on Amazon.
I get nothing from you buying it but I do recommend that you get it, get the Kindle version and start reading it and give Jerry a recommendation. Give them a certified review. If you buy it from Amazon, you get a certified review. The thing about an objection I have realized is why not anticipate them? Instead of fearing the anticipated objection, why not rejoice in an anticipated rejection because the selling begins then?
A word about intimacy. Always be closing is not intimate. I know many sales trainers will come down on me and say, “Alex, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” You may be right. You probably are a better closer than me but I do know that over the long-term, I will outsell you because I’m about relationships and ABC stands for Always Be Connecting, not Always Be Closing. I’m always looking for an exchange.
I’m not chickening out and not asking for an exchange but the exchange is about asking for the appropriate commitment that will advance the sale. It’s not always getting the sale that advances it. Intimacy in business, at least in sales and marketing, is all about relationships and human intimacy. If you advance too quickly, it’s not going to be long-term or meaningful.
Skipping the steps of intimacy, if you go from saying hello to closing the sale, it looks it’s transactional and all of a sudden, you lose credibility. That salesperson back to the story, in the BMW dealership, could have probably forced the sale but he didn’t. He probably got a bunch of referrals from Jerry. I don’t know how the story ends as an epilogue, but that’s probably true. Jerry, if you’re reading, once again, another tip of the hat to you.
You don’t want to skip any steps of intimacy. There are many stages of intimacy like in real life and creating a relationship and that is a relational process, not a transactional one. You go from one step to the next and the next and it becomes a relationship and it’s a process. It’s not a point in time.
Three Different Certainties
For this episode, the Alexism is this, great business minds are like parachutes, they first must open to work. It’s one of my favorite ones.
A word about certainty and I know this about selling. If you were to have a level of certainty on the prospect side, on a level, let’s say 1 to 10 right, there are three different certainties that you need at least a 9 or a 10 to capture a sale. Two of those things are about you and your product and one of them is about the buyer. In making sales and having a level 9 or 10 certainties in these three areas are key and make sure you set up your DELTA sales process so it does this.
Make sure you set up your anticipated objection stories in this way. Make sure that you don’t leapfrog any stages of intimacy. The first level of certainty should be about the product. Make sure they know enough about the product and there’s certain that there are no alternatives that would do better a level 9 or 10. If they have a level 9 or 10 about your product, for example, for me, it’s Clear Path Coaching, which is a $30,000 process that I have for my clients.
I have Guerrilla Business Online, which I enroll my guerrilla business, intensive students, when I’m speaking on behalf of Success Resources at a T Harv Eker event overseas. They have a level 9 or 10 about the product being sold so I’m educating them about the product. That’s a high level of certainty. If they have a 5 or 6, I’m not going to get the sale.
The second certainty they need to have is about the person selling, they need to have a certain level of certainty about me. In your case, for you. If they don’t have a level 9 or 10, about you or for your product, you’re not going to get the sale yet. You want to raise it to that level and you can’t ask them. It’s something that you have to sense and feel. You’ll know when you get a wow moment and when their eyes light up.
The third level or the third part of certainty that usually is ignored is the potential of delight the prospect is going to have when they’re sold. What’s the potential of the delight of buying? Do they feel they have the potential to make this work, to get to point B that you are telling them as possible?
[bctt tweet=”Great business minds are like parachutes, they first must open in order to work. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
The three certainty areas are the product being sold, the person selling the product, that’s about you, and the potential delight of the prospect who’s getting sold or who’s buying, that’s about the prospect. You can’t do anything about potential but you can do a lot about product and person.
A Quick Review
Here’s a review of the three insights that you and I both rediscovered in this episode. I want you to apply them and execute them the faster the better so that they stick. Number one, you learned what the DELTA selling process is as an acronym and why it’s different than other sales processes. It’s simple and it works.
Number two, you learned who created the DELTA Selling Process. That’s Jerry Acuff and why it’s a nice alternative to other sales techniques that require more memorization and a lot more skill. Haste selling is a skill that can be learned but the DELTA Sales Process of developing engaging, learning, telling and asking when you can go back to the replay and listen to what you’re developing, engaging, learning, telling and asking. You’ll have more fun with that.
Finally, this is what I say so you don’t have to believe it but I believe it to be true. It’s my experience. ABC in sales is not about Always Be Closing because I believe you can’t always close but you can always get the sale eventually. The sale is always going to be made.
I know many people have said this over the years either the prospect is going to sell you on why they shouldn’t buy or you’re going to sell them on why they should and could buy but it’s not going to be buying at that moment. ABC isn’t Always Be Closing, it’s Always Be Connecting. If you hate to sell, always be connecting feels better and will work better, especially for you.
Remember, these insights will only work for you if you work so please make sure you execute what you’ve learned in this episode because if you do, your future, I can promise you will be bigger, it will be brighter and you will create it on your terms.
[bctt tweet=”You can’t always close but you can always get the sale eventually. ” username=”AlexMandossian”]
Speaking of reviews, if you’ve already given me a review in iTunes, write down the biggest takeaway or your a-ha moment, the big win that you got from this episode, maybe on an index card and save that. If you haven’t given me a review on iTunes, please go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes and write down your biggest a-ha moment in the review section. iTunes doesn’t say this is you’re a-ha moment. It says Review the Episode but I want you to be specific.
I don’t want you to give me a review for the podcast. Give me your biggest takeaway from this episode. It will mean so much to me and once you do that, iTunes will ask you to rate the episode and I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. You can rate and review it right now. Would you do that for me?
If you haven’t done it, it will take three minutes out of your day but what you declare could provide yourself and others the reading that’s valuable enough to learn a new lesson. All you do is go to AllSellingAside.com/iTunes. Do that, please.
I have one final gift for you in honor of this episode and that is the marketing funnel of how to have a free book offer. It doesn’t have to be an Amazon bestseller, but how to get a free book offer and show a free book and charge for shipping and handling and generate over $40 or $50 from it as I do. You can do that by experiencing it at MarketingOnline.com/book. I’m happy to give that to you and you can sidestep the $497 that other people have to pay.
That does it for this episode. I hope our paths cross again in the next episode. This is the show dedicated to making you an ethical influencer so you can bring more certainty in your personal and professional life. Please, do whatever it takes to join me on the next episode because our topic is Disrupting Dishonest People.
I encourage you to invite a friend, a colleague or a study buddy. It’s more fun to study with someone than doing it alone because All Selling Aside is set up that way. I can’t wait for you to connect. It will be super fun.
Remember on iTunes, it’s in reverse chronological order, which means that the most recent episode is first, but at AllSellingAside.com, it’s in chronological order and the first episode is first and you can keep clicking the red button to see other episodes along with the notes. Join me in the next episode. Bring your study buddy. All good wishes.