In this two-part series, learn why The Golden Rule is lackluster in comparison to The Platinum Rule® when it comes to gaining more speaking business.


Your pipeline is filling up but you are not closing as much business as you expected. How do you convert the leads from your marketing actions into revenue? Develop a better understanding of the sales process and how to quickly qualify and disqualify potential customers by incorporating The Platinum Rule® into your sales process. The Platinum Rule® allows you to “treat others the way they want to be treated” by identifying their behavioral style, thereby increasing your personal sales effectiveness and closing more business.


A Three-Step Process Lays the Foundation for Applying The Platinum Rule®


What tactics — if any — do you currently use in your current sales process and how do you implement them to create and fill your pipeline? Once you understand this, you have solved half the challenge. When you find what works, create measurable, repeatable, and predictable processes so you do not have to go through this process every year. Find what works for you and stick with it. Your goal is to develop a sales process that gets you to “Yes” much more often and to “No” much more quickly. How do you do that? You’ll accomplish this through this three-step process:


1. Gain agreement on the agenda. You are there to help the potential client make a buying decision and both of you must understand and agree that you are there for that purpose. If this obstacle is not addressed, anything after this point is going to be a problem. This can be accomplished during the opening of the sales call, by saying, “We are here today to … and at the end of our discussion, together we will determine if there is a next step and what that next step is. Are you okay with that?” This sets the tone and texture of the meeting as requiring some form of action at the end. This action can be “No, I am not interested” or, “Yes, let’s move forward.”


2. You and your prospect must agree on how the product or service will solve the need. Agreeing there is a need addresses the intellectual side of the sales presentation. The emotional side investigates the impact of the need (or what I refer to as pain). Let’s use insurance as an example. Your prospect is looking to buy insurance for a specific reason; maybe lower premiums, or to gain initial or better protection. Those are intellectual reasons. To better understand the pain (prospect reasons for making a change) you might ask second-level questions such as, “What would happen if you did not find a better price?” or, “Why is it important to have this protection now?” or, “What would happen if you continue without protection?” These questions get the prospect emotionally involved in the buying process. You are helping the potential client understand the impact of not making a decision—the real reasons for buying. Once you understand the real reasons for buying, you tailor the rest of your presentation to address these needs. “If I can give you the same protection for a lower price, what would you do with the extra money?” We help prospects understand what would happen with the money that is saved.


3. The third aspect of the sales process is the decision-making process. After you and the prospect have gained agreement on the purpose of the meeting and the pain has been identified and investigated, you are now in the position to do what any good sales representative does — help the prospect make a buying decision. The decision process is a natural byproduct of creating a good selling process. Many times during the decision process, the prospect will put obstacles or objections in front of you. Objections are questions or concerns that have not been answered during the sales presentation. Objections are a very good thing because this is the prospect giving you permission to ask further questions to gain clarity to move the buying process forward. Many times there is no asking for the order. If done right, the prospect will ask you for the next step. Naturally the next step is to sign the order.


And by utilizing The Platinum Rule as part of your sales process, you’ll better position yourself for more signed orders. In next month’s issue, learn the philosophy behind The Platinum Rule® and why it’s so effective in pleasing clients.


Ronald Finklestein is a business coach, consultant, speaker, trainer and author of two published books. For more information call 330.990.0788.