Catch the Change on the Move – by Tom Hopkins

What is the emotional process that leads to a purchase? It begins with a new development in the buyer’s self-image. The buyer sees himself or herself in a new way. If the projected purchase is small, that change need only be small, but if the purchase is a large one in relation to the buyer’s income, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large.

Such a change can come about very quickly. It can take place within a few minutes…seconds. Champions are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales interviews. They are quick to reinforce the buyer’s new idea that he or she can have and enjoy, will look good in and be complimented on, deserves, needs and is worthy of the marvelous new goodie they like and want.

When you recognize that eagerness, reinforce their self-image. Do that and they won’t just like your product, they’ll want it, need it, realize they can’t get along without it–and then they’ll buy it.

Here’s how to do it:

First, be genuinely interested in doing your best for the client and show this interest by asking questions that will tell you what they’re seeking to accomplish. Make an intense effort to see the world through your customer’s eyes.

Second, use your expertise to guide the customer to the best solution for them that your inventory provides.

Third, wait for positive stimulus from the client. When you get it, if you believe they’ve found something that helps them achieve whatever effect they want, reinforce their image about that purchase.

Avoid the worn-out phrases they’ve heard a thousand times.  Stay away from words they stopped believing in years ago. Say sincere and positive things that reflect your customer’s uniqueness, and you’ll not only make that sale, you’ll create a client who’ll send you referrals and buy from you again in the future.

The key is to discipline yourself to wait for the customer’s positive input.  Unless you do that, you’ll find yourself puffing something they don’t like, and before you know it, you’re caught in a web of obvious insincerity.


Tom Hopkins is a sales legend. Since 1976, Tom Hopkins International has been dedicated to providing the finest sales training strategies and techniques to individuals and companies alike. His book How to Master the Art of Selling is one of the best-selling sales books of all time. You can connect with Tom at his website or by calling 800.528.0446 or 480.949.0786.



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