By Tom Mann, Principal, Executive Vice President
Sales and marketing techniques for selling to boomers, seniors, and the mature market. Being a good husband, wife, friend, or marketer is all about the process of discovery. And TRUE discovery comes from conversation NOT from demographic profiles. I can tell you personally; this is a problem most husbands and marketers have. They are just not very good listeners (at least that’s what my wife tells me).
Women, do you ever have a conversation with your husband, and then 5 minutes later he asks you a question that proves he really wasn’t listening?
Why is listening so important? Because only through real listening . . . no even deeper than that, only through probing, can we really discover what the needs, goals and aspirations of the person we are speaking to really are. What stage of life are they at? Trust me; you won’t get this off a mailing list.
And I use the word probe because most boomers and seniors are so use to not really being listened to, so much so that they seldom offer up their real thoughts. Which means as a sales person, you really need to understand how to get past conversation stoppers. You also need to understand how to ask follow-up questions. Both of these techniques will coax your customer to reveal more of themselves. Columbo was the expert at this, “Excuse me, sir, but do you have time for just one more quick question?”
But listening is just the first step to building a deeper relationship. Once you listen, you need to know how to respond to your new information so that you can help the person.
I’m a big believe in the principles of influence as taught by Dr. Robert Cialdini, a research professor out of Arizona State University, although if it were me, I’d rename the principles, the principles of true love. Dr. Cialdini, who I actually hired for a speaking engagement, and his team are brilliant.
Here’s how I remember the principles . . . CLASS R.
C – L – A – S – S- R.
Over the months, I’ll be talking about each of these six principles and how they apply to selling to the boomer and senior market.