The Art of B to B Sales Seduction

how to sell with email

Seduction isn’t about what you say, it’s about how you say it — and yes, that goes for B2B Sales Prospecting as well. Anyone can belly up to the bar and ask someone for their phone number just as any sales person can hand you a business card and suggest they have the perfect solution for your need. But what’s sexy about that?

Seduction is often linked to sex (even in the dictionary) and that’s ok, because sex sells. But the first thing you have to realize when leveraging the sexy angle in your sales approach is that most people in the world aren’t…. sexy. And that’s partly why sex works in advertising and marketing and sales.

By default sexy stands out… it gets noticed… it stops people and makes them pay attention… and that’s why Seduction Selling is the most powerful sales approach you’ll ever use.

How Is Seduction Selling Different From Traditional Selling?

Glad you asked.

Seduction Selling is slower. It requires the patience and technique of a world-class fly fisherman to see the prospect, select the right bait for the moment at hand and then expertly place the bait so the prospect takes it.

Because of this, Seduction Selling takes more time and that’s why so few do it much less do it well.  Seduction isn’t about making more sales calls. It’s about making fewer but more effective sales calls. It’s about dropping those baits in a variety of pools, paying attention to who is biting on which bait and then figuring out how to reel them in — which often requires interacting in a variety of channels.

It’s an art as much as a science. And while anyone can teach you the science, only a select few truly understand the art.

Three Benefits of Sales Seduction

It’s more fun. Let’s face it, simply pounding the pavement harder so you can win the sales numbers game sucks. Cold calling sucks. Working the trade show floor sucks. Chasing a 100 leads so that you can close 10 sucks. But using digital content, email, social media and video and voice to seduce those same 10 — well now, that’s a challenge and it’s fun. It’s fun because it rewards skill versus blunt force.

It’s more efficient. The cornerstone of seductive selling is content — digital content. Your digital content marketing is your bait. Your  website, blog, guest posts, social networks, B2B communities and such are the various pools. So when you create your content bait you can drop that into many pools with little or no incremental effort. So you reach more prospects more effectively.

It Painless Prospecting. Traditional sales approaches are inside out. You spend your days working your database — calling everyone to find the few that might buy. But seductive selling is about painless prospecting. It’s about letting prospects self identify and self qualify. So you spend more of your time figuring out how to win the sale versus qualifying a prospective sale.

How Can You Be More Seductive?

Be With Your Prospect. Put your friggin phone away, close the laptop and if necessary put on some of those blinders horses wear when they race. Now don’t stare at them like some serial killer that’s thinking they’d go nicely with a good Chianti… but commit yourself to being IN THE MOMENT with them and ONLY THEM. Trust me, when you do it right, they’ll notice.

Truly Hear Prospects. You know what is the most seductive act you’ll ever perform? Giving someone your truly, undivided attention. I mean looking them right in the eye when they’re talking and giving them your complete self. Don’t be thinking about their objections or what you’re going to say in your counter point. Don’t even think about how you’re going to sell them anything. Just listen… intently. And yes, this goes for phone selling too.

Care More About Them Then Your Sales Quota. Chivalry is sexy… and yes, girls can be chivalrous too. If you don’t believe me… pick up a Cosmopolitan and it will be right there on the cover. Ok, I made that up. I have no idea if Cosmo has ever written about the sexiness of chivalry and maybe it’s because I grew up in the South, but when people place your comfort, interests and needs before their own — that’s sexy. And even if it’s not, it gets noticed in a good way.

Learn To Enjoy The Journey As Much As The Destination. Too many sales people live for the victory. It’s not their fault, it’s how sales is taught and reinforced. We ring bells when we close a deal, we celebrate with big dinners, drinks and bonuses. But the those salespeople that practice the seductive arts realize that the close is actually the worst part… because for them the journey is more fun than the destination.

So, you feeling sexy yet? Let me know what you think about this idea… come on, please…. pretty, pretty please???

About Tom Martin

Tom is 20+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and digital gadgets that helps digitally challenged companies create innovative and effective digital marketing strategies. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Connect with him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Comments

  1. OHHHHHHYES. This. Exactly.

    The art of the tease.

    Make them want you (as in what you are selling). This approach slips past the sales filters. Prospects don’t even realize that they are being sold to & before they know it…they are handing you money.

    This is why, in many ways, women are more successful salespeople over a career than men are. :)

    ~Jen

  2. I love this analogy, but I think it brings out a really good downside to content marketing. How do you catch their attention in the first place? You could add that an advertisement for your service is like the woman in a red dress sitting at the bar, waiting for someone to come offer her to buy a drink.

    • Interesting point Leslie…. so to continue with your analogy, would the content’s headline/picture or maybe the words you use to promote it on Twitter, Facebook, etc., be the Red Dress? And reading the post would the “buy you a drink” portion?

  3. What problem couldn’t be solved with better listening skills? Communication is a #1 customer complaint, but everyone is a customer (including marketers); we all want to be heard, but only the successful few are willing to listen. I believe you hit the nail on the head with patience; it’s the tease, the breadcrumbs, the slow and careful chases that build quality communication. Listening builds relationships, trust and desire for more because it makes the target feel wanted. And when you feel wanted, that’s pure sex appeal.

    • Couldn’t agree more Kristen…. and the best thing about listening vs talking is that you get to hear what you don’t know… as in extra opportunities, key internal hurdles the prospect will need to jump in order to hire you, key objections, etc. So you drop a breadcrumb and then circle back with a little something, something to help address those right?

      • I think it’s about context + framing. I know it’s so cliché to pull the “subjective” card, but that’s the whole point of listening. Each prospect has unique needs; desires that need to be fulfilled in a special way. Some prospects want the breadcrumb. Others want a slice. A very select few (the type to avoid, if you ask me) want the full loaf. A good marketer can rely on both training and intuition to identify those context clues, frame the need and then proceed accordingly. Using the example above, if the prospect is the token red dress, she’s looking for quite a bit more than a crumb. ;) But if she’s the woman sitting in the corner booth, chatting with friends, making eye contact every now and then… She needs a lead that needs to be nurtured. In business terms (before we end up in a cheap motel), the prospective client who calls every few months but indicates obvious interest is worth following up with… every few months. The key is having the third eye to identify those leads early on.

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