Negative Reverse Selling: A Potential Shortcut to Making Sales Great salespeople make their living by asking the right questions. Their questions ensure that prospects continue to talk. But not about anything. They want prospects explaining what they are thinking and feeling. This keeps discussions moving in the best possible direction. What is one of the top-rated strategies for asking prospect’s questions? It’s known as “negative reverse selling.” It is an efficient way to determine, in a subtle manner, how a prospect is thinking. He or she may feel enthusiastic about a proposed solution. Or, that person could have no interest whatsoever. Well, it’s up to the salesperson to figure this out fast. The Reverse Psychology of the Negative Reverse No, you do not need to be a practicing psychologist. Anybody is capable of using negative reverse selling techniques. Although you may feel like a psychologist once you have mastered how to apply the principles. Negative reverse selling assists you. It helps steer your conversations in the direction that you desire. This is often done to realize what a prospect’s initial reaction is to the product or service that you are selling. Say your prospect responds in a favorable manner. This means that you need to keep the conversation on the same subject. If the prospect shows little to no interest, then you change the subject to something else. The key is to have your questions preceded with “softening statements.” These are short phrases such as: -“I understand.” -“That’s an excellent point.” -“Wow, that’s interesting.” But your question should get asked in a negative manner. Or, at least, it should be opposite to the real route that you want to take. An Example of a Negative Reverse Question Let’s say you have a prospect named Cheryl. And you’re able to contact her over the phone. You could ask Cheryl this: “Hi, Cheryl. You don’t happen to have fifteen minutes to chat, do you?” A question like this is a test. It determines what Cheryl’s initial reaction to your idea is. She could react in a certain manner about giving up fifteen minutes of her time to talk to you. Or, her reaction could focus on knowing what product or service it is that you’re selling. This negative reverse question gets asked steer the conversation in a certain direction. But it all depends on how Cheryl responds. It’s quite possible she could go the opposite route of what you’re hoping for. She could say, “Nope. And please never contact me again.” Or, she could say: “I know what you’re selling and I have zero interest.” No matter what, you’re likely to get an honest answer. That’s why negative reverse question can be so effective. They get inside the minds of your prospects very fast. Another Negative Reverse Example Here is another example to show you how to use negative reverse selling questions. Greg is salesperson and a hard worker. He began role-playing prospect conversations with his sales manager. Greg was experiencing difficulty acquiring real information when he spoke to his prospects. The conversations often lacked focus. He would waste time suggesting options that were often rejected. Greg’s manager told him to take part in some negative reversing. Here is how his conversation with a prospect named Emily went. Emily: “Is it possible to have my order of chandeliers delivered in about 35 to 50 days?” (Greg is aware that his organization can make a delivery in only 2 weeks. This has served as a perk to many past clients. But Greg is unsure if delivering fast would benefit Emily. Thus, Greg holds back from making a quick assumption.) Greg: “Well…You don’t want the chandeliers delivered faster?” (The word “well…” gets said for a reason. It’s a softening statement. The negative reverse is now in play. It’s assisting Greg in determining Emily’s desired timeframe.) Emily: “No I do not. And for good reason. My company cannot accept a delivery that is sooner than thirty days. This would be a big problem for the warehouse workers.” (Greg is now aware that an early delivery is not going to take place. Thus, there is no value in mentioning it.) Greg: “I definitely understand, Emily. I will go ahead and schedule delivery to take place in about 35 to 50 days.” (Greg doesn’t waste time. He gets right to the point. Why? Because he’s realized that a faster delivery will not benefit his prospect.) One Major Benefit of Negative Reverse Selling? Improved Communication If you are not a great communicator, it’s impossible for you to become a great salesperson. Salespeople are expert decoders. They have to determine the true meaning of what their prospects say. Sometimes prospects can be very ambiguous. They can even be misleading. This is why negative reverse selling is so important. It saves the salesperson so much time when it comes to decoding statements. The key is to ask solid questions. These questions will keep your prospect talking. The words won’t seem empty. He or she will express what they are feeling and thinking. This keeps the topic relevant. It also positions the conversation in the direction that the salesperson needs it to go. There are few questioning strategies on the planet more crucial than negative reversing. It’s the key to discerning a prospect’s disposition. The rep can get a sense for what course of action the prospect wants to take. Another Major Benefit: Improved Closing Ratios In the example above, Greg’s negative reversing went well. He was able to learn the what his prospect wanted fast. This saved him a bunch of time. Greg now has more time in his day to make more sales. This will increase Greg’s revenue. Because Greg ensures his conversations have focus, he gives himself a reward each day. What is that reward? An improved closing ratio. You, as well, have the power to improve your closing ratio. All you must do is practice negative reversing. What Makes Negative Reverse Selling So Effective? Negative reversing works. Why? Because trying to convince (or even beg) prospects is not effective very often. As you know, it’s hard to convince a prospect about pretty much anything. Most people are stuck in their ways. Prospects are quick to resist. Sure, they want to buy. But it’s difficult for them to get sold. This is why prospects should discover the solutions on their own. This is the key benefit of negative reverse selling. The prospect will think that your idea is actually their idea. Remember the following statement. The best close is when the prospect does the closing. Consider saying statements such as these to your prospects: -“That may not be the right solution.” -“You are not ready to experience this.” -“I do not believe your company is the best fit.” Statements like these will get your prospects to defend themselves. Better yet, they will also defend your company’s products and services. Again, this is a prime example fo what reverse psychology is. Without hesitation, the prospect will usually create his or her own argument. The person will usually state one or more of these three factors:
The Pendulum Effect Prospects expect salespeople responding in a certain manner once objections occur. They also expect a response when a concern has gets stated. Prospects assume the rep will convince him or her of why they need to make buy. And buy fast, for that matter. As a result of their expectations, prospects are often ready to fight back. Negative reversing accepts this and re-channels it into an advantage for the seller. Think of negative reversing as a pendulum. You begin by pulling a pendulum in a certain direction. Then, you let go. The pendulum then swings in an opposite direction. This is the message of reverse selling. You do not push prospects in the desired direction. Instead, you push them opposite of where they thought the conversation would go. This takes advantage of a prospect’s natural thought process. Pulling away doesn’t actually push the prospect away. It does the opposite. You end up pinning the prospect right where you need him or her to be. It may have seemed like you took a step backward. But in actuality, you (and the prospect) took a giant step forward. When Should Negative Reversing Get Used? There are two instances in which negative reversing should get used:
Email communication often serves as a great outlet for negative reversing. It should occur when you are sending a follow-up email. Why? Because it’s an effective strategy in determining which leads are subpar. This allows you more time to move on to better prospects. Many prospects will then view your messages/conversations as a breath of fresh air. Why? Because they’re used to salespeople begging for the sale as soon as they can. Negative reversing will often stop you in your tracks. From doing what? From throwing contracts at your prospects too fast. The last thing you want is to seem too aggressive. That will make most of your prospects hang up and block your number. Leave that to the amateurs. You’re a professional. And now, you’re a negative reversing expert.