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by Robert W. Bly

AMACOM © 2006, 240 pages, $16.95 (ISBN 0-8144-7281-8).

Attract Customers and Maximize Sales

The difference between a salesperson who annoys you to the point where you walk away without buying and a salesperson who makes you want to talk with him or her more and buy what he or she is selling is personal magnetism. In Magnetic Selling, sales expert Robert W. Bly looks into the personality characteristics that attract others and the principles that can make a salesperson more successful. While examining the skills of the magnetic salesperson, Bly offers a variety of tips and tactics that can improve anybody’s ability to attract others.

Bly explains that these principles of salesmanship, charm, charisma and a positive personality can also be applied to situations at the office to get a new job, negotiate a pay raise, persuade a team and obtain the cooperation of others. They can also be used at home to improve relationships and buy a new house or car at an affordable price.

Attraction Principles

While describing how salespeople can attract sales leads like a magnet, Bly presents the first of his “25 Principles of Magnetic Attraction:” Whether prospects buy or not is more important to you than it is to them. He explains that the prospect simply wants the right solution to a problem, and if the prospect senses that a salesperson is too eager and pushing too hard, he or she will be turned off. Bly writes, “One way to be perceived as a salesperson who is looking out for the customer’s best interest is to use this key phrase: ‘What would be best for you?’” In other words, put the prospect’s self-interest before your own self-interest.

The second chapter of Magnetic Selling describes the words and phrases that get people to want to do business with you. To demonstrate the power of a single word, Bly points out that the word “buy” repels prospects because it means spending money. To help salespeople avoid this repellent word, he suggests that they should not say, “When you buy this product,” but should instead say, “When you own this product,” which attracts prospects with the magnetic suggestion of ownership.

In the same way, substituting the word “investment” for the words “cost” and “price” can have a much more magnetic impact.

Along with the principles that magnetically draw prospects toward a sale, Bly also offers several “Prospect Repellents” that describe the universal mistakes that salespeople make on their way to closing a sale. For example, the first of Bly’s Prospect Repellents is “pressuring the prospect to take the next step in the buying process before he is ready.” Bly explains that because prospects hate sales pressure, attempting to get a prospect to buy before he or she is ready to make the move will likely drive the prospect away. If there really is a legitimate reason for the prospect to make a purchase today rather than wait, Bly writes that a sincere salesperson should make the reason clear in an honest and enthusiastic way. Pointing out a clearance sale or the limited availability of a special feature can help.

Really Listening

Bly points out that one of the best techniques for becoming magnetically attractive is to “put the interest of others ahead of your own.” To do this, he explains, talk to prospects about what interests them, not what interests you. To find out what interests them, ask questions and really listen to their answers. These answers can help salespeople qualify their prospects and increase their chances of closing a sale.

While delivering the secrets of cold calling, Bly offers many tips that can help salespeople close more sales. These include advice on believing in your product or service, and avoiding talking too fast. Bly explains that by believing in your product or service, you will have “greater understanding of and empathy with your prospects, and they in turn will sense this in you and be magnetically attracted to it.” And by slowing down the delivery of your sales pitch, prospects will not think that you are trying to slip something past them.

Other sales issues covered in Magnetic Selling include developing a magnetic telephone voice and manner, getting the timing of a sale right, prospecting, follow-up, presentations, handling objections, closing, customer service, and getting referrals. ~

Why We Like ThIs Book

The beauty of Magnetic Selling is not simply in the positive suggestions that Robert W. Bly offers in every section. Although these play a part in the readability and attraction of his book, the true value Bly delivers comes from his ability to distill generations of sales learning and techniques into a series of actionable steps salespeople can use to improve their skills. Written with the reader in mind and delivering hands-on advice, Magnetic Selling reveals the essential secrets to sales success. ~

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