You don't need another sales technique, right?
But before you go, we want to know what you'll do if a prospect is just not into you?
This is where negative reverse selling comes into play. This technique allows you to cut the fluff and uncover the truth.
You see, selling products and services is like dating. As a salesperson, you need to put your best foot forward and convince prospects that you're "the one". But things don't always go your way.
Some prospects go dark, some ghost you on social media, while others keep you tagging along. These prospects go through lengths to avoid telling you that they're just not into what you're offering.
So what do you do then?
In this post, we'll talk about the negative reverse selling technique. Plus a few tips on how to use it in sales.
What Is Negative Reverse Selling?
Negative reverse selling is a sales technique that uses "reverse psychology". It aims to change the flow of conversation and discover your prospect's true resolve.
This sales strategy combines reverse psychology and Sandler Training questioning techniques.
The… what now?
Reverse psychology involves telling someone to do the opposite of what you want them to do, with the expectation that this strategy will encourage them to do what is desired.
But in Sandler Training Sales Methodology, you'll do the opposite of what your prospect expects you to do. In doing so, you'll be able to control and direct the conversation.
Kevin Hallenbeck, a Sandler trainer, puts it this way: you must allow your prospect to be honest. Give them permission to say "no". If they don't like what you're selling, then don't force them.
"Get out of the way so your potential client can go where they needed to go," he said in a podcast where he talked about reverse selling.
This is what negative reverse selling is about.
Reverse selling also involves responding to your potential client's question with another question. This allows you to understand where your potential client is at. What are their motivations? What do they actually need?
Here's an example to better understand this technique:
In this scenario, the potential client is giving you an excuse because they don't want to buy your product. Instead of saying no, they are asking for features you didn't talk about.
Potential Customer: "Does this product come with the XYZ feature?"
You: "That's an interesting question, why do you ask?"
Potential Customer: "I want to have a product with this specific feature."
You: "I understand. May I ask why that feature is important to you?"
Potential Customer: "Because it helps me with my ABC problems"
In this scenario, you're trying to listen to your prospect. You asked them to elaborate on their pain points without convincing them that they need your product. In doing so, you'll understand your prospect's needs. Then you can address them.
People are used to conventional sales tactics. That's why they're prepared to resist.
But with this negative reverse selling scenario, you're agreeing with your potential client. You continue to ask questions without being too pushy. This allows you to steer the conversation and get to the truth.
In a minute, we'll discuss the best time to use negative reverse technique. But before that, we'll give you a simple analogy to better understand this concept.
Negative Reverse Selling And The Fishing Analogy
David H Sandler used the fishing analogy to better explain this sales technique.
Imagine you're fishing. Then you feel a bite. Instead of setting the hook right away, you allow the fish some line to run.
Be a patient fisherman. Let the fish take the bait so it'll catch itself.
The negative reverse sales technique is about steering the conversation towards where your prospects want to go. Once that's done, all you have to do is reel it in.
This tactic is also beneficial when your prospect starts to show interest. Remember, don't immediately jump on the opportunity to make a sale.
You might scare them away. Instead, do the opposite of what's expected from a salesperson.
Give them space to convince themselves that they need your product or service.
For example, you can ask "have you given this enough thought?" Then watch how your client tries to convince you why they should buy your product or avail your service.
I don't think you're ready to put this technique into action. But if you are, we've listed a few tips in the next section.
When Should You Use Negative Reverse Selling?
"Use it early but not often", says Kevin Hallenbeck.
According to him, some salespeople use negative reverse selling too late so they end up overusing it.
Additionally, when you use the negative reverse sales techniques later rather than sooner, your prospect will tag you along and give you fluff responses.
Remember, your prospects are initially negative people. In fact, according to psychology, we are hard-wired to avoid negative experiences.
And so, our initial response to sales is to pull away. That's why it's more effective to use negative reversal early in the conversation.
For example, you're offering the prospect a service that'll automate their client onboarding process.
Prospect: "gives you a fluffy response"
You: "You don't want to make your client's onboarding process easier, right?"
This tough and direct question will throw off your prospect. They're more likely to respond this way: "Of course, I want to automate my process. How will your service help?"
By using negative reverse selling, you can quickly uncover the truth. Do they want to work with you or not?
Use the negative reverse selling technique when sending emails or cold calling. It allows you to weed out poor leads. In doing so, you can move on and go after good prospects.
But here's the catch!
Don't overuse it. Keep in mind that timing is key.
First, you'll need emotional intelligence to know when to use it. Your prospect swings between negative, to neutral, to positive. That's why you need to adjust your technique to where they are at the moment.
Remember, don't rely solely on this Sandler training sales technique. It's best to use it if you're figuring out whether your prospect is into what you're offering or not.
Why Negative Reverse Selling Works?
It allows your prospect to say "no".
With this sales tactic, they'll be making the decision based on their preference. Not because they were pressured. And so, they end up being happy with their choice.
The goal is to help prospects make the right decision.
You're not manipulating your potential clients. You are persuading them to be honest by asking more questions. More importantly, you're allowing them to decide for themselves.
You establish trust.
There are plenty of effective sales techniques. But your best bet is to establish trust with your prospect.
Give them space and respect their ability to make their own decision. Additionally, you must be willing to ask tough questions to discover the truth. In doing so, you won’t waste valuable time.
Negative reverse selling is a powerful technique. But it needs emotional intelligence and proper timing.
You need to quell your own excitement. Stop talking about your product or service. And don't immediately offer solutions to your prospect's problems.
Instead, ask questions. Understand where your potential client is at and what solution they are looking for. If they need your product or service, a sale will follow.
Trust the process.