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So, you have a business, and things are going great!  You sell your product or service, and get a good price, but there are those leads that just seem to pass you by, the ‘ones that got away’ kind of client.  What can you do to grab those missed opportunities?  How can you turn that around?

Firstly, you need to know that you’re pitching to the right people, at the right time, and in the right location. Check out your perfect client, what their needs are, what it is they want but don’t yet have, and put yourself in their shoes. See what they see, hear what they hear, feel what they’re feeling about their need. Then ask yourself this question ‘Does my product or service fulfil that need?’  That might sound obvious, but think about Pareto’s principle, or as some might say, the 80/20 rule. 

We spend 80% of our time chasing 20% of the leads we think are going to work with us, instead of cutting our losses and investing our time into those who will come through and be a profitable client. Look for a ‘No’, rather than a ‘yes’.

Second, how often do we make contact with a prospective client, and forge ahead with our sales pitch without listening to what the client says?  When we talk, we utilise things called Modalities. 

So, what are ‘Modalities’?  Well, they are those senses which we use to gain information about our world, and include Sight, Sound, Feelings, Smell and Taste. We all have one or more of these as our preferred modality, and this leaks into our everyday language. We’ve all heard someone say ‘I can see a clearer picture now’, or ‘that’s crystal clear to me’. How about ‘Sounds great to me!’, or ‘I hear what you’re saying’. And how about ‘I have a great feeling about this project’, or ‘this is a great foundation to start from’.

By listening to what people are saying, we can then modify our own language to utilise those same modalities, and by doing so, begin to build up a stronger rapport with the other person. People like people who are like themselves. If we know someone is using Visual (Sight) language, we can respond appropriately, e.g. ‘How does that look to you?’.  Likewise, Auditory (Sound) language can sound like this, ‘Hear something you like, does it sound good to you?’.  And for Kinaesthetic (Feelings) we could say, ‘Does that feel good to you, are we hitting your requirements?’

We also use our internal self-talk (Auditory Digital) and can say ‘Do you think this is a good solution for you?’, or ‘you know this makes sense’. 

So, listen more carefully to what others are saying, and figure out what is your own preferred Modality, so that you can become more aware of how you speak to others. Now, go close that client!

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