Warm up is all about making friends with your clients.
Nobody will buy off you if they don’t like and trust you.
That means you have to spend some time getting to know your clients on a personal level and let them get to know you personally before you can get into the all important part of fact finding.
Your fact finding is the foundation on which your sale is built, but you have to earn the right to move into fact finding. That is done during the warm up period when you become your client’s new best friend.
I’m often asked “how long should the warm up period last” And the answer I give is “As long as it takes”
There is no set time for warming up a client. Each client will be different. Some will be very open and easy to talk to. This type of client can be warmed up in minutes and before you know you’re laughing and joking like you’ve known each other for years. Other clients are very reserved and take what seems forever to start to relax with you and open up. Whatever happens you should never move into fact finding until your client is ready otherwise your just wasting your time and you would have been better off staying in warm up, enjoying the coffee and not even showing them your product.
A good gauge is your clients’ body language. When you first meet you will see that your clients are normally seated stiffly with arms and legs crossed, the lady will probably have her handbag held tightly on her lap and they could be slightly turned in towards each other and away from you. These are all defensive/protective body language positions. When you start to see that the arms become unfolded, the shoulders start to drop slightly and the lady puts her handbag on the floor or on another chair. Then you know your clients are starting to relax and feel comfortable in your company.
Take control right from the beginning with alternative choice closes like: “Would you like to sit in the sun or the shade?” “Would you prefer to sit by the window or over in the corner where it’s quieter?” People feel more comfortable when they’re given a choice but not too much choice. For example, don’t ask them what they want to drink you will get all sorts of answers. Ask them if they would like a hot drink or a cold drink, “Tea or Coffee?” They will not realize that you’re controlling the answers and getting them used to making choices right from the word go. They will see it as you being very polite and well organised and that will make them feel more comfortable.
Once you have them seated and have ordered the drinks get back into relaxing your clients. People love to talk about themselves and their achievements. Remember your warm up should be 20% talking and 80% listening. Find a common interest but men don’t be tempted to talk about football and leave the wife completely out of the conversation or you will have lost the sale before you even start.
There are two types of warm up, the bus stop warm up and the pub warm up. The bus stop warm up is like two people at a bus stop who make light conversation to pass the time but don’t really get to know each other and most of the conversation goes over their heads. The pub warm up is where you start chatting to someone in a pub and before you know it you’re buying each other drinks, chatting about things you would never discuss with a stranger and arranging to meet again next week for a game of darts.
If you make all your warm up’s pub warm up’s I guarantee you will write more deals and you’ll have a lot more fun while you’re doing it!
Now go out tonight and practise just talking to people and finding out as much as you can about there hobbies, interests and favourite pastimes. Who knows, you might even make some new friends.