Scratch A Pig & Make More Sales

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So often when we are selling, we forget to enter into the other person’s world. We do not meet them where they are at.

When we do this, we fail to connect with that person and to genuinely relate with that person. In fact, it usually makes them feel like we do not see them at all. Not surprisingly this tends to negatively impact our ability to sell.

Instead of meeting them where they are at, so often we stand over here madly waving our arms in the air yelling, “Yahoo over here! Over here is where the good life is at! Over here is where you want to be!”

This simply does not work.

The best way to get into the other person’s world is to be genuinely curious about that person.

* Who is he?
* What really matters to her?
* What makes him tick?
* How can I best serve her?
* What does he need?
* What kind of person is she?
* etc

Once we have met them in their world, we now have the possibility to lead them somewhere else. If we have not entered their world we do not have the possibility to lead them anywhere.

This story from Milton Erickson powerfully illustrates the value of getting in to their world.

Scratching Hogs
from My Voice Will Go With You: The teaching tales of Milton H. Erickson
by Sidney Rosen

One summer I sold books to pay my way through college. I walked into a farmyard about five o’clock, interviewed the farmer about buying books, and he said, “Young fellow, I don’t read anything. I don’t need to read anything. I’m just interested in my hogs.”

“While you’re busy feeding the hogs, do you mind if I stand and talk to you?” I asked.

He said, “No, talk away, young fellow, it won’t do you a bit of good. I’m not going to pay attention to you; I am busy feeding the hogs.”

And so I talked about my books. Being a farm boy, I thoughtlessly picked up a pair of shingles lying on the ground and started scratching the hogs’ backs as I was talking. The farmer looked over, stopped, and said, “Anybody knows how to scratch a hog’s back, the way hogs like it, is somebody I want to know. How about having supper with me tonight and you can sleep overnight with no charge and I will buy your books. You like hogs. You know how to scratch ’em the way they like to be scratched.”

Milton entered the farmer’s world. Once the farmer identified Milton as a kindred soul, he began to relate to and interact with Milton in a completely different way. And, that included being ready to buy from Milton.

Next time you are in a selling situation, remember this story. Figure out how you can scratch that person’s pig.

Not only will you have a much better chance of making the sale, you will also enjoy the sales process much much more!

Intending great joy and success in all you do!

Jonathan Manske
Cerebral Sanitation Engineer

photo credit: <a href=””>Tamsin Slater</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

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