Making the Sale: Enrolling Customers with Heart and Soul

The world is changing at a rapid pace which makes it difficult to keep up with trends and buzz words in the marketplace. The information age has brought amazing opportunities for education and personal growth in all areas of our lives which has led to a paradigm shift in customer purchasing. One of the trends and groups of buzzwords that is at the leading-edge today is the holistic or integrative approach to anything that we do and the buzzwords, mind-body connection, mind-body-spirit, follow your heart, and soul connection. I see this trend expanding as a mass of our population reaches the middle years of life and we pass these ideas down to subsequent generations.

How can we utilize the holistic approach in our marketing and sales? How can we close the deal by employing the mind-body-heart-spirit connection and direct people to purchase what we have to offer? First let’s understand what each connection represents.

The mind connection represents: * Our attitudes towards life * Our internal conversations, our thoughts, and our self-talk * Our external conversations * Our intellect * Our beliefs * Our past programming * Our paradigms

Paradigms are another buzzword that has become popular in the information age especially since the success of Stephen Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Paradigms represent the way we perceive the world and much of that is based on our past programming or early childhood conditioning. Paradigms contain our beliefs, thoughts, images, attitudes, and self-talk. Think of paradigms as a computer program that we currently operate by. Whatever paradigm or thought pattern we are operating by manifests itself outwardly into our habits, behaviors, actions, and health. Our paradigms are held within our unconscious (subconscious) or subjective mind. Our unconscious mind runs the body. The unconscious mind keeps your heart beating, your blood pumping, your lungs breathing and all of your bodily functions operating without you having to think about it and while your conscious mind sleeps or attends to other tasks. So it would make sense that everything held in the unconscious mind manifests itself outwardly through the body and on the physical plane through our actions, behaviors, and habits. We are generally inattentive of this program running in our lives. Liken this to a minimized program on a computer screen. It may not be the program that you see before you yet it is still open and operating on the computer of your mind. This is how paradigms operate in our lives, out of our awareness yet affecting every decision we make and action we take.

The body connection represents: * How our body feels * Illness * The shape of our body * Our physical habits * Recreation * Physical fitness * Nutrition * Physical Beauty * Overall physical health and wellness * Our financial state and security * Our physical security

Our body is the visual representation of who we are. It is the first impression that people get of us. It also provides us with the physical health and stamina to live a fruitful life. Since the 1980’s, the nutrition and fitness industries have grown dramatically. Scientific research has shown us how important physical activity and nutrition are for overall health and wellbeing. Most people have some desire to be healthy. Sometimes that is brought to the forefront due to a health crisis. Our physical well-being affects every other area of our lives in some form or fashion. Our physical safety and security is also represented in the body and on the physical plane of existence. Safety of self, family and protection of property is of prime importance to most people. Finances are another key aspect of the body or the physical plane of existence. It represents our financial stability and feelings of security in our world. Being secure financially helps us experience a sense of being grounded in our physical world.

The heart connection represents: * Our feelings * Our emotional state * Our relationships with others * Our relationship with self * Our heart to heart connections * Our life dreams, passions and desires * Feelings of intimacy * Our emotional wellbeing * Our emotional security

“Follow your heart” and “Home is where the heart is” are just a couple of the many sayings involving the heart. We experience heartfelt joy, heart aches, heart breaks, heart warming among many other descriptions of feelings and emotions which center themselves in our chest area. This is the center of our energetic body and is also an area that is increasingly unhealthy as heart disease is reported as the number one killer in the United States. There is much scientific data that supports lack of proper nutrition and exercise as part of the problem. There is also growing scientific evidence that heart disease is also affected by the state of our emotional health as well, including such emotions and feelings as stress, anxiety and depression; anything that causes us to constrict or close ourselves off from life. The desire for heart to heart connections, experiencing a sense of belonging and feeling part of a family or community is of utmost importance in the human experience. Human touch and empathy are key factors in supporting heart to heart connections. They both create pleasant emotions and feelings which help us feel supported in our lives. It is important to understand that most people make the decision to buy something based on emotion or how that purchase will make them feel. They must experience some sort of emotional connection.

The soul/spirit connection represents: * Our spiritual connection to a higher power * Our immaterial or spiritual essence * Our core values * Our energetic system or chi * Our animating principle * Our authentic inner power

Our soul or spirit as it is sometimes referred to, is an invisible realm. Like the mind, it is intangible yet it is connected to our multi-sensory system, our emotions, our body and our mind. The soul is where the origins of our deepest values are found. In order to feel good, everything we do in life must be congruent with our values. Our soul is the home of our authentic power, the power that comes from the core of knowing who we are, from the center of our being. Many people connect soul or spirit with religion. While the two may be connected, we can be soulful and spiritual without being part of any religious affiliation.

Now that I have established what each connection represents, I would like to talk about your customer. It is imperative that you know your customer, what their values are, and to understand their language, the buzzwords, and the slang associated with their generation in order to fully utilize the mind-body-heart-soul connection in your sales efforts.

There are primarily four generations which I will focus on. The senior generation is dying and many are in poverty and the fifth generation is too young to be involved in the sales process so we will focus on the four in-between.

The Forgotten Generation (1935-1945):

The Forgotten Generation is considered the ‘middle child’ who straddles the seniors or 70+ age group and the Baby Boomers. They are more traditional than the Boomers yet are younger in mindset than the current senior population thought or felt at the same age. They are the teenagers of the fifties, brought in rock and roll, started the hippie generation as early protesters of the Vietnam War, and led the Women’s Liberation and Civil Rights movements. The Forgotten Generation was too young for World War II and too old for the 60’s draft. They are considered the “COOL” generation. The Forgotten Generation is working and has money to spend with 59% still active in the workforce. They are close to their families and like to spend money on creature comforts, travel, are physically active, participate in sports and are still starting new businesses and new careers. Their values are family, health, recreation/travel and comfort to name a few.

The Baby Boomers (1946-1964):

Baby Boomers are 76 million strong and have money to spend. Middle age is definitely where a majority of the action is for the next 10 or more years. Physical health and appearance is important, after all, they have worked all their lives to improve their appearance ushering in the age of aerobic exercise and natural foods. Baby Boomers are not at all interested in graceful aging. They are rebellious by nature. They are interested in experience and wisdom, not aging or getting older. Language will be very important with this generation. They most likely still have dependant children living at home and many are grandparents so family is a very strong value for them as well. They value financial stability, wealth building strategies, staying fit, holistic health, spirituality and personal growth. Boomers respond to a strong call to action, will pay for quality and are fearless spenders. They are the biggest market place for the mind-body-heart-spirit connection as they traverse the middle years moving from raising children into empty nesters with time to fill and a new found independence.

Gen Xers (1964-1976):

Generation X has grown up with computers so they are comfortable with the Internet. E-commerce is important to this generation; they are interested in things that grab their attention quickly. This is the beginning of the age of instant gratification. Any thing you do for them has to be easy, intuitive, fun and quick. Gen Xers are individualists interested in music, movies, television and media that have a message they can relate to. They are in to name brand fashion, being in-style and love to spend money. They are a hot commodity in marketing and sales. Generation X is growing up and most have children so family is a value. They are interested in careers yet they are less likely to stay at a job long term than Boomers have. If it doesn’t sit well with them, they’ll most likely move on. Gen Xers are starting businesses at a rapid rate as job security is not as prevalent as it once was in the Forgotten Generation. Generation X wants it now and they want it easy.

Echo-Boomers (1976-1994):

Echo-Boomers are the offspring or echo of the Baby Boomers. They make up nearly a third of the U.S. population. They are by far the most diverse and socially tolerant generation yet. Echo-Boomers were born with computer chips for brains meaning they are internet and technology savvy. It is not something they have to learn, it comes naturally and intuitively. Echo-Boomers are at the forefront of social media spending much of their time in chat rooms, on My Space, and Facebook. They spend a lot of time online at gaming sites, watching You Tube videos and downloading music. The new generation game systems are important to them and the game systems have an addictive quality to this generation. They are less physically active that most generations before. As they age, physical fitness and lifestyle changes are bound to become more important to them. They value relationships, authenticity, honestly and collaboration. They want trust and they want to trust you as well. Echo-Boomers also want instant gratification. You can’t BS Echo Boomers. They can smell a BS story from a mile away with their heighten sense of intuition.

We now know the some of the values and habits of the four generations of our main consumers. We’ve done the marketing to bring them in the door. How do we bring in the mind-body-heart-spirit connection to close the sale? First, we need to bring in the appropriate language based on their values, or what is important to them. By far, the easiest generation to use this approach on will be the Baby Boomers because it is at the forefront of their value system followed secondly by Generation X. For most people when they reach mid-life, they begin to take a look at what they have or haven’t done in the past and how they can achieve more balance and harmony in mind, body, heart and soul during the second half of their lives.

Begin first by assessing what they are experiencing or feeling by asking questions and getting feedback from them on what it is they need or want. Based on the information that you gather by asking questions, you can tailor your language to match their needs and also bring in the holistic or integrative approach. This will also play out differently if you are selling to a business or business owner versus selling on a personal level. For a business owner it will be imperative to help them envision how your product or service will function in a holistic or integrative capacity within their business model, how it will assist the company wholly. This may be a bigger challenge than it is on a personal basis and is very doable.

For example: You own a property management company and you are marketing your services to a young Gen X Real Estate Investor who owns some commercial properties. You could share how you property management firm would help them free up their time so that they could spend more time with their young family, supporting the relationships with their children and their spouse. “Imagine how wonderful it will be to have more time to be connected with your family, supporting your family not only financially but with your presence. Won’t it be nice to experience peace of mind knowing that your properties are being taken care of by a quality management company while you build stronger heart connections with your family? Imagine the joy that you and your family will experience.” Or “We take a holistic approach to our property management services. We make sure that we provide a safe environment for people that frequent the property, build a powerful supportive relationship with you by offering you a fair price for our outstanding quality service and bring you peace of mind which allows you to more fully enjoy life.”

After you assess what your potential customer wants and gain some clarity into their needs then your want to reframe back to them your understanding of what they said or where they are coming from. “So what I heard you say you wanted is…” and you proceed from there. Once they acknowledge that you heard them correctly and understood what they wanted then you can proceed to the closing of the sale.

To close the sale, you need to ask the potential customer to purchase what they have just told you they want or need. You want to go right to the close such as “When do you want us to begin”, “I will draw up those contracts and stop by tomorrow for you to sign them”, “Would you like to pay for that with cash or credit”. Discuss your fees wherever it feels most appropriate in the sales process. Trust your gut and be prepared to answer if they ask.

This is the Ask-Tell-Ask sales model and it is a very effective sales approach. This model allows you to let the customer know that you value them, that they are not just a dollar sign and that you value relationship building as part of the sales process. It shows them that it is not about you, but is about them. That is truly an integrative, holistic approach to sales. Showing them not only the value in your product or service to their needs, but also the value you have for them as an individual. It’s about building relationships.

My goal in this article is to assist you in your understanding of the holistic approach to sales and understanding how that plays out with different generations. Realize that everything in life has to do with mind, body, heart and spirit. We are an integrative being which means that all of our experiences in life, including the purchase of products or services affect the whole of us. When we understand this, it makes the use of the mind-body-heart-spirit connection in the sales process easy and approachable.

I am The Soul Power Coach, mentor, speaker, trainer and author. I help entrepreneurs move out of self sabotage and limiting beliefs so that they can make more money and experience more fun, joy and freedom in their business and in their life.

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