In four seconds you can drop the ice cream you are about to try, stub your toe on the corner of the bed or lose the thread of a conversation.
Four seconds, four seconds is all you have to capture your customer's interest and make a sale. So says Jordan Belfort in his book "The Way of the Wolf".
In the same way, only four seconds are needed before a prospect makes a definitive judgment about you.
When we carry out a sales process, especially with new clients, people instantly evaluate their circumstances and make automatic decisions according to the way they perceive those situations.
When the interview is in person, that judgment starts earlier, by how you present yourself, how you are dressed, and how you speak; therefore, those seconds are essential to establish three things, in order to achieve a positive perception: "That you are sharp as an arrow, a foolproof enthusiast, and an expert in your field" (Belford, 2018).
The Wolf of Wall Street is clear: If in those four seconds you didn't project, objective, enthusiasm and expertise, the chances of closing the sale are 99.99 percent nil.
Once you establish these characteristics, your client will know that you are a person worth listening to, will feel that you can help them meet their goals, will defer to you and will allow you to take control of the sale; otherwise your prospect will take over and the objections will begin.
But the key question is how do you convince someone in 4 seconds of your acumen, enthusiasm and expertise?
Here language does its job. Proper words as such do not exist. This time it will be your tone of voice and the way you say things.
How you verbalize has a huge impact on our prospects, not just in those 4 seconds, but throughout the entire conversation.
It has often been said that verbal communication is important, but if it is not accompanied by body language, it can all go down the drain.
Now, what happens when the conversation is at a distance? The tone of voice acquires greater relevance, but facial features give the necessary power to your speech; even verbal expressions such as:
oh, oh, uh-huh, will influence your prospect's perception.
According to Juan Moisés de la Serna, a Spanish neuroscientist, the unconscious is much more powerful than the conscious. And we communicate and influence the prospect rationally through words, while tone of voice and body language are used to influence the subconscious.
Ninety percent of communication involves tone and body language. This does not mean that the other 10%, i.e. the words you use and the content of your message, are not important. On the contrary, that message is the most salient element of communication.
The point is that 90% of the time we communicate without speaking.
In addition to capturing your customer's sympathy and trust in this short period of time, there is another suggestion that Jordan Belford makes: status management.
Acting the way, we want people to perceive us will make it happen. Behaving the way, we want to be generates the right state of mind. This allows us to activate positive empowered states, which we can repeat at key moments, such as when initiating a sale or negotiation.
Certainty, clarity, confidence and courage are states that we must choose at all times and not allow external events to influence our actions.
Richard Bandler, creator of Neurolinguistic Programming together with John Grinder, assures that people can choose how to feel, instead of being reactive to what happens in the environment.
Bandler and Grinder determine 5 steps to make us feel the way we want to be:
- Choose a state of mind, I want to feel confident, I want to be charismatic, and so on.
- Choose your focus of attention. Knowing how to choose where to focus your attention is fundamental to change your emotional and mental state.
- Choose your physiology. Our physical posture reflects our security.
- Intensify your state through the senses. According to NLP our life experiences are captured by the five senses and processed as information by our nervous system.
- Set an anchor. Associate the state you created with a word, mantra or sound.
In conclusion. There are 4 key seconds that determine everything and the management of a state of mind that will allow us to transmit, in those four seconds, all the confidence and attitude so that a client reduces his barrier of action and buys what we are selling him.