The 4-Step Sales Guide: The Hook & Building Rapport (2) | NICK SARAEV | Skillshare

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The 4-Step Sales Guide: The Hook & Building Rapport (2)

teacher avatar NICK SARAEV, Communication, Productivity & Tech

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. The Hook Explained

    • 3. Benefits & Features

    • 4. Storytelling Explained

    • 5. Telling Simple, Powerful Stories

    • 6. Building Rapport

    • 7. The Emotional Rollercoaster

    • 8. The 50/50 Rule

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About This Class

If you're looking for a practical, high-yield, no-BS approach to making more money in sales, this is the course you want.

Hi, I'm Nick. I'm a behavioral neuroscientist who's worked in sales for the last 6 years.

Let's get straight to the point. Unfortunately for you, the majority of the world has fallen for the feel-good charms of the modern sales "guru". They're successful, motivational, inspiring - and in many cases, completely backwards. 

Instead of focusing on immediately applicable techniques and practical theory, they spend their time and energy making you feel good. Making vague, ambiguous statements like "be yourself" or "believe in your product". Sound familiar?

Don't get me wrong, these look great on paper. But they don't translate into results.

They don't make you more sales.

They don't make you more money.

And they don't actually move your life forward in any real way.

All they do is get you caught up in an emotional hamster wheel that allows you to justify your lack of quantifiable progress by saying "what matters is that I'm trying!"

That's not what I believe in. I believe in numbers, and I believe in success above all else. And I think by the end of our course, you will too.


The 4-Step Sales Guide is the culmination of the idea that online courses should cut the fluff and just ​get straight to the point​. 

Me and my partner Soma have over 8 years of face-to-face and online sales experience between us, and with this course we've crammed everything we know into a single, information-packed hour. 

Some of what we say is controversial, debatable, and possibly amoral. And I'm sure we'll be hearing from some of you about it. But you can't argue with results.

Our content is simple and modern, drawing from the latest in economics, neuroscience, and evolutionary psychology. We spent countless hours testing each technique so you don't have to. In The 4-Step Sales Guide, you're going to learn the latest trends in marketing and sales today - click funnels, psychological loops, social proof, time constraints, and ​more.

I'm incredibly excited to get you on board with us. You're about to embark on one of the best decisions of your entire entrepreneurial career. 

Sound too good to be true? Check out our content for yourself.

See you inside :-).

*This is the second course in a four-part series

Meet Your Teacher

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Communication, Productivity & Tech




Hi there,


Welcome to my teaching page. I'm Nick - a productivity & body language coach with a passion for nonverbal communication, productivity, & self improvement. I've been featured on major publications like Popular Mechanics and Apple News, and I run a body language YouTube channel. All in all, I have over thirty thousand students online.


A little bit about me: I'm a body language coach & technology enthusiast with a background in behavioral neuroscience. I love helping people overcome social anxiety and bloss... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Sales is a pivotal part of the modern world. No company, organization or business can survive without it. And the ones that master the sales process quickly grow into incredibly successful and influential parts of our economy. For this class teaches total beginners, experts, and sales professionals alike how to build a rigorous sales process from fundamentals that will blow your competition out of the water. Hey, I'm Nick, I'm a software developer by trade. And on the side, I also run a video production company, a blog and a YouTube channel. I've worked in sales pretty much my entire life from the young age of 15. And I make courses for thousands of people just like you to improve their ability to sell products, services, and more. This is the second part of a three-part series. Previously, you guys learned about the key driving factors behind human decision-making as body language, vocal tone techniques, and social hierarchies. In this class, I'm going to show you guys how to build a strong and highly versatile sales hook that works in dozens of different situations, as well as how to create strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers. By the end of this class, you guys are understand the professional techniques and principles behind selling via benefits, not features. You'll also learn how to build incredible cell stories and how to keep customers on an emotional rollercoaster to improve your clothes rates. I'm a huge fan of sales in general, and I'm incredibly passionate about helping people improve both their sales and their income. That sounds like something that you guys want to do. Let's get started. I'll see you there. 2. The Hook Explained: The hook is the most pivotal part of the entire sales process. A good hook delivered will make your life incredibly easy later on, whereas a poor one can completely eliminate the possibility of a sale happening in just seconds. So we finished with the preliminary stuff. You guys now know about hierarchies, social proof, time, pressure, scarcity and more. And hopefully you kind of have a general intuition for how to frame the sale. Now it's time for us to start getting into the actual sales interaction, AKA what to do when the person is either right in front of you or over video chat or on your website. And the first and most important part of the entire sales process is the hook. The reason the hook is so important is because your hook is a filter. It determines both the quantity and the quality of customers that you interact with. The very first sentence, either out of your mouth or at the beginning of an online click funnel is going to select for a very particular kind of person. And that kind of person will have certain characteristics that makes them more or less likely to buy your product. Now our main goal in this module is to develop a hook that is two things. First, it's general enough that we can initially drawn as many people as possible while still being too specific enough, we can filter out the people that realistically have a very low likelihood of actually buying our product. And thus we will save ourselves substantial time. Specificity and generalizability are at odds with one another because the more generally we make our product, the less specific it is for a certain niche. Now, there's this sweet spot that's kind of right in the middle where you get the highest yield for a certain amount of generalizability and specificity. And this region is called the Goldilocks zone. And if you guys generalize it a tiny bit more or a tiny bit less, you're going to start losing sales. So that Goldilocks zone right in the middle is right where we need to be. I'll see you in the next class. 3. Benefits & Features: In the last lesson, we introduced a model that we're going to use to develop our hook. And that model is one where a hook is both number one, general enough to attract a wide number of potential customers, while still being too specific enough that we get to filter out the people that we know have a very low likelihood of actually purchasing our product. And this is a place called the Goldilocks zone. In this lesson, I'm going to show you guys a quick and really simple act to significantly improve the quality of your hooks. And the real crux of this entire lesson relies on the principle of benefits over features. So what are benefits and features in the first place? Well, to keep it simple, a feature is something that's important to the product developer and a benefit is something that's important to the product consumer. Unfortunately, most salespeople to mix these two up all the time and they spend all day talking to customers about features. Whereas in reality, customers don't care about features at all. They only care about benefits. Let me give you a concrete example. If you guys, you're selling a vacuum cleaner, a feature of that vacuum might be that as a three-stage high-efficiency air filter. Talking about the specifics are what make it a feature of the product. On the other hand, a benefit might be that your vacuum lets you pick up more dirt in less time. And these aren't specifics about the product, their outcomes to the consumer and therein lies the difference. So developers care about features and customers care about benefits. That's a good rule, but it doesn't tell the entire story. The reality is some customers kind of care about features. Sometimes it's usually product reviewers are enthusiasts, generally people that are super passion for the product, that sort of thing. And you should cater to those people when you see them by sprinkling in a few features. However, by and large, the vast majority of customers only ever care about the product and how it solves their problems. They only really care about what we talked about earlier, which were the benefits. So those are what we need to include in our out as much as possible. Another example, let's say you're selling a car to a young couple. A feature that car might be the twin tube shock absorbers. And the benefit of those shock absorbers would be a smoother, more gentle ride for the customer. The couple is pregnant or maybe soon to have a child. You can imagine how a smooth, gentle ride is a much better selling point, then a twin tube shock absorber, right? The first applies to everybody who wants a smoother drive, but a second only applies to enthusiast or people that know what twin to shock absorbers are, which is like 1% of the population. So to summarize here, we introduced the hook is important and we also talked a little bit about benefits and features. Features are important to the developers of the product and a very small percentage of enthusiasts, whereas benefits are important to the customers and consumers of that product. In order to succeed in sales, you need to learn how to construct hooks that focus on benefits and not features. Since benefits or what most your audience will care about. 4. Storytelling Explained: In the last lesson, we introduced the basis for a strong hook, which is by focusing on benefits and not features. In this lesson, we're going to go over another quick strategy that improves the quality of your hook. And that's to focus on storytelling. I mentioned earlier that when I was younger, I used to be a professional fundraiser in downtown Vancouver. It was incredibly challenging, super rewarding. And most what we talked about were very poor living conditions for children in third world countries. That was kinda what we were getting donations for over the course of my time there, I did pretty good, but it was never anything incredible until all of a sudden, one day I learned what I'm about to tell you now and my numbers exploded. So if you guys were to read that 36 million people in Africa go to bed hungry because of a drought. I'm sure we can all agree that that situation sucks, but there's no real way for our brains to understand the sheer magnitude of what's going on. So after a brief shrug, we're going to default to apathy. We just don't care because it's not right in front of us. But if instead of a statistic, a newspaper tells you a story of visceral story about a six-year-old boy named Abba, who had to walk a dozen miles across the desert with bloody feet, only to find that the well that was keeping his family live just dried up, then I'm sure you guys are going to agree it's gonna have a much more visceral impact. And you can empathize with that because we've also all felt despair and pain. And since it's no longer just a faceless number, we're all going to start taking it much more seriously. This is more or less our approach when fundraising, I would start off by talking about these big numbers like everybody else and it worked but it was pretty mediocre. One day my supervisor was telling me a story about one of these kids and I ended up using basically copy and pasting that story into a pitch later that day. I made more on that pitch then I made all week and it taught me the importance of storytelling and sales. So to construct a fantastic hook, then there are two things you need to remember. The first is to focus on benefits and not features. And the second is to learn to tell a story. And you don't need to tell a story and every hook or in every conversation. But if you have a feeling that your prospect isn't really tuning in or isn't fully present. Storytelling is a great way to get them to listen you intently because everybody loves stories. The simplest and best storytelling formula. And the one that I've been using basically throughout this video is a three-act structure. The first act is the setup where you provide a little bit of context. A good example of that is the fact that I used to work as a fundraiser. The second act as a challenge or an incident or a sudden change, like how all of a sudden one day I learned this trick and everything changed. And the last act is the resolution or the implementation like how by applying this simple storytelling formula or maybe using the simple product, I was able to significantly increase my sales. Hope that makes sense. In this lesson, we talked about a concrete example storytelling, and he has learned how to weave a three-act storytelling structure into your hook. Now stories are incredibly effective and are a fantastic way to get somebody interested or attentive in you, especially when numbers or statistics aren't doing anything. 5. Telling Simple, Powerful Stories: In the last lesson, I showed you guys a simple three-act storytelling formula that you can weave into any hug. And a more or less describes the form of that. I'd say over 80 or 90 percent of all hooks use when trying to dry it in. There's a bit of context, then there's a sudden challenge or incident, and then at the end there's a resolution. But sometimes I find that that's too long to effectively tell either in person or through an online medium. So in this lesson, I'm gonna give you as a very fast, very simple alternative that allow you to personalize your hook when you can't use that previous formula. It's called an empathy statement. And the structure of an empathy statement is incredibly simple to remember. 5% of all in, but these statements go just like this. Before x, I was doing y, where x is your product and y is some crappy situation. Example, before I found the four-step sales guy was living in my mom's basement eating Cheetos. That's it. Before x I was doing why? Because memorize that one line and you just keep swapping out different x's and y's. You are golden. It's one of the most often used marketing techniques today, especially in online click funnels and an email campaigns. And it's popular for very good reason. It works really well. Basically, human beings are programmed to respond emotionally to things just like this. As long as the y part of that empathy statement is a negative situation that a lot of people can identify with, like living in your mom's basement. You're almost guaranteeing that people will tune in and get hooked. Because now they're not thinking about you or statistics. They're thinking about the parallels with their own life. So next time you're checking your email and next time you're browsing Facebook, I want you guys to pay attention to the way that advertisements are worded. The one thing that separates the successful ads from the ads that crash and burn at least 95 percent of the time is that the successful adds almost always use some form of an empathy statement. It's almost like an equation and that takes us to the end of another lesson. This one was short and sweet. Here we learned about what an empathy statement was and how we can almost formulaically swap out those x's and y's to give ourselves a really effective hook. This works and click funnels this works and email campaigns and this works on YouTube, Facebook, online, face-to-face, pretty much everywhere. And it's all because human beings are programmed to identify viscerally with situations like this. Thanks for tuning into the hook module and I'll see you guys in the next class. 6. Building Rapport: When you're good salesman, the sale doesn't look like a sale at all. And this is because successful salespeople will seamlessly weave their sales pitch. I eat why you should buy this product into regular friendly conversation so they can sell it while also building long-term relationships. This is the guiding principle of our next module on building rapport in order to be truly successful at cells and to be consistent at the clothes, you need to make the process enjoyable for the customer. You can't separate the sales pitch from the relationship building because those two aren't mutually exclusive. I mean, they build on top of each other. And so our goal is to turn our customer from a total stranger into an acquaintance or a friend while still pitching our product. For transparency sake, this is one my favorite parts of the entire process. So let's dive in building relationship with the customer is almost always going to be different from person to person. And so obviously, unfortunately, I cannot give you a word for word script on exactly what to say or what to do. Not to mention the fact that each of you are probably selling different products or different services yourselves. So you guys all have different reasons for why somebody should buy. But all that being said, what I can do is give you guys some quick guidelines and some concepts that you guys can always fall back on if you ever find yourself at a loss for words. And that's what this module is going to be about. We'll start off by learning some concepts behind building rapport. And you'll notice they have a lot to do with those visceral human motivators we talked about at the beginning of the course. And in fact, the main concept of this section is going to be on what's called the emotional roller coaster, which is a very simple and easy way to more or less ensure engagement anytime you're talking to somebody, That's what we'll start off with the next lesson. And I'll see you there. 7. The Emotional Rollercoaster: In the last lesson, we introduced the topic of building rapport and we mentioned how it's important that you build relationships with your customer as the sale goes on. This improves the likelihood closing, and it also keeps the door open to repeat sales. One way you guys can do this is by utilizing a very conceptually simple idea called the emotional roller coaster. The emotional roller coaster is more or less the idea that during a conversation with a potential lead and this conversation going to be either face-to-face over the phone through video chat or even via text. But during that conversation, you want to make sure that if this is the interaction right here, you don't just stick in the middle, right? You have moments where you spike their emotions up. And you also have moments where you bring them all the way down and you go up, and then you go down and then up and down and so on and so forth. Basically, you want to make it a roller coaster. The goal is to keep things exciting, spike your customers emotions well and often and they'll enjoy being around you and thus be much more likely to purchase your product. Now you can do this in a number of ways. One is humor and this can bring a person up. And another is sharing something personal about yourself, which depending on the specific subject matter, can either bring them way up or it can push them way down. This works really well because it also helps establish some trust and comfort. And let's use a little bit of the storytelling thing we talked about earlier. Most people that work in sales and an attempt to seem personable or friendly, OSC. Way too many questions about where their customers from, what they do for work, whether they have kids, et cetera. And this is generally not a good way to go because one, it was the onus of the conversation on the customer. And two, it means that they're the ones that are responsible for essentially injecting emotion into the conversation. And depending on the customer's emotional state, this can lead to either a really boring interaction or an angry interaction or a sad one. But that's not to say you should never ask any questions. Ask them questions is fine and it's actually a totally necessary part of moving the conversation forward. But the key word there is it's a conversation, not an interrogation. So every couple of minutes if you're the person over the phone or every couple of paragraphs for communicating through text, you want to provide some type of emotional energy, either a joke or a story, or some personal information, or some emotional reaction. Now I can't really explain how to crack a joke or padded tell a story. These are both pretty intuitive social skills. But what I'll do is I'll include some links that I found helpful at the end of the module so that you guys struggle with things like that, you can at least start getting better now. All right, That takes us to the end of another video lesson. Here we learned the concept behind the emotional roller coaster and how to keep your customer attentive, interested and attracted to you by spiking their emotions up and down and keeping things interesting. Emotion cells. So by framing our product emotionally and by having emotionally charged conversations, we can sell a lot more. And I'll get into some specifics about how to do that in the next section. See you there. 8. The 50/50 Rule: In the last lesson, we talked briefly about the emotional roller coaster and the idea that you never want to have a conversation with a potential lead. Be here all the time. You want to be able to spike it up and bring it down and ultimately make it substantially more interesting. This helps keep the interaction engaging and exciting, and it gives you some more time to pitch your product as well. We'll also humanizing you. And that's possibly one of the most important parts. Nobody will give you money if they think you're just a robot reading lines off a script. In this lesson, we're going to take what we learned about the emotional roller coaster and we're gonna go one step further. We're going to learn what's called the 5050 rural, which is the most important principle of building rapport. And luckily for you guys, it's also a very simple principle to understand. The 55-year-old goes like this. After your hook, your conversation should be approximately 50 percent pitch aka 50 percent you explaining your product and 50 percent building rapport. Again, 50 percent, you getting to know them, understanding where they're coming from and being genuinely interested. That's it. It's half and half, really simple. And the reason for this is you never want to push your product too hard. And you also don't want them to think that you're just a social robot, reading lines off a script or something. Sales, isn't this right? It's not two people fighting against each other. It's this, it's two people going in the same direction together. And that's based off common goals, and that's based off a common need. Framing the two is you guys being on the same team will not only increase the likelihood that you close, it will also increase customer satisfaction. It will increase the likelihood of your customers becoming repeat customers. And most importantly, it'll make the entire process of fun. Now the 50 50 rule is a guideline and it's important that you understand that there are some situations in which you can move those numbers around a little bit. So you guys are a salesperson at Best Buy, for example, in which the customer is coming to you instead of you going to them. And you already know that there's a very low likelihood of them just getting up and leaving because they're at Best Buy for a reason, then you guys can increase the sales pitch part to maybe 60 or 70 percent in dequeues, the rapport building part to 30 or 40. So there's a little bit of that intuition involved. But if you guys are just starting out and you don't really know what the context or so really is, then feel free to stick to that 5050. And more often than not, you'll be fine. Uh, 5050 ratio is usually perfect because if you try and build rapport any more than 50 percent of the time, you can drift off and where a lot of people call the customer friend zone. And that's kinda like a regular friend zone, except this time it's between a salesperson and a prospect instead of two people that are attracted to each other. And the reason for this is the salesperson usually doesn't show enough intent to sell right off the bat. Ultimately, you need to show them that you do have a goal, but you're also not just mindlessly consumed by that goal. And it's not that you just can't have a normal conversation and kick back and relax. The biggest and most common misunderstanding I see you when I try to teach people the 50 50 rule is the idea that 5050 means that you pitch in just one big block of the interaction and then switch gears and try to be their friend for the last 50% of the interaction or vice versa. This is not optimal mostly because of the customer friends zone concept I talked about earlier. If you spent the first 10 minutes just sucking up to them, they'll think that you either don't care about selling the product or they'll think that you're sucking up to them and both in both cases are going to be bad. Another key point, your entire conversation should be framed around the types of benefits that the product can provide your customer. You don't want to talk mindlessly about the weather. You don't wanna talk mindlessly about the baseball game, but you do want to talk about their experiences with similar products in the past. How much they hated their whole service provider, stuff like that. Doing this will keep you on topic and it will also imply that you're here on a mission and selling is your end goal. Now, obviously, I can't model the outcome of every possible conversation. So these are all very high level ideas on how one could go about pitching and building rapport at the same time. But the general idea is after the hook, you jump back and forth between explaining the product which he makes sure to do using its benefits rather than its features. And then building rapport which you make you're going to do using emotional spikes, storytelling and so on. All right, that takes us to the end of another lesson. This time we learned about the 50 50 rule, which basically states, in general, you should never really pitch more than 50 percent of the time you're talking to a potential lead. We then looked at a quick example of how to package the product explanation and the building rapport part into the same step. Now I will say this is pretty high level stuff and it is probably going to take you guys a fair bit of intuition and practice if you really want to get it, a single hour of going out and trying it, it's probably worth 10 hours. You're just watching me talk about it. So I implore you the next time you guys have the opportunity, go and test it out. Try the emotional roller coaster, try the 50, 50 rule and get some experience under your belt. I'll see you guys in the next class. And that takes us the end of the second class on the four-step sales guide. In this course, we explored the second, third major steps of the sales process, which we're creating an incredible hook and building rapport with the end customer. You guys learned about the value of benefits over features. How to tell stories to improve your sales game, how to build a rapport, and how to keep people on the emotional roller coaster. I love cells and I sincerely hope you guys enjoyed learning about it too. It's near and dear to my heart and nothing makes me happier than helping people like you improve their careers and their income. I can't wait to see all your projects if you guys have any questions or concerns or something you want to talk to me about, feel free to follow up by leaving a review or a comment and I'm more than happy to do so. Thanks so much for your patients and your time and I'll see you guys in another class.