By Ed Wenck
For Dr. Frederick Ampel, there are sales techniques that can best be described as “primal.” There are reactions that are hard-wired into the human brain over millennia – and those reactions can provide all the clues a salesperson needs to help close a deal.
If, of course, that salesperson knows how to identify that data.
Ampel, who’ll be sharing his research and techniques in a course called “the Art of the Demo” at CEDIA 2017, gives some background – some really, really deep background.
“Ages ago, when we were four feet high and hunting on the African veldt, the grass around us was six feet high,” Ampel explains. “So we had to vocalize three concepts: danger, food, or RUN. Fight or flight. Beyond that, if we heard a rustling in the grass while we were stalking our dinner, we had to figure out where it was coming from – in case it was a predator stalking us for a snack.”
Fast forward to the dawn of surround-sound: “When people first saw Star Wars
in surround sound, and the battle cruisers from the Empire pass overhead, people looked up in the theaters. It’s a natural reaction.”
That reaction is similar to another kind of body-language expression Ampel’s used with great success. If a customer’s in a showroom, and the salesperson flips the sound he or she is presenting from, say, stereo to 5.1 and then BACK to stereo, an interested consumer will reflexively lean forward, “following the sound as it’s folded back into two-channel,” Ampel explains.
“Once they’ve done that, the game is over. The question is not ‘Will they buy something?’ but ‘Will they buy it from you? Have you convinced them you’re the right choice? And what will they spend to get there?’”
Ampel continues: “The reactions that you’ll get? These are things that people will do and they won’t even know that they’re doing it. If you know how to read that information, then you’re being given a ton of data on what’s going on inside that customer’s head – without them saying a word to you.”
From the initial discovery period to the moment when the gear gets powered on, Ampel will provide tips aplenty, such as when to end a clip of music or instructing a client what to look for in a famous film scene.
Those nuggets are just a slice of what Ampel’s planning on presenting – the course is a live demo of a soon-to-be-published white paper Ampel wrote for CEDIA that carries the same name as Ampel’s course. Ampel’s prep for the paper and the educational sessions is informed by conversations with pysch profs from UCLA – and decades of measurable observation and experience. Ampel’s tested his concepts in a variety of “real-world” settings, and he believes the tools he’s prepared to share will be invaluable to three types of individuals in the CEDIA universe:
“The first are experienced salespeople who aren’t closing sales effectively and the they don’t know why. Often they’re not asking the right questions – or not listening to the answers.
“The second group includes younger salespeople who want to get smarter, and learn the art of psychological selling.
“The last group? Those who are salespeople by default – perhaps a lead tech who has to answer questions in the field and explain why a customer could really use an upgrade.”
Ultimately, the takeaway from the class will be one of heightened observational acumen, according to Ampel: “The trick is that all the info you need is usually right in front of you – but 90% of people don’t pay attention.” That ability to read the data that a client’s giving you without realizing it means “Your close rate will absolutely go up,” says Ampel.
“You’re going to make more money.”
The Art of the Demo
Sept. 6, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Dr. Fred Ampel, Technology Visions Analytics; and Chris Foreman Register here for CEDIA 2017.