I lived on the Gulf Coast for over 15 years and occasionally enjoyed watching the fishing boats return during late afternoons with huge catches of shrimp and crabs in tiny Bayou La Batre, AL.
You would think that as much work is involved in catching a boatload of seafood that you wouldn’t risk an escape attempt when you returned dockside. Although it’s common practice to put the crab catch in baskets with lids, I discovered through observation that it really isn’t necessary. This is due to the fact every time a crab tries to escape from a basket; it is snagged and pulled back down by another crab. Regardless of the genus and species, I guess it’s true that misery loves company throughout the entire animal kingdom!
Is it correct to think that your prospects and buyers will respond like you to salespeople and selling techniques? For instance when I make 4-figure purchases (over $1,000), I take the time to research my options and learn what’s available; to the point that I’ll know nearly as much as the salesperson knows. The trouble with selling that way is that you end up putting your values and beliefs on the buyer. That strategy will probably result in more objections and fewer sales. Therefore, maybe it’s not so smart, after all, attempting to see it their way, because no matter how hard you try, you will still see what you see, not what they see.
Using that approach, you will end up with a sales process based on how you think they buy rather than how they actually buy. This is because how you think they buy is really how you buy. (Confused yet?) The only way to know how they really make purchasing decisions is to ask better questions and listen closer to their responses.
If you sell like you buy, you are sure to have fewer satisfied customers. To prove my point, here are several scenarios depicting how a salesperson’s own beliefs, assumptions, and values can have a detrimental effect on performance and income. I’ll bet some of these will ring your bell as you read them:
Hal usually shops around before buying, so he accepts his prospect’s reasoning for doing the same. After all, he can’t expect people to make decisions after just one appointment, can he?
Michelle makes purchasing decisions consistently by buying the least expensive available item. She thinks you can get the same value for the lowest price. Although she works for a national company and sells a premium service, her average price per transaction is always way below her company’s target. Michelle has a hard time asking buyers for more money even though she is representing a very high quality service.
Robert hates hearing sales presentations, so when he conducts sales appointments he only spends about 5 minutes discussing his product, even though about 15 minutes is required to cover it thoroughly. He is definitely not in the top 20% of sellers at his office.
Danielle is very indecisive when she buys, so she offers her prospects lots of alternatives. This causes customer confusion but doesn’t create many sales. Believe it or not there are some salespeople out there even more indecisive than their prospects!
Ted can never find a right time to purchase a new car. Therefore, when buyers explain to him they have other commitments, he says he totally understands. He smiles and agrees to call them back when the timing is better for them, meaning his closure is lower and his sales cycle is longer than anyone at his company.
Veronica always purchases from salespeople that are overzealous and aggressive. She tries to act that same way on her sales calls. She doesn’t close many deals, but she has the highest number of office complaint calls of any sales rep in her district and the most 3-day cancellations.
The big takeaway here is that you shouldn’t expect prospects to purchase things the same way you do. Stick with the proven selling sequence that you were taught as a sales pup and learn to adapt your presentation around the temperament and values of each specific prospect you work with. In the end, people make purchasing decisions based on their style of buying, not yours, so mirror them and not yourself.
—————–Another Happy Camper—————
“Thanks Doug Robinson, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to pass it along! You are a ‘one of a kind’”. Greg Cosgrove, owner CosMO Pest Solutions, Doniphan, MO. Look HERE to see why Greg’s excited.
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