June 5th, 2014
Convince vs. Discover: The Path to True Sales Professionalism
Imagine yourself for a moment, if you will, looking to purchase something large. This should be a good feeling as it could be a boat, a motorcycle, your first house or the most expensive set of golf clubs you ever owned. In your mind, pick out the color of the bike, the size of the boat or the layout of your new house. Feel the grip in your hands of your new clubs. See yourself with your new purchase. It’s hard not to smile, as you imagine these great experiences. Peace enters your soul, as you breathe deeply and imagine the fun that you are about to have!
Now, take that visual picture of your purchase and think of your worst sales experience you have ever had. Think of someone trying to sell you that boat. Feel the pressure of the salesperson and how “on guard” you have to feel to protect yourself. The salesperson said, “If I could show you a way, would you buy today?” The earlier peace is replaced with angst, and the deep breathes are now shorter, shallower and require more labor.
What just happened? How could one person take such a great experience and turn it into a tragedy? It’s really quite simple. Clients do not like to be told what to buy. You might have heard this before and it’s probably true about you too… “People love to buy, they hate to be sold!”
Take an honest look into how you sell, or how your team sells and answer these questions:
- Am I telling the prospect that they should be buying my product?
- Do I think that everyone would be better off with my product?
- In your sales process, are you the one telling the prospect about the consequences of them not buying your product?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might want to re-consider if you are a sales professional, or just in sales. Look at it from the prospects perspective; they will tend to believe what they discover for themselves rather than believe what they are told. And here is the difference between the success and failure in sales: if you help them discover it on their own, they will own it and be much more apt to buy, than if you try to convince them.
If you question that, then think back to the beginning of this discussion where you were pressured into making the decision. I am sure that there are a few out there that are OK being told how to buy. But in my 30 years of selling, they are definitely the minority.
If you want to learn more, I have a 10 question assessment that will tell you if you tend to be more apt to try to convince someone that they should buy, or if you are on the side of trying to get them to discover for themselves the advantages of buying from you.
If you want this, I will gladly send it to you. Then you can send me your answers and I will reveal to you your style. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Try to help others discover this week vs. try to convince them. Done right, your sales will soar!