The Re-Birth of Ageing Sales

Gary May, a former sales director at Siemens reseller turned sales trainer, coach and author says it always amazes him just how many sales visits, telemarketing calls and opportunities to buy we are all confronted with in our daily working lives compared to 10 years ago.

“What also amazes me is how little the techniques and strategies used by these companies to prise us away from our hard earned money have developed in that time either.

I still hear scripted marketing calls, pre-rehearsed closes from sales people and adverts still claiming to be a ‘one-off offer’

Customers are now professional non-buyers… They know how to get your company and salespeople out of the door!

For this reason we all need to be more astute in the way in which we sell, use new models of persuasion and influence and actually start understanding the psychology of our customers as buyers.

It was only last week when I was listening to a ‘sales pitch’ where the salesperson was presenting their product to a Managing Director and at each stage asking them ‘can you see the benefit in that?”.

A great ‘trial close’ question you might think but when you understand what it is that persuades someone to buy you’ll realise that the MD is the last person you should be asking for any decision about anything!

Question: Have you ever bought something for someone that you could not see the benefit of yourself?

Now, in virtually 100% of cases we have all bought such a gift. Why? The reason is that we all desire the thanks for buying something for someone, we all want to hear the ‘thank you, you shouldn’t have’ line but this is a crucial piece of social psychology that is little understood and rarely practiced in the arena of sales.

No matter what product you sell or in what industry the person who you are persuading has a moral obligation to make great decisions on behalf of the staff and those who will be utilising what it is you have to offer. It is the staff members then who we should be relating all of our feature benefits towards and getting them to say whether they want your product.

At this stage I need to make clear that I am not suggesting that you ask each member of staff but…Consider these words:

“This will be perfect for preventing Jane from having to do that wouldn’t it?” How easy is it for the buyer now to agree to this simple fact with a yes?

What about, “Can you see how your accounts department would utilise this making them more efficient?” Again, if it really is a benefit to them then the answer has to be yes.

Throughout our presentations we are aligning our products, services or ideas towards the customer’s staff members and getting his agreement that they would benefit from having our product.

At no stage have I asked him for his opinion as he is probably the last person who would use the product, benefit from it or even need to know what it does.

This technique sets up this question at the end of the presentation, “From what you’ve already told me, do you agree that this appears to be a huge benefit across the whole company?”

For a genuine customer to now say no is admitting that although he sees the benefits he doesn’t want to make his staff more efficient, more productive and doesn’t want to improve his business.

Customers will buy things for others they cannot see the benefit of themselves…..

Are you asking the right person for your decisions because if you get a single NO from the buyer you reinforce their assumption that YOUR product doesn’t suit and reaffirms the ‘Law of Consistency’. The Law of Consistency in part states that if someone verbalises an opinion then they will defend that point even if shown overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”