What a wonderful email to
wake up and read.
“I am delighted to confirm that your article, Don’t Sell Like You Buy published by Sales Gravy has been selected
as one of the top ten sales articles for April.”
It seems that this article,
(actually on of my personal favorites) Don’t Sell Like You Buy has been nominated
for one of the best sales Articles of the Month on Top10SalesArticles.com.
You can read the full
article here. Below is an except. This article is a result of an experience I
had during a training event I was delivering. Another example of learning and sharing the
experiences I gain from my clients and every training event I deliver.
“If you’ve never used a
certain selling technique, prospecting approach or a particular set of targeted
qualifying questions, then how do you know whether or not they will work or how
they will be received by your prospects?”
I was building my case. I
then turned to the audience and said, “Do not sell the way you buy.”
Now, you may feel at this
point that I’m contradicting some universal selling principles. After all,
conventional sales wisdom handed down through the ages suggests how important
it is to empathize and sympathize with your prospects and clients.
However, there’s a very
fine line between understanding and respecting someone’s decision making
process; and assuming that everyone makes a purchasing decision in the same
manner and using the same criteria that you do. Moreover, there is also the
faulty assumption that your prospects respond in a similar fashion to the type
of sales approach and the type of salesperson that you respond to and would buy
I then shared a personal
example of the dangers of selling like you buy. “Folks, if I sold in the same
manner in which I make a purchase and then in turn, transfer those values and
beliefs on each prospect that I speak with, then I could tell you with great
certainty that I would not be up here talking with you today.”
Reason being, when I make a
purchase of any substantial amount, I take the time to research my options and
learn about the different products or services available. By the time I’m ready
to actually make the purchase, whether it’s something for my home, a television
a car or a computer, more often than not, I will know more about the product,
the competition and the marketplace than the person who is attempting to sell
it to me.
My point is, if I started
selling the way in which I make a purchasing decision, I am now putting my
values, thought process and beliefs on the customer, assuming they purchase the
same or in a similar way that I do. The result? More objections, less sales.
Besides, what if I was
talking with an impulsive or assertive prospect who was ready to buy? I would
be talking myself right out of the sale!”
Lets defuse a costly myth.
The old adage of putting yourself in their shoes is really a costly assumption
that destroys many a selling opportunity. Why? Because when you “look through
their eyes” or attempt to see things how you assume they see them, it is still
really what you see, not what they see.
The result? You develop a
sales process based on how you think they buy rather than how they actually
make a decision. Why? Because how you think they buy is really how you buy. (Is
your brain twisted enough yet?)
If you truly want to wear
their shoes, then you need to know how they think and what is important to
them. Therefore, the only way to uncover how the prospect likes to process
information, make a purchasing decision and the criteria they use to do so is
by asking better questions.
Now, lets take this same
ineffective model of selling like you buy and turn it around for a moment. If
this belief of selling like the way you buy is getting in the way of taking
certain actions or asking certain questions when on a sales call, then what
about other things that you are doing or saying which you think are safe to you
but in fact, are not safe or comfortable for the person you are speaking with
because you’re still operating off the same tool, costly assumptions!
The lesson; Don’t believe everything you sell, I mean,
Salespeople who sell in the
same manner in which they buy are sure to have a lower number of satisfied
clients. Take a look at some different scenarios where utilizing your own
beliefs, assumptions and value system can have a detrimental effect on your
performance and income.
1. Since Carol usually
shops around before choosing which company to buy from or which product to buy,
she accepted the prospect’s reason for doing the same. Like herself, she
couldn’t expect people to make a decision during the initial consultation.
2. When Mike makes a
purchasing decision, he usually purchases the least expensive item available.
He thinks you can get the same top value at a lowest price. Although he
represents one of the highest quality products in his industry, the amount of
money he sold for was always at the lowest profit margin. Mike had a hard time
asking for more money, even though he was offering the consumer the highest in
3. Robert hated hearing
sales presentations. When he went out on his appointments, he was always done
within thirty minutes. In order to effectively cover all of the necessary
information and provide the right solutions for the prospect, the average time
a representative should invest during an appointment was between two to three
4. Dana was very indecisive
when it came to making a purchasing decision. Because this was inherent in her
personality, she offered her customers many different alternatives. The end
result was confusion on the consumer’s end, on Dana’s end and no work order.
There are salespeople out
there who are even more indecisive than their prospects. Can you see it?
“I’ll ask for the order now. No, I’ll wait a little longer. No, I might
miss the opportunity to do so later, so I better do it now.” This can
clearly put a damper on your performance as well as your mental health.
5. There was never a “right
time” for Bob to purchase a new car. When a prospect explains to Bob that they
have other commitments, he totally understood and told them that he would call
them back when the time was right. 6. Rhonda always bought from salespeople
that were overzealous and aggressive. She tried to emulate that same
disposition on every sales call she went out on.
Sell in the manner in which
you were trained to sell and stick with the proven selling sequence that works
for you and within your industry or profession. You cannot expect prospects to
purchase in the same manner as you do.
If you sell in the same
manner as you buy, you are instilling your beliefs onto the other people. Since
every person’s beliefs and buying habits are different, every prospect
processes information differently. What is important to one person may not be
important to another. Therefore, there will never be two presentations exactly
While one prospect might
weigh company stability and the quality or value of the product as the most
important aspect in making their decision, another prospect might weigh price
as the most important.
Learn to adapt your
presentation around the values of each specific prospect. In the end, people make
purchasing decisions based on their style of buying, not yours.
You can read the full