Selling skills and sales psychology for better outcomes from both buyer and seller perspectives.
No one likes to be manipulated into buying by clever use of sales psychology yet sometimes such tactics have the tacit support of the buyer. People who want something, want to hear evidence that that supports a decision to acquire it. They want an excuse to go ahead.
Aversion to risk, uncertainty, and financial constraints stand in the way of a positive decision. So much so that people and organisations often miss opportunities or fail to do what they have set out to.
We don’t need someone to play devils advocate. Each of us is fully competent in this role. What we need is someone to counter our natural aversion to risk. Fear of failure, fear of losing self-respect, fear of seeming foolish to others or of parting with hard won funds, creates plenty of resistance to taking action in the pursuit of goals and objectives.
What we need is argument for doing what we want to do and sales people are highly motivated to help. No one can be sold who doesn’t want to be. The picture of the desired end result is held far more vividly in the buyer’s imagination than the seller’s.
If you do buy something that fails to deliver what you expected then, either you misled yourself or someone else misled you. It may have been deliberate or accidental, your disappointment is the same.
Professional sales people know that repeat business is essential to success. One study suggested that it is nine times easier to sell existing customers than new prospects. They know that short-term gain is no compensation for the damage an unhappy customer does to their reputation, let alone all of the time taken up trying to solve the resulting problems. Sharing in the responsibility for achieving a successful outcome is part of a sales person’s lot and it is what the customer wants. Two people can carry a sofa more easily than one. Customers want sales people to help carry their project to a conclusion and professional sales people are wholly committed to doing so.
How many people can you count who hold your best interests at heart, outside friends and close family? Some of those who you employ, or help keep employed, might be included. You can quickly and easily categorise all the people you know according to how much they will consider you in their actions. Don’t forget the professional sales people amongst them. More than any wage earner, they know the value of their service. Their reward is your business and they know it cannot be taken for granted.
Professional sales people develop and maintain a great deal of knowledge about the markets and industries they sell into. They understand the strengths and weaknesses of competitive products as well as their own offerings.
The reference value of success stories ensures they memorise a wealth of knowledge about effective solutions to customer issues. They have free access to technical and commercial experts, either within the company they represent or from their suppliers. If you pay for a consultant you expect to get an unbiased opinion.
What you get is advice based on the experience and knowledge represented by the individual people you work with. No one organisation or individual can know it all so while the intent may honest, the result cannot help but reflect specific human experience. At least you know the bias of a sales person.
Professional sales people know that you know and go out of their way to prove that they do hold your best interests at heart, even to the extent of advising you against their own best interests.
Customers want salespeople to sell. They derive great benefit from interaction with professionals. They want the sales person to wear their colours. Which is worse, pushy, unprofessional sales people or those who insist that they are not selling? Everything, from agreeing on a family outing to prospective employees applying for a position, has to be sold.
Sales people earn a good living helping others do what they want to do. What more could one want from a career?
Article by Clive Miller
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