When I tell salespeople that there is a relationship between how they sell and how they buy, I always brace for an argument. Most people think they can successfully separate who they are as a consumer from who they are in a sales role, but it rarely works that way.
When Bob Badseller (not his real name) was in a negotiation with Perry Prospect (also not his real name) he was ready with all the ways to handle objections that his manager had taught him, but for some reason they never found their way out of his mouth and into Perry’s ears. Bob prepared his responses and knew he’d likely find himself negotiating with Perry, but when the time came, he did not execute. What happened?
Bob never addressed the way he makes buying decisions as a consumer. Bob is a price shopper and would likely drive out of his way to shop at a store with better pricing when given the choice so when Perry told Bob, “you know we can get this cheaper with your competitor” even though Bob knew how to handle the objection, he said, “well, I understand in this economy that saving money is important.” Game over.
Bob behaved consistently with what his emotional intelligence assessment indicated. He has lower score on self-regard and a very high score on empathy. This is a dangerous combination in a sales scenario. With that combination of traits, the standard training method of preparing answers to possible objections will not suffice. You must get to the root of the issue and deal with Bob’s self-regard & empathy. It’s difficult to uphold your margins if you are wondering if you are really worth it. It’s difficult to maintain your pricing if you are overly sympathetic to your prospect’s issues.
Worse yet, Bob will most likely find himself in similar situations again and again because there is something for him to learn about himself that goes deeper than memorizing objections and responses.
Training good techniques is important, but keeping your eyes open about the real reasons price shopping can support or sabotage you is mission critical if you want to conquer that issue once and for all. Next time you are making a buying decision ask yourself if that behavior will help you uphold your margin or make you more likely to cave in.
Merit Gest teaches people how to become Possibility Thinkers at conferences around the globe. To book Merit for your next event, please call 720-980-1286, or visit www.MeritGest.com