Friday, April 9, 2010

Anxiety Trumps Logic

Anxiety is the Ace of Spades and is always the buyer’s hole card. Great Sellers turn over their hole cards as soon as dealt, showing a pair of Aces (hearts and diamonds—logic and sincerity--). Inevitably the buyer, seeing the pair, checks throughout the hand and then asks the seller to borrow his pen when the last card is dealt. Had this seller only the Ace of Hearts, he’d have an average hand just like the rest of us, and the game would be a draw:

“Let me think about it, I’ll get back to you.”

After hearing that we all have to play out the hand.

Because angst is so deeply rooted, having been nourished all along by average sellers who are afflicted with the “somewhats” (preparedness, honesty, sincerity, follow-up, work ethic, caring, etc.), don’t be too hard on yourself for his first response not being, “Oh my G-d, I am so happy you chose me to help. When can we start?”

The fact is that cynicism and fear of loss are very strong emotions and overpower logic every time. So we begin to play out the hand which means we engage in closing.

The buyer said when you concluded the pitch and asked for the order , “Well let me think about this,” or “I need to discuss this with my partner, pastor, parents or pet ,” or “I need to see if I can afford this, “or “I’m not sure if this is the right time to risk this,” or… Then, as mentioned, he promises a phone call with a decision soon.

That call is not coming. And the decision, if not already made is pre-ordained. So, do not cheerily respond, “That’s great Mr. Jones. I’m looking forward to your call. Have a great day.” Instead you begin:

“Mr. Jones, I understand your hesitancy. This is an important decision because the health and welfare of your business may depend upon it. I must tell you that my experience tells me that deferring this kind of action, inevitably kills it. Should that happen very little will change in my life, or yours… and that can mean an important lost opportunity for you.

I have a no-risk proposal for you. Let’s spend fifteen more minutes together now. Let’s partner in probing your every concern. You work hard to honestly articulate them and I promise to listen very closely and give you honest feedback. While I don’t think so, it may be that I’ve missed something very important and if so, I will acknowledge that because my only objective is to help you grow your business. At the end of those fifteen minutes, we’ll have traded anxiety for real issues. And that’s the best way to make a decision. Don't you agree?”

This approach will get you the fifteen minutes during which you work to elicit every objection, the answers to which are at your finger tips and after each answer, you extend the pen.

Great Selling!

Love Your Work and Work Tirelessly
Communicate Honestly and Fearlessly
Serve, Don't Sell
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  1. As someone with fifteen years experience as a front line salesman I recognize the value of the insights you offer to the “real” sales process. Being a veteran of many corporate sales training seminars it’s refreshing to read the accumulated wisdom of a salesman of your caliber (seriously, I’m not kissing you’re a** here).
    I have often reflected on why a sale didn’t happen and have assessed the sales call in an attempt to determine if I “walked” away from the close too soon. There is a fine line where you can become the overbearing, too pushy used car salesman and become suspicious to your buyer. Additionally, there are always competitors selling the same thing as you and probing your buyer for the same objections and providing the same solutions. So what makes your involvement in your buyers business “great”? What differentiator do you bring to his business? I believe its integrity. Defined as delivering accountability, credibility, and ethics. Do I get into heaven now?
    BTW: I did a lot of that thinking after I left my sales career.

  2. You're on the way. No need to rush it though