Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lessons in Sales, Learned at the Heartbreak Hotel

One of the best tactics sales people use is to let the customer experience the product and imagine ownership.  That's why we take test drives - partly because we need to test and drive, and mostly because we'll become emotionally attached to the car.  We use buyer's language.  "Does it come in blue?"  They use seller's language.  "Do you think the kids will like it?"  We've usually bought it before we own it.

There's nothing wrong with this when it's done with integrity.  It's a way of gauging buy-in, or finding silent objections that may need addressing.  It's a way of determining the customer's emotional investment in whatever it is we're selling.

Sales People are People Too
The truth is, good sales people get emotionally invested, too.  We really want the client to buy - partly because we get paid if they do, and mostly because we've determined their needs, we know our product and we believe it is the best for them.  Really good sales people let down their guard and let themselves "fall in love with the customer."  It's a way of living in truth.  It's integrity.  It's caring about someone else.  It keeps it real and it helps us sleep at night knowing we've connected the right customer with the right product; the classic "win-win".

The downside is just the same as it was in high school.  Sometimes you get your heart broken.  Sometimes you experience rejection.  Sometimes you get screwed.  And just as it was in high school, you go through the anger, the bitterness, the self-doubt, the hurt, the fear of trying again and finally the getting over it as you discover that for someone, somewhere, you're actually perfect.

It's worth taking the chance.

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