Five ways to connect with your buyer

As Sellers we all spend time continuing our education and practicing our craft; at least if we want to stay relevant and current in our industry and for our clients.  And there are countless methodologies for selling out there:

  • Solutions Selling
  • Counselor Selling
  • The Challenger Sale
  • Insight Selling
  • Sandler Selling System
  • The list goes on.

What I think many forget is that for any of these methodologies to “work” we as sellers have to first make a connection. And by connection I am not talking just a LinkedIn connection. I am speaking of an emotional connection. (This can be done on LinkedIn, it just takes more work than to say, “Let’s connect on LinkedIn”.)

I have been a seller in what is called the complex sell for a long time. This is defined as a sales cycle that is longer than six months. And as I have worked through the relationship with the users, procurement, and executives. I have observed that we seemed to get further with some than others. By further I mean more open discovery and disclosure, more relevant conversation to the problems and solutions. And then I saw this remark by David Tovey on a blog post

“You need to know that as buyers we choose who we allow to understand us.

Did you hear that? It is crucial that we connect with our potential customers first, before we start the “process”. They can see and feel a process. What they need to feel is how deeply we care. How deeply we care about:

  • Their outcomeGoals Cloud_Web
  • Their concerns
  • Their needs

Until they know how much we care (and it has been said before) they don’t care how much we know.

If you are like me when I started this journey, I thought I was connecting. I was asking questions, I was showing interest and yet there was sometimes a disconnect. What was it? Let me suggest some ways to connect with your buyers:

  1. Slow down and get present. We all hurried and rushed to get “here”. Let’s now be “here”. (Thanks Mark Mussleman for that phrase)
  2. Let’s be clear about your intention to serve the buyer. If your intention is to make the sale they will “feel” that. And quite frankly the buyer wants help. But, they want to know that they are at least as important as your commission check.
  3. It seems simple and it is, when we remember; make eye contact and genuinely smile.
  4. Listen in order to understand them, not just to wait until you can pitch to them.
  5. Build intimacy, open the kimono a bit. We don’t need to share everything. And, people want to know you. Vulnerability is not a bad thing.

By all means have a sales process. It helps guide the sale. AND make sure you take the first step to connect with the buyer.

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© John R Gies] and, 2008 – 2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to John R Gies and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Are “Primed” to do business all wrong?

What is it about the concept of “business” that changes the way we behave towards each other?

I am a fan of what many call Conscious Capitalism, or Servant Leadership, enlightened entrepreneurship or any of the other names you apply to bringing the best of our human nature into business. Where the purpose of business is recognized as to serve our customers, our employees and our stakeholders. Where we realize that the care of our environment has a return on investment. And that by being fair with our vendors we too can prosper.

I have been wrestling with the results of a study I read of recently.  The study was a variation of the ultimatum game. This is where one person is given $10.00. They are to offer a portion of it to another. If the other accepts the portion both parties walk away with more money than they started with. In a purely rational world if you had $10.00 and offered me $1.00 we would both be ahead and I would accept.

In reality it seems a sense of fairness is at play. If the recipient does not feel the offer is fair or “reasonable”. They will turn it down and they both walk away with nothing.

What bothered me about this study is that they primed two groups of subjects with different images. If the subjects saw “neutral” pictures, (Nature, animals, kites etc.) they ended up splitting the $10.000 50/50 ninety-one percent of the time. I find that encouraging. 9 out of 10 of us choose to treat each other fairly.

On the other hand if they saw pictures of briefcases, fountain pens and other items associated with the woscrooge-28854_1280rld of business they only split the pot 33% of the time. That means 67% of the time the each walked away with nothing. They LOST most of the time.

What is the switch that occurs in one’s mind that says I can be a loving, serving leader of my family and community but when I go into business I have to be more self-centered and less cooperative? As I review the study the conclusion I draw, it is that we are primed this way. Somehow we have come to believe that, “doing business,” is different than, “doing life.”

How did that happen? I’ll let the social scientists sort that out. (Although the early 1980’s and the meme “greed is good” may have played a role.)

What I would encourage each of us to consider is that when we are aware and make the conscious decision to be fair over selfish, to be cooperative over competitive we can all win more often.