To do this successfully the seller should come from a point of ignorance, not knowledge.

Keep it customer focused until he sells himself your lozenge having felt his pain.

For instance, having surveyed the photos on the walls, showing the varied countries the Chief Engineer has worked in, this insurance agent points and breaks the ice with, “I see your job has taken you places. Where was this?“ “Oh, this is Malaysia. I was on secondment there for two years. And this was right after a stint in Australia where I was in charge of Health and Safety.” Following some bit more banter and appreciating how exposed this prospect is, the agent says, “You already know why I’m here, so I will not insult your intelligence by telling you about insurance. Instead, tell me what you have and I’ll tell you what I have and we see if we can strike a compromise.”

The engineer stifles a smile as his face lights up at the feeling of ‘he respects me’. He then explains the insurance covers he has for each of his family members. And then the agent drops the bombshell: “Do you feel it is adequate?” Taken a decade ago and his social stature and insurance needs having grown, he knows it’s not. Quickly recovering from the revelation he asks, “What do you recommend?”

Customer orientation

The agent kept it customer, until the customer sold himself the agent’s lozenge having felt his own pain. To do so, the seller had to show concern for the buyer which he did through research and adapting his presentation accordingly. To do this successfully the seller should come from a point of ignorance, not knowledge. Meaning, ‘I don’t know and when I do, I’ll see if at all my lozenge is best for your sore throat.’ And if it is not, accepting this but still proposing the lozenge that does soothe the pain-even if it is the competitor’s.

Buck starts and stops with seller

Solving the buyer’s problem is the seller’s responsibility. In addition the seller had to ask choice questions (without appearing interrogative) that will help the buyer see his situation afresh. Remember, buying insurance (or whatever other ‘lozenge’ he has) and monitoring its adequacy, is not his primary job; he has more pressing issues at hand. What the seller does is guide the buyer to focus on his situation and interrogate it afresh to the point where he sees for himself the need to change. And because the first reaction to change is resistance, the progressive seller wants to make that change as frictionless as possible, and getting the buyer to see it for himself is it.

The example shared is for a business to customer sale. In the business to business sale the principle applies only it calls for deeper research, more extensive market intelligence and business oriented questions.  Irrespective though, the questions that reveal insight span a structure- from how it is now, to if and how it can be better? Try this and let me know

If you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 336

About Author

Related posts

Answer a question with a question and close faster

A good sales person will answer a question with a question. For example, completely out of the blue, the buyer says, “Can you give us a discount?” The seasoned seller curiously but firmly asks, “Why?” Here’s another non-sales example: “Should we hold the Parents Day in the afternoon or morning?” the principal asks the School’s

Read More

Simplify technical language, use ‘what this means is’

‘What this means is that…’ Such a simple phrase, so rarely used, so costly to selling. Here’s what I mean. Technical language necessitates lay explanation Technical language can be found in every industry. This could be industry or institution specific. And what it means at industry level could be different, institution. For instance, Q1 to

Read More

How to sell doubt and differentiate yourself

Differentiating yourself on price is a race for the bottom. Who hits bottom first, wins. And be dammed the cost. All else lose. Differentiating yourself by ethically selling doubt is more productive. But how to sell doubt, you wonder? Well, read on. First off, doubt triggers pause. Doubt triggers introspection. Doubt triggers attention. And all

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.