Avoid buyers remorse – get the ‘win-win’

Dilbert - salesDILBERT © 2015 Scott Adams. Used By permission of UNIVERSAL UCLICK. All rights reserved

I still regret it today – even after 15 years. I had my heart set on a new digital camera. A Sony. And I was in Hong Kong’s tech district where there were bargains to be had. I’d found the exact model I wanted and negotiated a good deal.

Then another salesman stepped in. He showed me a lot of technical stuff trying to convince me the camera he wanted to sell me was better than the one I wanted. He used a few sales techniques like making statements I couldn’t really disagree with to lead me towards the decision he wanted me to make. He could see I knew a little bit about the technology but not enough to challenge his ‘knowledge’. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing as a buyer! He took me to a place in my mind where I either followed his logic and bought his suggestion or I demonstrated to him my total stupidity and bought what I wanted. So of course I bought his suggestion.

And I regret it even now. I didn’t have the camera I wanted. I felt I’d been sold to. I felt I’d been pressured into buying something I didn’t want but I was also too ashamed of myself to admit it. Now I may be doing the salesman a huge dis-service. He might have been right about all the technical stuff and I might have had the better camera after all. But it didn’t feel like it. I might have used his technical speak to justify the purchase to others, but it didn’t work with me. I never went back to that store. Nor did I recommend it to anyone.

People buy on emotion
You see, for everything except day to day items, people buy for emotional reasons. They don’t buy because of features or even necessarily benefits, but because they have invested emotional capital in the decision. They use the features and benefits to justify the decision later. Ask any android phone user why he thinks people buy seemingly more expensive and lower spec Apple products. He wont be able to explain it rationally. People have emotional capital invested in their love of Apple tech. (Yes, I have an iPhone and an iPad – but Windows PC’s. sort that conundrum if you can).

So if you want to avoid buyers’ remorse and get more recommendations, you need to connect with your client’s emotions. Find out why they are looking to buy something and help them achieve the emotion reasons. If they have a problem, help take away the pain. Whatever you do, don’t leave them feeling like Dilbert – trapped, blackmailed and left with no option. Find a way to give the client what they need whilst getting what you need. The ‘win-win’ situation. Not only is it ethical, but you get loads of recommendations, and we all want that in business.

Want more sales? Then seek first to understand

Here’s an actual sales message I received recently:

“I build and manage for you powerful sales teams! Whats your email, I’ll send a proposal!”

Now let’s be clear about this. I had never met, exchanged e-mails or spoken to the sender. Even if they found my business on the internet and did all the online research they possibly could, there is no way they know enough about my business to be able to send me a worthwhile proposal.

Maybe the intention of the message was to get my attention – which it obviously did. But it got my attention because the message was wrong on so many levels and not because I want to be sent a proposal.

In Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 habits of highly effective people’, Habit no.5 is “Seek first to understand, then be understood”. My would-be proposal writer hadn’t sought to understand the first thing about me or my business,. Am I likely to buy? No. Am I likely to engage with him? Not to buy – he’s going to try and sell me what he has got and not what I need. Even if, by chance, he does have what I need, am I likely to buy. No, because if I have a problem or a question he has already demonstrated he is not listening. He is in broadcast mode, not receiving mode.

The best sales people listen more than they speak. They engage, ask open questions, get to understand what you are looking to achieve, so that when they make you an offer, it is something relevant to your needs. Something that meets your requirements.

Finding prospects to engage with may seem a lot more challenging than pumping out a few Twitter and Facebook ads. It doesn’t have to be, especially if you are in the business to business world. You see, most business people use LinkedIn. There are over 18 million users in the UK alone and 360 million worldwide. I think we should be able to find your ideal customer amongst them, don’t you? With the right profile – one that extols what you do for your clients, what benefits you bring to them, you can attract, connect and engage with your sort of client.

LinkedIn webinar bootcamp webinar screenIf you’d like to understand how to use LinkedIn to avoid the mistakes of my would-be proposal writer and generate more sales, join me for a three part live webinar series. To paraphrase a well known Star Trek character, ‘It’s LinkedIn Jim, but not as you know it’. Click on the screen or the link to sign up.

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