On a discussion forum this week, advice was sought for dealing with a reluctant buyer who was viewing the salesperson’s attempts to sell as competition to her own efforts. This all too common attitude by some buyers is exactly why they need your help.
Unfortunately, advice on this topic often perpetuates the subservient mentality of many who sell. This “you have to prove yourself approach” is the beginning of a losing battle for the hearts and minds of those who’ve already decided that you’re selling something they don’t want or need.
The only way to get someone to shift their thinking is through collaboration, versus coercion or deference. Here are three attitudes to adopt that will help:
Be a Peer, Not a Pauper
Act like a peer and you’ll be seen as a peer. Behave like you’re subservient to the individual you’re dealing with, and that’s exactly who you become.
Peers trust one another and are more willing to believe what is being said by one.
Be an Instigator, Not an Interrogator
Grilling someone whose attitudes and beliefs are different than your own is a powerful way to break their heart and shut down their mind. A salesperson who instigates a new way of thinking, through a collaborative conversation, is seen as not only a peer, but an ally to be trusted.
Be a Hero, Not a Zero
Your job is to be a hero and make the buyer also look like a hero by selecting a valuable service you offer which will improve their circumstances. A zero spends all their time playing into the buyer’s negative beliefs and attitudes, often agreeing to do things the buyer’s way, even though that’s not the most effective and prudent way.
Heroes show people why their idea or solution is the best one, backing it up with case studies, references, or other proof that allows the buyers to convince themselves they are making the right choice.
Behaving like a peer, an instigator, and a hero are the sales equivalent of inviting your customer to join you as fellow superstar in the Justice League. The alternative, buying into counterproductive conversations and negative attitudes, is the quickest path to becoming a villain in the Legion of Doom.
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