Customers Aren’t Sold, They Buy!

November 21st, 2012

I am feeling giddy these days.  This is the time of year to count our blessings and to give thanks for all that we have around us.  I am blessed with friends and family, my health, and a company full of employees, partners, and customers that work together in relative harmony.  Business is good.  The harder we work, the luckier we get.  Now that the barn fell down we can see the moon. When I go slow I go fast.  These are all my favorite Burkhardisms that I use to explain our winning formula.  Regardless, we just try to get a little better as individuals, as teams, as functions, as departments, and across our three companies. Alas, this blog is about selling or as I would say, customer’s buying habits, so let’s get into it.

First off, I would like to address the behavior of those that sell and serve a customer base.  What is your language like as you talk sales in your company?  Do you “stalk” your targets?  Do you find an “angle” to create conversation?  Do you talk about your “pitch” or work on your “ four corner” or “Ben Franklin” close?   I would challenge our choice of words as sales people.  A mark of a successful salesperson is how they act when the customer is not watching!  We need to learn to be authentic, to rid ourselves of stereotypes, and bad one liners.  You know what I mean, too.  Reflect on your last sales meeting internally.  Just how much of  your conversation could a prospect or current customer listen too without making you cringe or be embarrassed.  I listen for inside-out behavior all the time.  That is a leader’s job.  Words matter.  Values matter.  How we act and behave inside our company is hard to hide once we enter our customers place of business.

Why do you ask those questions so early in the meeting?  Prospects hate you for it.  They don’t throw you out because they don’t know how to do it fast.  But they do wince on the inside when they hear them.  Those stupid, early qualifying questions leave their scars.  And you know that you know better.  But, you do it anyway.  You can’t help yourself.  This meeting was so hard to get.  You need to qualify to know how much time to invest in this relationship right?  You have a target to hit. Your so busy with activities.  And networking. And meetings.  You have forgotten something paramount to your success.  You may be likeable.  Your company may be impressive.  Your service might even be something that the prospect needs.

Salespeople are, in general, so shortsighted and have so much urgency, that they simply can’t slow down and think.  We are like three year old’s that want a cookie.  We can’t delay gratification to do things right.  DOING THINGS RIGHT means that you cannot ask any question of your prospect that is only in your best interest.  Try this Litmus test.  Think about why it is of value for your audience to answer your question.  My guess is this:  your question is a fine question.  The problem is when you choose to ask it.

Prospects want to buy, they do NOT want to be sold.

One Response to “Customers Aren’t Sold, They Buy!”

  1. Blank Sheet of Paper: Customers Do Not Want a Sales Pitch! | The CBI Group Says:

    […] It is a blank sheet of paper! Having a Blank Sheet of Paper value is a really important element to how the Outside-In® Companies go to the marketplace. Blank does not mean we lack ideas and creativity, it simply means that our process of selling and […]

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