Last Updated Aug 27, 2011 12:32 PM EDT
Step #1: Understand Why Buyers Are Resistant
When buyers agree to have a conversation with a sales professional, they see the situation through a set of questions that must be answered before any kind of business arrangement takes place. The first set of questions are as follows:
- Who is this person?
- What does this person want?
- Is this person trustworthy?
- Can this person help me?
- Will that help be worth what it will cost me?
- Who is this person? Answered by a business card, slide or statement of the seller's name and job title.
- What do they want? Answered by the implicit understanding that, because they are in sales, the person wants to sell them something.
- Is this person trustworthy? Answered, typically, by referring to the brand image of the firm employing the sales person. (e.g. "Acme is known for dependability.")
Because of this, most buyers remain skeptical of a sales professional long into the sales cycle. This creates a lot of problems, particularly when salespeople start probing by asking questions, because most people don't want to answer questions for people they don't trust. And it's even worse if the seller launches into a sales pitch.