Change the context
Two days ago we started a new thread on sales leadership and today we continue on that theme.
You are in the client’s office and its not going well. You have tried everything you know. You have described your products with impeccable detail. You have explained your excellent service offer; you have built your credibility. You have told some jokes to put them at ease. You have even handled their objections yet something is still wrong. They have a cold disinterested look in their eye; another meeting, leaving for home you do not know. What you know is the sale seems to be slipping away.
What do you do?
Has this situation ever happened to you? It happens to me reasonably often. Typically for me it happens in the context of leadership. I have done all the right things. I cast the vision, I communicated the process, I involved them along the way, I handled objections, I did all the right things yet they still did not want to follow.
What did I do?
I changed the context. What the heck is a context and how can that help me you say. Well this is a fancy word for reframing the problem in a way that can be solved. What I recommend you do is ask the right questions. Be open and honest and gently confront the situation. You don’t look convinced by what I am saying what are you thinking/feeling right now? How do you see this situation? You mentioned earlier that you …. Can you see how that challenge could be solved with us working together on this?
The goal here is to change the conversation from you selling them to you listening to their needs and wants. Remember old Zig Ziglar?
“Help enough people get what they want and you will get what you want”
How can you help a person until you know what they are struggling with? Now the cynics in the crowd may have already pointed out that I have overlooked a piece of the puzzle here. I have and we will pick that up in the next post.