(This article originally appeared on Deb Calvert’s blog)
Last month I wrote about how “No, you cannot have just a moment of my time.” The desperation a seller conveys when he or she opens with this phrase instantly devalues whatever is pitched to me in that next moment.
The same sellers, when they do get a moment of a buyer’s time, often blow the opportunity by continuing to project that the buyer is doing the seller some kind of favor by listening to the pitch. This subservient attitude isn’t gracious, does not inspire buyer confidence and will not advance the sale.
Sellers who can’t get past their own relief at getting “a moment” shortchange the buyer. After all, what quality can you really put into an artificially abbreviated conversation? And, naturally, what gets cut first in most cases is the time spent on needs assessment. Instead, the moment is purely pitch, generic and rushed.
When they make an offer after a features-laden presentation, these sellers go straight to something small. The “Please, oh please, just buy a little something” desperation is evident in tone and in the offer itself.
Why do sellers set themselves up to be pleased by a pittance? Why do they celebrate when they score a sale but lose an opportunity to understand and meet bigger, longer-term buyer needs?
Not all sales are created equally. Selling something simply for the sake of selling isn’t smart business. When you do this, you have to do it over and over and over again. That little adrenaline rush is misleading. What feels good in the moment of the sale isn’t really all that good for you, your company or your buyer.
You are better off to enter into every sales encounter with a “go big or go home” attitude and approach. You do that by asking for the time you need to understand your buyer, by proposing a long-term, comprehensive solution to meet all the needs of your buyer, by not acquiescing to every buyer request for lower price or fewer bells and whistles, and by confidently conveying value.
Buyers respect when the seller doesn’t accept the leftover crumbs. They appreciate it when you explain the solution in all its glory and stand behind it instead of quickly crumbling it into piecemeal parts just to sell something – anything – you can get.
Here’s an example. In media sales, I strongly recommend that sellers refuse to sell a single ad “as a test.” Advertisers suggest, for instance, that they will buy a single newspaper placement. Sellers sometimes get so excited by the little “yes” that they don’t hear the big “no.” So they take the order, forgetting that a single ad doesn’t offer enough frequency to be effective. (That’s rule number one in advertising.)
You can guess what happens next. The ad runs, the results are unsatisfactory, and it’s game over. Accepting a small order ruins the chances of ever getting a large campaign that would have worked to meet the buyer’s needs.
It’s been said “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” It’s tempting to believe it in sales but a good way to go hungry over the long winter.