I’m alarmed by a recent trend I’m observing as I coach and train frontline sales professionals.
In an effort to protect themselves from rejection, sellers are erecting defensive walls. It’s evident in the interactions I observe and in the conversations we have about how to open sales. I hear it in the questions sellers ask during training workshops and on CONNECT! Online Radio for Selling Professionals. There’s a shift in how sellers are responding to buyers, and I see this shift taking two forms.
Many sellers, overcompensating because they’ve heard that relationship selling is passe and because they empathize with maxed out and time-pressed buyers, adopt a clinical persona. They become dispassionately analytical, highly objective and detached. They focus on numbers and data, refer to their buyers with pipeline status monikers, and avoid human-to-human connections.
Others are responding to the new age of empowered and busy buyers by becoming cynical. These sellers are suspicious of every buyer, expressing a mistrust of their motives (ex: ”she just wants a price quote to muscle her current supplier”) and sounding contemptuous when buyers ask for additional support. One seller recently described his perception of buyers this way: “They don’t respect me or my time, so I only give as good as I get. They’ll come crawling back when they realize how much they need me.” (Don’t be too harsh – I know he’s not alone in feeling that way!)
Both clinical and cynical attitudes, no matter how justifiable they may seem, are self-limiting in sales. You can’t get to the top if you are weighed down by preconceived notions or crouched in defensive positions that compromise your connections with buyers.
To reach the pinnacle, you need to be unencumbered of such cynical thoughts and going beyond clinical interactions. Your defensive walls are keeping buyers from connecting with you and, ultimately, preventing them from buying from you.
To engage empowered buyers, build bridges instead. DISCOVER Questions™ Get You Connected is a great place to start. This research-based and field-tested approach will help you establish rapport, build trust, establish and sustain connections with buyers and advance the sale more quickly. Whether you attend the workshop or read the book, you’ll be prepared to replace clinical and cynical with ways that truly help you reach the pinnacle of sales success.