I’ve always been intrigued as to why some of my clients could do what I told them to do while others could not. I tell everyone pretty much the same things; some get it and some don’t.
Selling, I think, is more about doing than about knowing what to do. Selling takes a lot of courage and sometimes we need to do things that are scary and even seem to go against our own understanding. Let me give you an example.
I have a client who struggles with shopper prospects. The two things I have noticed is (1) he expects to run into shoppers and (2) when he does, most of the time he cannot do the things that are necessary in a sales call to be successful. Yesterday when we were role- playing and doing some debriefing, he could see clearly the solution to his problem, just as he has many times before. He agreed again, as before, that he needed to make some changes.
The subject came up that he was trying to purchase an item that cost about $49.00 at a hardware store. I asked him how many places he had shopped for the item and he said five different stores. So, let’s see, we have a sales person who shops around at five different stores to make a $49.00 purchase, and also attracts like-minded people. He gets shoppers all the time, but when he gets a shopper, he cannot confront them with much because he is so much like them. Shopping is neither good or bad. It just does not serve you well if you are in the business of selling. When you come up against a shopper you will be empathetic with them.
I never had problems with shoppers and, in fact, never had many of them. Let’s look at my purchasing habits. As I think back to 1995, I purchased a $28,000 computer system from Team Management System that would run my heating and air company. I knew the company. I trusted the company. I knew others that had purchased from the company. The company had a good reputation. I had the sense that they would be responsive to my needs. They seemed confident in what I needed. I purchased the system without ever shopping around. I never checked anywhere else!
Yesterday I went to Radio Shack to purchase a digital tape recorder. I told the manager what I was trying to do. He was very helpful. The store is close to my house. If I need to take it back, I can. I purchased it and spent, with batteries and all, about $200.00. Shoppers don’t get under my skin because I don’t have any empathy for them.
I can look a shopper in the eye and say things like this, and feel congruent. “Mr. Jones, people who are comparing companies, collecting data, never buy anything. Isn’t that likely to be the case here?” They begin to look at you funny, deny it and start selling you.
I encourage everyone to examine his or her own purchasing habits. We usually get back what we give off. Your purchasing habits weave-in with how you will respond to a shopper and no amount of training can help. You can know all the moves and still get stuck!
Have the courage to change your purchasing habits if they are not serving you well. Shopping around could be costing you a fortune in you own selling career.