Posted on: Saturday, September 29th, 2012
Jumping to conclusions is the most serious and most common violation of good selling technique. Salespeople have a natural tendency to internalize their own objections, and then they project these objections onto their customers. The customer is therefore assumed to have the objections that the salesperson has internalized.
Of course, this is a mistake; when a salesperson allows his own biases to influence the sales conversation, he ends up increasing buyer anxiety. Consider power lines. Power lines are generally objected to by buyers because of three reasons: aesthetics, health, or resale value. After polling people around the country, I have found that the three objections are evenly spread among home buyers. In other words, about one-third of those polled objected to power lines on the basis of aesthetics, one-third objected on the basis of health, and one-third objected on the basis of resale value. If a salesperson projects his own personal basis for the objection onto the buyer, he will be out of sync with the buyer’s concern two-thirds of the time. This will result in the salesperson bringing up an objection that the customer never had considered.
This is how this interaction would look:
Customer: “I’m really concerned about the power lines.”
Salesperson : “I understand. But we’ve got all kinds of literature from the utility company regarding potential health concerns from EMF’s emitted from the lines. You actually have more health danger from your microwave oven or your hair dryer.”
Customer : “Did you say health concerns? I just thought that they were ugly.”
This salesperson has given a second concern or anxiety to the buyer without even addressing the principal issue. In a tough market, buyers are looking to eliminate; they are seeking out deal-killers. The last thing a salesperson should do is to add his or her own personal biases to those concerns that the buyer has already adopted.