Monday, June 19, 2006

Complex sales - it's all about the negatives

Sales and marketing people are, by their nature, optimists. Who but an optimist could spend his days calling people who don't need or want what they are selling?

Nevertheless, a key to success in sales has to do with understanding and managing pessimism--the pessimism of your prospect.

People who buy things for their business are not happy people. They don't look forward to the day when your stuff will make their lives easier.

Instead, they dread the day when your stuff goes live and causes all sorts of problems. Perhaps a day or a week of complaints from annoyed users. Perhaps a month or quarter of poor processing. Perhaps--God forbid--a failed project that could cost the prospect her job.

With the negative mentality around buying, it's a wonder that any deals close at all.

Effective salespeople understand and manage the prospect's negative emotions. They emphasize reference accounts, company reputation, the salesperson's personal record. They bring in executives who will commit to put the company's resources behind the project. All to help the client feel comfortable enough to close the deal.

They also, then, follow through on delivery, so they get more good references to use with the next prospect.

Click the title link for the sales program that introduced me to the buyer's-negative-emotion concept.

, ,