HARDISON’S TIPS – AUGUST 12, 2021 – Beliefs That Hinder Salespeople (PT.4)
Selling Without Believing
At one point in my life, I sold men’s suits and sport coats in a relatively expensive men’s clothing store. At a time when the average price of a man’s suit was around $100, we had one line of suits that sold for an average of $350 — three and a half times the price of the average.
I personally thought that it was a waste of money. Why pay that much, when you could get a perfectly good suit for a third of the price? I would never buy one of those. I just didn’t believe in it.
Now, if I had been ruled by the belief, “I must believe in the product in order to sell it,” I would never have shown those suits, never had suggested them, and never had sold them. However, my personal opinion didn’t matter to those people who wanted the extra details and more expensive look of that line of suits, and who could afford them.
I would have allowed my personal opinion to stand in the way of the sale made to someone who did not share my opinion. In so doing, I would have limited my sales and hindered my ability to fulfill the customer’s needs.
Now, you can say that the example isn’t a good one. We all have limits on what we can spend. You’ve missed the point. It could have just as well been a line (and, in fact, it was) that was extremely cheap. I didn’t believe in that line, either. I didn’t think that line was worth the money. But, I didn’t let that opinion stand in the way of the customer who could afford nothing more.
Is My Opinion What Matters?
You see, the point is that my (or any salesperson’s) opinion should not take precedence over the customer’s needs. It puts the wrong issue at the heart of the sales process. When you hold this belief, the sale is not about the customers’ situations, opinions, and needs; it’s about your opinion of the product.
Who gave you such omnipotent insight? Where did you acquire such absolute judgment? Where did you gain such arrogance as to think your opinion was so important?
Character Flaw or Strength?
In my career, I have sold countless things in which I did not believe. Given the choice, I personally would not have purchased them. I don’t see that as a flaw in my character; I see it as a strength. It says that I was never so arrogant as to think that my opinions over-ruled the customers’. It says that I tried to always hold the customer’s situation and the customer’s opinion as a higher value than my own.
Thus, it did not matter what I thought of the product, it only mattered what the customer thought.