Communication problems during a sales call

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Ever had the notion that your customer is not listening to you during your sales pitch? Are you using all the right arguments and still no sale?

It´s much more common than you think. Any good salesperson is passionate about their product. If he/she is convinced of how good it is, chances are their customer will feel the same way. Or so we like to think.

In reality, nobody can convince another person to do something against their will permanently. Still, many salespersons think that the same arguments that convinced them that their product is really good will convince their customers.

Let me give you an example:

I´m interested in buying a brand new SUV. The most logical thing to do would be to visit the dealers and decide which one to choose.

At the first dealership a salesperson approaches me and after hearing that I´m looking for an SUV, shows me their most premium model and begins to highlight the 8 speaker stereo, navigation system, leather seats, and all the more exclusive features. After I tell him that it´s for my family (2 children and a wife) for long trips, he begins to discuss safety for another ten minutes. Still not sure I move to the next dealership.

Here, the salesperson after hearing that I´m looking for an SUV asks more questions: Is it just for you or your family? What kind of use do you have in mind: everyday or long trips? What features are a must for you when deciding? A few questions later he shows me his best model and begins explaining how the safety features will help keep my family safe on long trips. Then explains how leather seats are easier to clean (big plus with kids), how the stereo system can be linked to an iPad for long trips (watching movies in the back) and how the navigation system will help us get there faster.

As you already guessed, I decided to buy the SUV at the second dealership. Why? Both salespersons discussed the same features. What was the difference?

The second person was more interested in understanding my needs and how the SUV´s features could help me. That was a big difference.

No feature about a product is relevant until it´s related to a customer´s need.

As a sales coach, I´ve heard many times these expressions from salespeople: I will convince him of… I´ll show her that my product…. I´ll create a need about… I´ll make them understand…

In sales (more so in specialized sales) you rarely will convince someone of anything. Most of the time your job is to understand your customer's needs and help them decide if your product solves them.

It is only until you understand what your customer needs that they´ll begin to listen to you and your arguments.

So next time instead of convincing or explaining to your customer just ask: What exactly are you looking for? Why is this feature important to you?

Let me hear what you think.

Sales trainer, Coach, helping people grow