Trying to control the mind of the buyer,
is like taking hold of a wet fish.
In due time it will wriggle out
back into the water.
The wise fisherman
Knows they can’t bully the fish to bite.
It takes patience to lure them in.
Master selling requires the seller to set aside their desire to expound every fact, detail, and feature of their good or service. A fire hose of data is no more persuasive than the ingredients on the back of can. Rather than flooding the prospective buyer with facts and figures, gather knowledge of their concerns and desires. Slowly tease them with the ability to address one or two issues. Lure them in as the master fisherman. This is the Tao Te Ching of Sales.
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Can you stop your mind from wandering
And focus on what the prospect speaks?
Can you keep your eyes wide
And awake to the buyers frustrations?
Can you appreciate their needs
Without imposing your will?
And can you close a deal
Without clever tricks and word play?
Selling without selling
Closing without closing
Allowing the sale to advance at its own course,
This the supreme virtue.
Sales is a mix of the hard and the easy
Sometimes they fall in your lap
A pleasant gift on a hard days work.
They are called Blue Birds.
More common the Master Seller
is a Bird Dog,
Patiently sniffing out opportunities
working to flush out new business.
Patience is the test of resolve, trust and circumstance.
The Master Seller accepts responsibility
They work each deal at its own accord
Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be the early morning.
Let the silence ring,
till the answers spill.
Like a babbling stream
They share frustrations
and even hopes.
If you listen,
You just might
Be able to help.
Start with quality beans
Rinse, soak and flavor.
Cover with lid and bring to boil.
Checking every so often until done.
So too treat slow opportunities,
Knowing that some deals close quick
While many close slow
Patience and tenacity are
the skills of a good cook.
Place slow moving deals on the back burner,
turn the heat on low
and keep checking.
Last night I was at the clothing store, shopping for clothes for my upcoming vacation. There was a wide selection of garments and I took a number of them into the changing room. One by one I tried each one of them on, deciding whether or not they would meet my needs. Some of the garments I kept for purchase, while the rest were placed back on the racks.
This is the same thing our prospects do when buying. They survey the products, both yours and the competition, to see if it meets their requirements. And oftentimes that means not just them, but the needs of a large number of people, with multiple roles across a large organization. Disorganized and grasping on their true needs, these prospects demand a large amount of patience and coaching. The Master Seller walk them through the process step by step. They are wise to the process, yet collaborative with a deft touch.
Sometimes you can help these folks, sometimes you can’t. They may not be ready, or they’re just tire kickers. The Master Seller is awake to reality and knows that this is the way the world works. They don’t burn bridges, they know it takes a compelling event to drive a purchase, and this moment, right now, may not be that time.
Enter each sale as a blank canvas
Paint what the prospect sees.
Some clients see their desires clearly
While others have blurred vision.
Remain patient with all.
Some buyers are honest
while others are working some angle.
The Master Seller continues with good humor,
Treating their clients as a parent would a child,
They guide according to their needs.
Over time the prospects become customers.
Like the seasons
Each sale has a cycle.
Some a few days
Some a few years
Prospects buying when they need to
Not when the sellers needs a sale.
Awake to the buying cycle
The Master Seller generates urgency.
By understanding fears,
They connect the dots
showing how they can help.
They create desire.
Closing the deal
It’s done sooner rather than later.
I was reading a LinkedIn forum hosted by the Sales Association and it was discussing what differentiates successful sellers from the rest. Reflecting on some difficult wins I can’t help but think its a case of tenacity and discipline. The sales cycle of some deals can become quite lengthy. And often sales professionals lose interest and the deal withers away.
There is practical day to day explanation about this is in my very first blog post:
“The Master Seller listens before talking
Sells without effort
Sharing without preaching
Explaining without judging
Demonstrating without closing.
Never assuming the sale, the seller never loses one.”
The trick here is they never assume the sale is won. They keep at it; doing all the things we expect of great sales people: following up, keeping in touch, overcoming objections, and genuinely trying to serve. This kind of patience is unusual.
“If you want to speed up the sale
you must give the deal time to breath
If you want to dispel objections
you must allow them to flourish
If you want to take new business
you must give time and patience.
This is the path to success.”
Winning sales folks “stick with it”. They don’t give up. They keep at and again never assume the sales is lost.
If you’d like read more about this you can find the blog posts at https://taotechingofsales.com/2012/11/03/listening/
When prospects think that they know the answers,
they are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t know,
they can find their own way.
If you want to learn how to sell,
avoid being clever or slick.
The direct path is the clearest.
Giving prospects time to self discover
allowing them to find their own way
to your service or product.