Choice Paralysis (or Analysis Paralysis or “The Paradox of Choice” as Barry Schwartz calls it) results when buyers are confronted with so many decisions that they end up walking away, too confused to reach a decision. Here I offer you one buying decision example where too many choices killed the sale, and another where skillful management of choice led to a close.
Some companies have become over-systematized – everything is left to automation. Once the database is set up and your name is entered, you get emails on a regular basis whether they are relevant to your current needs or not. Everything in today’s business environment seems to be about technology, the latest developments, content marketing, microblogs, engagement, SEOs, etc.
Authentic, clear, collaborative communication is the conduit to greater success. Yet, if we know listening improves relationships, trust and results, then why are most problems and breakdowns attributed to poor, ineffective listening? Selling is the most advanced form of communication. It requires the utilization of all our senses.
How frustrating it is when you do everything right, and then the customer goes elsewhere. When this happens, the cause is often not the fit of your solutions or the quality of your company. Buying from your competition can often be a signal that you are failing on some important human qualities that customers need to confidently buy from you.
“Missionary Customers” are people who believe so strongly in you and your company that they take it upon themselves to spread the word. These highly valuable people are the enthusiastic customers who spread the word about you within their organization, sponsor repeat purchases, cross-sells and upsells from you, and refer you to other customers.
Burnout is a common occurrence among salespeople. Rather than pace themselves for long-term results, many reps try for a sustained sprint. But then they fail to maintain this aggressive pace, and the result is exhaustion and loss of confidence. When this happens, you must know how to re-motivate a burned-out sales rep.
Over the years I have seen hundreds, maybe even thousands of sales and sales management resumes, and I continue to review resumes every day. Based on this experience, I can say that many job applicants do nothing to help themselves gain employment. In fact, in many cases, their resume did the exact opposite.
With so many companies offering essentially similar products and services, being good isn’t good enough anymore. To be successful in sales, you must be a superior performer in many areas. Among the most important are the skills of reading the buyers personal needs on many levels, as well as their functional needs, and then adjusting your behaviors and what you say to best match the buyer’s human needs.
Salespeople tend to be an infinitely practical lot. Over two decades of coaching and training has made me realize that usually sales professionals want to know the fastest ways to be successful, and what they should do to learn those skills. “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!” is a common refrain.
When we lose a deal, we often think of the loss as our being beaten by a competitor having a better product, better price or some other tangible advantage. And those are certainly important criteria for sales wins. But equally important – often more important – are the intangible buyer needs. The salesperson who best understands and meets those needs is often the winner.