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Sell to Real People
05 October 2015

Sell to Real People. Not Robots.

If you’re looking for great competitive advantage in your selling efforts, this practice will help you convert more prospects to customers and attract your ideal buyers: Sell to REAL PEOPLE, not ROBOTS.

Seems kind of obvious, right? But in our zeal to mechanize the sale process so we can pave the road to riches . . . repeatedly, we lose some of the humanness and connection with people on the other end of our process: the buyers, i.e. Real People.

Process is good but to truly leverage a competitive advantage, invest tremendous time, energy and resources in understanding, empathizing and relating to your target customers. Empathy is a key to emotional intelligence and can have a significant impact on connecting and building a trusting relationship with your buyers. Empathy is our ability to appreciate someone else’s experiences and feelings. When you relate and empathize with your potential customers, you can meet them on their terms, in their language, in their reality and in context to how they are making decisions.

While it’s important to segment our customers to understand their collective characteristics and behaviors, Buyer Personas are just generalities of a group. Remember that real people are not “buyer personas”. Buyer Personas are categories that help get you started to understanding and speaking to your customers in a way that relates to them. Buyer personas describe individuals that share traits that help us focus our messages and efforts. Each buyer, however, is a human with unique circumstances, challenges, objectives and experiences. And furthermore, humans are also irrational and can be unpredictable. We try really hard to package people in tight little boxes and label them clearly but anyone who has lived through raising toddlers and teenagers knows that you can’t wrangle people in a neat box no matter how much you desire to do so {try walking through the toy aisle with a 3 year old and see reasonable behavior fly out the window}.

In the efforts to build repeatable and predictable sales systems, we can lose sight of our customers’ objectives and try to force them in to our sale process. The sales process is about moving buyers to close in a systematic way that helps your sales efforts be more efficient and effective. But just because it’s YOUR process, doesn’t mean it always reflects the BUYER’s process. Just because you think they should be ready to make a decision after the 2nd meeting doesn’t mean that they will. Just because you’ve sent a stellar email doesn’t mean they’ll respond.

Every step of the sales process and actions as a seller should be focused on the buyers’ perspective and helping them make decisions that work for them. If they’re not responding in the flow of your funnel or process, perhaps there is something else going on that you haven’t addressed. Or, it could have nothing to do with you at all. Perhaps they’ve fallen out of your funnel because they just hired 4 new employees that are consuming all their time. Or, maybe the priorities from the C-suite shifted and your product isn’t a hot decision. Or, maybe they’re just too busy to get back to you. Humans, am I right?

If your process isn’t getting you to the closing point with customers, check how the buyer buys and how your process and selling messages reflect what they’re thinking and doing. All your marketing and selling messages should reinforce a cohesive customer experience – reflecting those realities of your target audience: their needs, their perceptions, their risks, their problems, their obstacles, their business culture, their available talent, their buying process, and their business drivers. Go beyond thinking that you have the best solution for their needs and working them through each steps of your sales cycle. Earn more business by demonstrating you empathize with and understand your customers at every turn. Get over thinking they’re going to march down your funnel like perfectly programmed robots and start viewing them as unique, irrational, real HUMANS that need your perceptive understanding to help them make the best buying decisions.

Until next time, keep kickin’ butt!

-sks

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