📄 How to Make a Buyer Wrong, and Lose the Sale
So here you are, trying to get a point across, sharing a vision with your buyer, of the outcome you promise and the way it’ll improve their results…
And they’re just not buying in?
When that happens, when your vision isn’t being picked up, the worst thing you could do is try and explain, better, different, harder.
The more force and impetus you put behind getting the other person on board, the more they’ll resist and come up with reasons why they’re right, and you’re wrong.
Because the harder we try to show someone else that we’re right, the more they feel that you consider them as having the wrong end of the stick, and the harder they’ll fight that subconsciously (i.e. you trigger psychological reactance).
Instead, you need to figure out what, in their mind, makes them right.
Because even if your buyer is mistaken, in their mind they’re right, sensible and logical.
And fighting that is a lost cause. Short of bullying, you just won’t manage to overcome another person’s innate sense of being sensible.
So instead, use what psychologists call ‘perspective-taking’.
It’s extremely powerful, cuts through all kinds of clutttery back & forth, gets you aligned in vision and conversation, and the best of it:
It’s dead simple.
All you need to do to get people to go along with your idea, your explanation, your vision, is to ask yourself ‘them-questions’.
“What are they concerned about?”
“What fear would cause them to resist this simple and logical idea?”
“What frustration keeps them thinking ”Tried that, won’t work”?”
“What’s going on in their world?”
“What would it be like to be them?”
“What status quo are they trying to protect?”
“Why, truly and really, are they talking to me - what is the why behind their why?”
“What loyalties are they protecting, that they’d have to compromise by buying in to my idea or my coaching offer?”
These are just a few examples, but you see what that kind of question points at?
You’re stepping away from your own narrative and your own mission and agenda - “Get my idea across” - and you’re opening yourself up to insights and queries that make the other person the absolute centre of your universe at that moment.
When you do that, your buyer feels seen.
They realise you’re looking out for them, they feel acknowledged, important, and you demonstrate that their concerns and motivations - while possibly incorrect or ill-informed - are relevant.
And you better believe that is effective, because hey:
In their world, their concerns and fears and motivations are relevant.
But all that you achieve when you force a vision onto someone, is that you’re signalling “I see your concerns, but they’re not relevant. The thing I’m going to say next: that’s what’s relevant”.
No coaching client for you, and that defeated feeling of having had yet another sales conversation that didn’t go anywhere. Boo.
Well, now you know how to remedy that.
Ask ‘them-questions’, around the core question of “What’s it like to be them”?
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