Two Starkly Different Calls – Which Has the Mindset for a Better Sales Call?
Here are two very different sales calls from a recent sales management workshop. Top sales leaders understand both perspectives. Can you tell why they illustrate how to close more deals with a better mindset?
Call Number One: You are the seller.
You are a seasoned solution seller. You have a solution with a unique value proposition that you genuinely believe would be extremely beneficial to the buyer. You’ve reached out a couple of times, and they indicated that they’d be receptive to meet to discuss your proposal.
But lately, your sales prospect has gone dark. It’s become impossible to get them to answer your calls. What’s up? Are they honestly busy or is there something else going on?
Call Number Two: You are the buyer.
You’ve been introduced to the seller’s solution and agreed to a follow-up conversation to address any questions. But you’re dreading that conversation because you’ve tentatively determined not to purchase the solution, and you know that, after you communicate that decision, the conversation will be difficult.
First, the seller is going to respond to your sales objections with carefully prepared counterpoints. Then, the salesperson will likely restructure the proposal to address your concerns and try to set up another meeting in hopes that you’ll change your mind.
As the buyer, none of that sounds fun. So, you plan to come up with an excuse to duck out of the conversation and hope the seller forgets about you.
What’s the Point?
These two sales calls illustrate a critical aspect of the seller/buyer interaction: the tension in the conversation.
Sellers Want Buyers to Buy
Why is this tension happening? Because sellers want buyers to buy, plain and simple.
In the best cases, sellers genuinely care about the welfare of buyers and honestly believe that their proposed solutions will be a benefit. But even in those best-case scenarios, the seller isn’t neutral. They still want their recommendation to be accepted. The outcome matters to the seller and that simple fact adds a level of tension to the relationship.
On the opposite side of the seller is the buyer, and buyers are fundamentally guarded. They distrust sellers, and they perceive the interaction as a potential threat to their time, their money, and sometimes to their comfort or convenience. Buyers tell us that they dread sales calls when they expect an awkward interaction. We all know how people respond to threat — fight or flight — and dodging a conversation with a seller is the buyer’s version of flight.
It’s as if there is an invisible rope, with one end held by the seller who wants their recommendation to be accepted and the other end held by the buyer who feels threatened on multiple fronts. It’s a game of sales tug-of-war, and there’s already tension on the rope. The slightest addition of pressure from either side is certain to result in a corresponding “pull” from the other. As trust is established between the buyer and seller, the tension can relax. But initially, the rope is taut.
The predicament: sellers want to sell their solution, but if they’re not careful, they pull the invisible rope too much. When that happens, the interaction gets cut off, and the sellers can never even have an honest conversation about the potential benefits of their recommendation.
The #1 Mindset for a Better Sales Call to Decrease the Buyer/Seller Tension
When sellers CLEARLY and INTENTIONALLY communicate messages that honestly reduce or remove the tension from the relationship with the seller, they release pressure on the metaphorical rope and make it easier to have client-centric conversations. Here are a few examples:
“Our solution might not be the best fit for you.”
“Can we discuss your objectives to see IF this MIGHT be a help?”
This method works because a seller’s goal is simple: You want to create an environment in which buyers don’t feel threatened. You want to create a better mindset for a better sales call. You want to focus on what is best for your buyer.
When buyers don’t feel the tension of the sale and feel like sellers have their best interests at heart, they are able to relax and have an honest conversation about their objectives, their challenges, and how you might truly help them. But if the buyer has their hands tightly around the rope that you continue to add sales pressure to, the opportunity for meaningful interaction is gone.
The Bottom Line
Buyers rarely let go of the rope first. You, the seller, have to drop it. Only then can you eliminate the tug-of-war situation with prospective customers, show them that tension does not exist, and give them the freedom to make their own choices WITH you.
To learn more about how to be a more customer-centric seller, download The Top 30 Most Effective Sales Questions in the Eyes of Your Buyers
Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work
Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most
Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition
Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned
Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance
Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance