Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

When you last faced a purchase decision, what helped you feel more comfortable with your choice?  What gave you confidence that your judgement was appropriate and correct?

You had worked through the analysis and were satisfied with it…but in retrospect, there was something more that convinced you that your decision was the right one. This level of satisfaction is most often due to a productive experience with your salesperson.

At first, your basic needs were explored…the ones you were prepared to share. But then, the salesperson asked about your business, what you do, why doing it is important to you, and how you try to make a difference for your customers. He or she listened attentively, never distracted, eyes always on yours.

The salesperson then likely shared a bit of his or her story, including why being with you was important; you sensed authenticity in what you heard, with accountability for your satisfaction being mentioned. Next came some additional questions, asked with sincerity and empathy; these inquiries probed beyond your stated needs to discover why the needs you mentioned are valuable to you, how meeting them helps you strengthen your business or provide more value for your customers. There was no pressure to respond; on the other hand, this was a discussion you wanted to have, sensing that sharing this information would lead to a more conclusive purchase decision.

In response, the salesperson shared suggestions and potential proven solutions, without expecting a resolution. Your discussion evaluated “what if” options, based on actual successful applications, with the dialogue around each alternative helping to clarify your priorities and focus your decision-making process. You and the salesperson were collaborating to solve a problem, but doing so in a way that also contributes to the success of your business.

The salesperson’s attentiveness increased his or her credibility in your mind, and established an intimacy that reduced your sense of risk and enabled a trust relationship to begin. You came to believe that this person was more interested in your success than in his or hers. The personal attention invested by the salesperson to help you reach your decision is why you now feel satisfied and confident.

The salesperson’s ability to develop some intimacy with you enabled a challenging purchase decision to be made faster and with greater confidence.

In your business, how often do your customers experience this deep sense of satisfaction?
How can you refine your selling process so they do?