Business Operations

Olsen on Sales: Caring & Curious vs. Needy & Greedy

I often hear journeymen salespeople say, “I can’t believe she says that kind of thing to her customers! I could never talk to my customers like that.” If you listen to Master Sellers talk to their customers, you will be amazed at how hard they push and the statements they get away with.

I often hear journeymen salespeople say, “I can’t believe she says that kind of thing to her customers! I could never talk to my customers like that.” If you listen to Master Sellers talk to their customers, you will be amazed at how hard they push and the statements they get away with. I work with a Master Seller named Michael La Mattina, and when I listen to his taped calls, I shake my head at some of the things he says to customers. He often talks to them as if he were scolding his favorite auntie or uncle.

The reason these sellers can talk to their customers this way is because the customer knows that the seller is coming from a place of caring. They aren’t making these bold statements because they want or need an order. They say them because they truly do care and believe that their solution is best for the customer.

It’s immoral to sell something we don’t believe in. This is why we must know before we make the call why our solution or product is a good deal for the customer. Many sellers are hesitant because they feel they have to have the “best deal in the history of humanity” before they can really stand behind their product. This is not the case, and no one ever has that kind of deal. Other sellers confuse “negotiation” with lying. There are and always have been two prices: the asking price and the buying price. Master Sellers are comfortable knowing their deal is good for the customer and that there will be negotiation before arriving at a final price.

The Master Seller, when presented with an objection or obstacle, has a healthy curiosity about why the customer doesn’t think their solution will work. The struggling seller gives up, gets defensive, and/or whiny and moves on. The Master Seller finds out why or why not? Maybe they get the order through questioning and negotiation or maybe not. But they do learn more about their customer so, worst case scenario, they set up their next opportunity for an order with the same or similar customers in the future. They are learning machines who sell, not just Quotrons trying to get an order.

Prospecting

Quotron: “We sell a lot of SPF and studs in your area. Do you use those products in your operation?”

Customer: “Yes, we do. So what’s your price on 2×4 16’s today?”

Quotron: “I can get those into you at $475/MBF.” (Needy and greedy.)

Customer: “Well, I’m paying well underneath that now so I don’t think you can help me.” Click.

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Master Seller: “We sell a lot of SPF and studs in your area. Do you use those products in your operation?”

Customer: “Yes, we do. So what’s your price on 2×4 16’s today?”

Master Seller: “I’d love to sell you something today, but that really isn’t the purpose of the call. Let me ask you a couple questions about you and your business and then I’ll be able to give you a professional quote. What kind of stock do you normally buy?” (Curious and caring.)

Closing

Customer: “I don’t need any right now.”

Quotron: “OK. What are you buying?” (Needy and greedy.)

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Master Seller: “OK. Where are we on that product?”

Customer: “What do you mean, where are we?”

Master Seller: “We spoke last week, and you told me you had two on the ground and none on order. I’ve got in my notes that we are using one a week, so we’ll be out of stock in two weeks, right?” (Curious and caring.)

Customer: “That’s right.”

Master Seller: “Well, Susan, shipments are two weeks out right now, so if we put on an order today the stock will arrive just in time, which I know you love. We don’t want to pay a premium out of distribution if we run out, so why don’t we put on at least one, so we are covered?”

Customer: “That makes sense. Let’s do one.”

When customers feel we are needy or just want the order, they shut down and shut us out. When we are curious and caring, they open up to us and we will have a partnership relationship with them.

James Olsen

James Olsen, Reality Sales Training

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