Change is good, as long as you’re not the one who has to change, right?  Why do so many people cry out for change, but all the while wanting the other person to change to their point of view.

Sales is change leadership in action, and yet what I find so amazing is how much of the desired change gets missed during the sales process.  What it comes down to is the salesperson and the customer having staked out their positions expecting the other person to change.  Only when one person changes does a sale occur.

We see this in price, dates and a host of other things.

We in sales need to step up and see our role as being a change leader, and this means truly listening to the customer.  We spend time developing our presentation and crafting our talking points, all with one desire — to get the customer to “change” to our view.

This week I’ve had two phone calls where the other person to whom I was talking clearly had an outcome they desired. Both were adamant in moving me to their view.  With both calls, I knew going in that this would be the situation, and the only option for me was to listen. And when I say listen, that means letting them do 80% of the conversation.

Something very interesting occurred with both conversations.

By allowing the customer to control the dialogue, they were able to state clearly the change they wanted me to make. What happened was in the conversation, I was able to ask a few questions that got them thinking more about what they desired.  Something funny happened with both. The more they talked, the more they came around to a different point of view than they had at the start of the call.

If we are going to embrace change leadership, which I firmly believe we need to do, then we have to embrace it from the start by doing what I’ll say is role-reversal.  This is about letting the customer drive the conversation.

Customers are smart and they come into a conversation prepared, because they believe the salesperson will try taking advantage of them.  It’s as if they’re preparing to go into battle and they expect to win at our expense.  The best way for us to disarm them is to role-reverse the standard sales call process and let them do the talking.

Sales is about helping the customer achieve a better outcome, but unless they comprehend the outcome, they’ll never buy into it.   The best way to let them buy into it is to allow them to have control.  Change leadership is what we do in sales, and the best salespeople do it with ease.

If you’re wondering about how the two phone conversations I had turned out, let me say both were ecstatic by the end of the call to buy into what they viewed as their idea.   The idea was nothing more than a change from their original position, allowing them to have more success than they expected.


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High Profit ProspectingCopyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results


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