Why pitching doesn’t work!
The human brain is designed to solve problems.
For example, if we can solve the problem of how to find food during a harsh winter, this clearly gives us an evolutionary advantage. Our experience of pleasure from solving problems is the brain’s way of rewarding such behaviours that are necessary for survival.
This explains why sales people are so keen to pitch their products at the slightest whiff of a customer problem – solving problems is highly satisfying. The trouble with this approach is that the sales person experiences the pleasure, not the prospect. In fact it could have an adverse effect on the prospect who will likely push back against your solution (perhaps for no other reason than that it wasn’t his/her idea). This is the birth of the sales objection.
So if pitching doesn’t work, what else can the eager sales person do?
The answer is to facilitate the prospect to come up with the solution themselves. When someone solves their own problems they are rewarded with a release of dopamine in their brain, a chemical that creates positive feelings of satisfaction throughout the entire body. It follows that if you are able to create positive feelings in your clients they are more likely to want to deal with you.
So instead of pitching, the best sales people devise a carefully crafted series of questions that allows clients to come up with the solution themselves, and gently angles them towards your offering. Research shows that this approach is way more successful, and results in two thirds fewer objections than trying to pitch your product or services.
One of the hardest things for a sales person is to bite their tongue – to suppress their evolutionary instinct to offer their solution. All the research shows that pitching early in the sales cycle has little impact on the prospect, whereas inhibiting your urges until the prospect has reached their own conclusions has a high impact on the prospect’s likelihood to buy. It’s no wonder that the most successful sales people think of selling as ‘joint problem solving’. They listen more, ask more questions, and speak less!
Solving your client’s problems may boost your self-esteem, but helping them solve their own problems boosts theirs
Share your thoughts – let us know what approach you think results in more sales in the comments box below…
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