By Jackie Kirchner
Jackie is AchieveGlobal’s Product Marketing Manager. A forward-thinking marketing, Jackie is equipped with 15 years of conceptualizing and implementing comprehensive marketing programs.
In our work, as in our personal lives, we experience various hurdles and setbacks when trying to “sell” to “customers”—whether that customer is your boss, friend, spouse, a client or a prospective client.
I worked at an agency in my past life and my team and I often had to pitch campaigns and ideas to our clients. More than a few times, clients would reject what we thought was a good idea or something that we were convinced could really help their business. In those cases, I often felt like our pitch wasn’t on point or worse, that we hit a dead end.
Fast forward to today and knowing what I know now after I attended a Professional Selling Skills training, I realized that handling the clients’ concerns correctly could have improved the outcome of our client meetings tremendously. Instead of going back to the drawing board and trying to think of a new solution, acknowledging what the client was saying and really understanding what’s being said could have kept the conversation going in a more positive direction. This could have eliminated rework and wasted effort proposing incorrect solutions.
When trying to sell anything – an idea, a product, or a plan – your “customer” will, at some point, express concerns due to:
Skepticism. Being skeptical is not a position; it’s simply a process where the customer is yet to be convinced what you’re claiming is true.
Misunderstanding. You’re not on the same page, and you or your customer failed to grasp critical information that will explain why what you’re selling makes sense.
Drawback. There are realities that are disadvantageous under certain circumstances but they are not necessarily insurmountable.
When customers express reluctance, our immediate goal is clear: determine what preventing customer buy in; and then acknowledge those and attempt to resolve them. This requires a collaborative approach where you work with the customer to surface those issues. Remember all those two-way communication tips to improve and deepen relationships? Rely on true dialogue to sell successfully.