An elevator ride can seem like an eternity if you’re alone with an introverted buyer. Can you imagine using an elevator pitch on them? A 30-second ride now seems like it’s never going to end.
If you can isolate that buyer from others, you can usually get them to open up by preparing a few questions to start a dialogue. What did you think about Bob’s suggestion that …? Do you think we have the problem defined adequately? Do you agree that the biggest obstacle is X?
If the buyer has spent the last three hours stifling their opinions, be prepared for a torrent of thoughts. Some of them may offer up their personal Win Results before you have an opportunity to ask. Others may still be reluctant, but at least you’ve started a dialogue with them.
We talk about verifying personal wins with your coach, but always strive to go directly to the source. If the Buying Influence is quiet and reserved in a meeting, chances are they haven’t shared their Win Results with anyone else. You can verify the Buying Influence’s role in the decision, but you won’t be able to get an accurate read on their Win Results from anyone but them. Knowing their role is a valuable first step in your dialogue with them, as roles often help you understand what kinds of things they may be considering as a Win Result.
While there are numerous opportunities to discover personal Win Results, you may sometimes need to look for them in less-than-obvious places. One of my favorites is inviting a Buying Influence to meet over coffee to discuss his goals and potential concerns. This typically accomplishes two goals. It gets them out of their work area environment, and it removes them from the hearing range of others so that they speak more candidly. Spontaneity can also create an opportunity: the elevator, the hallway, the parking lot, or even in the meeting room before everyone else shows up. At the end of the day, sales professionals are looking to create a Win-Win scenario—one that must include wins for every Buying Influence involved in the sale.
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