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Selling Decisions and Ethics

If during the discovery phase you recognize that your service isn't the best choice for the prospect sitting across from you what would you do? - by Houston
I would respect the buyer's decision of what is or isn't their best choice. I'm neutral. - by Marcus
I would respect the buyer's decision of what is or isn't their best choice. I'm neutral.
I haven't met many salespeople who after a prospect say "no" pack up their bags and leave. msnwnk; - by Houston
If during the discovery phase you recognize that your service isn't the best choice for the prospect sitting across from you what would you do?
You as the salesperson don't make that decision the prospect does. - by Calvin
You as the salesperson don't make that decision the prospect does.
Then let's change the question a little.

What would you do if you recognized that your product or service either doesn't meet the prospect's needs or if you know your product or service cannot fully meet their expectations? - by pmccord
Then let's change the question a little.

What would you do if you recognized that your product or service either doesn't meet the prospect's needs or if you know your product or service cannot fully meet their expectations?
I would tell the prospect my opinion and leave it at that. If they want to move forward with the purchase after hearing my opinion that is up to them. - by Calvin
Calvin,

Which do you mean by your opinion (how would you phrase it):

"I don't think this will do exactly what you want it to do." or something to that effect.

or

"this won't do what you say you need it to do. It will do X, X and X, but won't do Y or Y."--or "if you really need this to do X, you'll be disappointed because . . . " - by pmccord
This is off the top of my head for illustrative purposes only:

Mr. Prospect, when we were talking about this earlier you said your situation called for a vehicle that got no less than 25/33 mpg. You should know that this vehicle is closer to 15/18 mpg. Is that going to be acceptable? - by Calvin
This is off the top of my head for illustrative purposes only:

Mr. Prospect, when we were talking about this earlier you said your situation called for a vehicle that got no less than 25/33 mpg. You should know that this vehicle is closer to 15/18 mpg. Is that going to be acceptable?
I sell cars i wouldn't quite put it that way (too soft for me)...
I would say i know you really like this suv, but you had pointed out to me earlier that you were looking for a car with 30+ miles to gallon. So lets go inside and put everything on paper and we can look at the pro's and con's of both...... then i would do a ben franklin close..... i would write on one side pros of car then on the other side pros of suv and then ask do you feel like the suv is worth the worse gas mileage if yes then you need to buy the suv if no then the car is best for you.... - by benjamin-benjamin
I really don't see anything wrong with Calvin's approach. I don't sell cars, but I've seen enough car purchases to know that most buyers do the worst thing possible--they fall in love with the car and everything else goes out the window--often including common sense.

If the buyer has fallen in love with the vehicle instead of sticking to what he or she really needs, simply pointing out that the vehicle they're in love with doesn't meet what they had indicated were their needs should be sufficient from both a moral and ethical point of view (unless the salesperson delibertaly set the buyer up to over-purchase, which is a totally different discussion). - by pmccord
I really don't see anything wrong with Calvin's approach. I don't sell cars, but I've seen enough car purchases to know that most buyers do the worst thing possible--they fall in love with the car and everything else goes out the window--often including common sense.

If the buyer has fallen in love with the vehicle instead of sticking to what he or she really needs, simply pointing out that the vehicle they're in love with doesn't meet what they had indicated were their needs should be sufficient from both a moral and ethical point of view (unless the salesperson delibertaly set the buyer up to over-purchase, which is a totally different discussion).
I get paid a flat rate per car, so i have no incentive to talk people into more expensive cars. But people that take calvins approach would not sell very many cars. Sometimes people buy off of emotion, that is a fact. You can't force people into buying what you feel like they want, it just won't happen. I have had over 17 people quit, transfer, or get fired in my office and some of thoses people tried that approach. You have to let people buy what they want. you give them choices.... - by benjamin-benjamin
I don't see where Calvin isn't giving them a choice. He has simply pointed out that the car they indicated they want doesn't meet their initial statment of need. Now, I am assuming that they've looked at their alternatives that do meet their needs. Of course, if they haven't had the opportunity to see what does meet their indicated need, then, again, there would be an issue. - by pmccord
I don't see where Calvin isn't giving them a choice. He has simply pointed out that the car they indicated they want doesn't meet their initial statment of need. Now, I am assuming that they've looked at their alternatives that do meet their needs. Of course, if they haven't had the opportunity to see what does meet their indicated need, then, again, there would be an issue.
not that big of a deal but i am just saying that if you said that 80% of people would say OK we are going to go think about it. You can't take that type of approach in car sales..... - by benjamin-benjamin
I would tell the prospect my opinion and leave it at that. If they want to move forward with the purchase after hearing my opinion that is up to them.
I would do the same and probably go a step further and recommend to the prospect someone that I know who would be able to satify their needs.

thanks - by kuana
If during the discovery phase you recognize that your service isn't the best choice for the prospect sitting across from you what would you do?
Tricky. From a pure business point of view, I have discovered that most buyers will eventually work this out as they move through their buying process. You'll end up wasting time and they come back to you saying "I just don't understand how it's going to help me do X" and the best you can reply is "UUuuummmm"! Then they disengage.

When selling to smart buyers, tf you have a blatantly bad match between your service and the buyer's needs, then it's not worth pursuing. If the service does what they need it to do, but is not the very best service out there for them, then, "caveator emptor" (buyer beware!) - by Ed McLean
If during the discovery phase you recognize that your service isn't the best choice for the prospect sitting across from you what would you do?
This is a great question! Personally, I'd let the customer make that decision. As the salesperson, my impression of what's the "best choice" for the prospect may not be as accurate as the prospect's point-of-view on this issue! - by Skip Anderson
As this applies to car sales, I used to be a car salesperson. I believe that in this case you should try to fit budget and give them a true cost to own total. Emotion is a large part of buying a car for alot of people. So people do however buy with their brains still. You need to figure out who your working with in any case.


How about how this applies to a longer term customer service contract? - by staceylee
If during the discovery phase you recognize that your service isn't the best choice for the prospect sitting across from you what would you do?
A long time ago I learned the sales effectiveness of Total Disclosure from some of the best sales people in America.

Since then, I have never been desperate enough to compromise my ethical standards.

Could that be due to a cause and affect relationship? We think so.

High Probability Selling derives power from high ethical standards - by JacquesWerth
A long time ago I learned the sales effectiveness of Total Disclosure from some of the best sales people in America.
Jacques, excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is "Total Disclosure"? I'd like to learn. Thanks. - by Skip Anderson
Jacques, excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is "Total Disclosure"? I'd like to learn. Thanks.
In selling, "Total Disclosure" is best known by its absence.
A good way to describe it is:
"The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

Typically, the salesperson tells prospects all about the features and benefits of their products and services, and little if anything about the detriments.

A legal definition of it can be called "Puffery," if it is not too blatant. An ethical description could be "lying by omission." - by JacquesWerth
Everyone can benefit by using one/some of the products I sell but when it's not a fit meaning there's no commitment or reasons the potential buyer doesn't agree with my "everyone" belief I move on. I tell tha person it's not for them.

I'm in network marketing and have been with one company eleven years and I may not be typical. I also tell people the business isn't for them either. How do I know? I engage in a serious conversation to find out and sometimes I'm wrong.

BUT I error on the side of honesty. I hate it when sales people aren't honest and hide under "buyer' choice" or something else to pretend they feel good about themselves with - that stinks!

MitchM - by MitchM
Everyone can benefit by using one/some of the products I sell but when it's not a fit meaning there's no commitment or reasons the potential buyer doesn't agree with my "everyone" belief I move on. I tell tha person it's not for them.

I'm in network marketing and have been with one company eleven years . . .

BUT I error on the side of honesty. I hate it when sales people aren't honest and hide under "buyer' choice" or something else to pretend they feel good about themselves with - that stinks!

MitchM
Hmmm. When you say, "when it's not a fit meaning there's no commitment or reasons the potential buyer doesnt' agree with my everyone belief I move on", that doesn't sound as much like honesty to my earsas much as it sounds like you hit a dead end and want a fresh prospect.

Stopping a sales interaction because of "honesty" is one thing, but stopping it because the customer doesn't have commitment that's quite another thing, isn't it? - by Skip Anderson
It can be one in the same thing, Skip. Or two different things. I've had people continue to try and sell me something when it wasn't a fit - you know, like a shirt - and instead of stopping the sale process tried to make it look like a fit.

MitchM - by MitchM
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