Home > Closing > Without the prospect of approval, the sale will not be made.

Without the prospect of approval, the sale will not be made.

For years I always divided studies on the strategy of selling and the psychology of selling into separate worthwhile interests that often intersect. A lot of fundamentals in both areas have been known, passed on, reframed, and accepted by the majority of salespeople who include learning as a requirement of their work or business. I get bored when I'm not learning. Then, all of a sudden, I pick up on something as a result of sort of a trajectory. Someone will say something on this forum or elsewhere, perhaps an unfamiliar term--and I'm off to the races.

In happened this week when I stumbled on a few articles written by Alan J. Zell, a man who I was unfamiliar with. He expressed some thoughts that were totally unfamiliar to me. I felt like an eager novice again--one of those humbling experiences that can rejuvenate us.



While describing a condition that a seller faces, he said:
Without the prospect of approval, the sale will not be made


Zell elaborated that you cannot sell a person unless that person believes he has enough information to enable him to get approval or confirmation from some other party. He describes that "third party" as one that could include the prospect's family, friends, associates and acquaintances, or, for that matter, his own conscience. Zell further stated that the "approval" can be either formal or informal.

To me, this was a thunderbolt of profound insight. I got to thinking of that phrase, "ultimate decision maker" that many of us use and take for granted. I thought of my own buying habits, not just of products, but in how I buy ideas or how I buy into a plan, or activity. I made me think of others who influence our lives and the faceless people or "consistent" ideolologies who influence theirs.

I hate to paraphrase another's thoughts, but I draw from the author of those thoughts this: We not only have to provide information to make the sale to our prospect, we have to provide the tools for understanding that he can in turn justify the sale to unseen forces. Zell said it simpler and more effectively than I seem to be able to.

This is the deepest penetration, and the most exciting insight on the psychology of selling that I have ever been confronted with in my life. I share it here hoping that some others will benefit. - by Gary Boye
Gary, this is covered under "Peers" in the "Product, Peers, Price and Priority" model. I'll dig around this weekend and see if I have any materials on that specific model. - by Jolly Roger
Gary, this is covered under "Peers" in the "Product, Peers, Price and Priority" model. I'll dig around this weekend and see if I have any materials on that specific model.
Thanks. I would love to get my hands on more material on the subject. Yes--"peers" seems very pertinent to the discussion. - by Gary Boye
Thanks. I would love to get my hands on more material on the subject. Yes--"peers" seems very pertinent to the discussion.
Example: husband KNOWS he has to go home and tell his wife who will question him and he'd better be able to tell her what he knows she will want to know. [We can also put the shoe on the other foot.]

Therefore, when you're talking with me about something you want I can provide you with, I need to ask you lots of questions about the kind of information you need to make that decision because you know how you will use it [including that 3rd person validation.]

Also, "If there's anyone else you'll need to share this information with, let me know what other information you'll need?"

These things come to mind from what you've shared, Gary.

Thanks. - by MitchM
Also, "If there's anyone else you'll need to share this information with, let me know what other information you'll need?"
Not exactly, Mitch.

I think the subject is much different than the area where salespeople are taught to avoid "one-legged" presentations by saying a variation of "Who, in addition to yourself, would play a part in making a decision on this?"

What we are getting at is hidden influencers--people, often peers, or parts of our mind, i.e. our own conscience, T.A "parents"--those entities that we would feel we have to justify our purchase to.

My interpretation is that we would include as part of the selling process, tools that would enable the customer to justify with the "third party", even though the approval or disapproval would be in most cases unspoken.

Think about, in your own line of work, which includes presenting opportunities, how much the faceless, offstage people can play a part.

As a matter of fact I think "faceless" and "offstage" might be good words in describing those influences.

Recently I bought a watch that I really liked. I know that the same watch is also available in a slightly different style that I like just as well. I can afford to buy the second watch and I would enjoy owning both. But the justification process that we're talking about prevents me from doing that. - by Gary Boye
Not exactly, Mitch.

I think the subject is much different than the area where salespeople are taught to avoid "one-legged" presentations by saying a variation of "Who, in addition to yourself, would play a part in making a decision on this?"

What we are getting at is hidden influencers--people, often peers, or parts of our mind, i.e. our own conscience, T.A "parents"--those entities that we would feel we have to justify our purchase to.

My interpretation is that we would include as part of the selling process, tools that would enable the customer to justify with the "third party", even though the approval or disapproval would be in most cases unspoken.

Think about, in your own line of work, which includes presenting opportunities, how much the faceless, offstage people can play a part.

As a matter of fact I think "faceless" and "offstage" might be good words in describing those influences.

Recently I bought a watch that I really liked. I know that the same watch is also available in a slightly different style that I like just as well. I can afford to buy the second watch and I would enjoy owning both. But the justification process that we're talking about prevents me from doing that.
I think it gets too complicated to second guess or even put into boxes of "types" the "faceless" and "offstage" influences to manipulate data into those slots, Gary. It's a novel idea with merit to theorize about in terms of increasing sales but I think the variables are just to many unless archetypes are developed - they probably have been in some form.

How do you see all this coming to play in a sale? - by MitchM
I think it gets too complicated to second guess or even put into boxes of "types" the "faceless" and "offstage" influences to manipulate data into those slots, Gary. It's a novel idea with merit to theorize about in terms of increasing sales but I think the variables are just to many unless archetypes are developed - they probably have been in some form.

How do you see all this coming to play in a sale?
I don't know yet. "Archetype" was also the word I was going to insert in my post instead of the T.A. reference--but then I dismissed it. I think we're both guilty of overcomplicating this. Your talking Jungian terms and I'm coming up with Transactional Analysis. We should grow goatees and eat granola. "New to me" doesn't mean profound.

Right now I don't have an answer as to how to strengthen a sales conversation--just a question as to what it all means to a presentation. - by Gary Boye
I don't know yet. "Archetype" was also the word I was going to insert in my post instead of the T.A. reference--but then I dismissed it. I think we're both guilty of overcomplicating this. Your talking Jungian terms and I'm coming up with Transactional Analysis. We should grow goatees and eat granola. "New to me" doesn't mean profound.

Right now I don't have an answer as to how to strengthen a sales conversation--just a question as to what it all means to a presentation.
I've got the hair on my chinnie chin chin and I eat granola - want some! - by MitchM
Gary, this is covered under "Peers" in the "Product, Peers, Price and Priority" model. I'll dig around this weekend and see if I have any materials on that specific model.
JR, when I first started learning about selling I too was introduced to the 4 P's (Product, Peers, Price, Priority).

The unmentioned concern in question form appears as, "What will others think?" and arises from the reality that, "No one wants to buy something that creates an argument, questions his or her taste or indicates poor decision making ability."

Since that original introduction to the 4 P's I've learned that people's fear of making a poor decision (as viewed by peers and others) is a factor to be managed in many, if not most, sales situations.

Take for instance automobile sales (zoom-zoom :)) There are those people who are concerned (fear of ridicule) how their friends and/or neighbors will react to their purchase. In this situation a "puppy-dog" close could help relieve that concern.

I'll take a look through some of my old materials too and let you know when I find more on the topic. ;) - by SalesGuy
I'll take a look through some of my old materials too and let you know when I find more on the topic. ;)
Works for me. :) - by Jolly Roger
This is Pretty Intresting also gona dig into it to find more info but this great stuff thanks for Shareing. - by Sanddollar
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