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Changing peoples' minds

How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call? - by Community Mailbox
It's highly unlikely that you can or should try to "change" their mind because that would require that they admit that they were wrong.

Instead your Goal should be to help them make a "new decision" based on the new information you are sharing with them.

Have a "Fanta$tic" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
I think the answer to your question depends entirely on the specifics of the situation. When reading your question, many questions come to my mind, so I wonder:

- Why did the prospect say "no?"
- Who initiated the interaction, the salesperson or the prospect?
- You mentioned "one call". Is this a cold call to a business? A preset appointment in a customer's home? A meeting that was held in your retail store when the customer visited it? etc.
- At one time in this "one call" did the customer say no? In the beginning? After you did a needs and desires investigation? When you presented your product/service? At closing? Receiving a "no" a different stages in the selling process would point to different causes.

Also, I'll note that prospects' minds don't necessarily have to "change entirely". Sometimes they just need to change their mind a little. Sales is full of gray-areas, not just black and white "yeses" and "nos". - by Skip Anderson
Look, this is a topic that - once again - breaks down when we use "common sense". Since winning at sales is uncommon, meaning few master it, what we might think, a common thought, needs to be re-evaluated if we are to win as professionals, to really master this art of communication.

Adopting a new frame of reference is also often referred to as a paradigm or a paradigm shift, it is a shift in thinking. Here is one;

A "no" is not really a no.

If we were to debate that statement, it might go like this -

"Resolve; in any interaction between a prospective buyer and a salesperson, when the the prospective buyer says 'no' it does not necessarily mean that there is not sufficient reason for that prospective buyer to make a purchase, meaning no was not really a no."

Here is what "no" means; that you did not provide enough reason to buy, it is that simple. If you are certain there is a need, then this situation indicates that we have not uncovered all the needs that the benefits of our product address, it is that simple.

We have not supplied sufficient reason for the purchase.

There may be a reason why not but if that does not exist, we continue to find the other reason why.

The classic response is "Oh ... why not?"

What you will often find at, that point is that there is a misunderstanding of what you said or perceived drawback of your product (or service), which by the way is called an objection. If you don't ask,. you will never know.

But to get back to really answering your question, the NO is not the final decision. we are not changing someones mind, they make that up for themselves, we are just providing more information for them to base their decision on.

Never, in the thousands of sales situations I have been in in 30 years have I ever been in a situation where the prospect admitted or had to admit they were wrong. However, since I was trained professionally at 17 ... I have been doing it the right way all my life, so perhaps some sales people think that is part of the process, it is not.

Sales are built on foundations, they are called benefits - accepted benefits to be exact. And a benefit can only be accepted if there is a need. Your job is to uncover needs and if you walk form a sales call shaking your head thinking it should have been a yes" and it was not, the n you did not ask enough of the right kind of questions to understand what your prospects needs (hot buttons/pain) were.

It is no more difficult to understand than that people.

Best of luck always. - by Gold Calling
Skip Anderson asked,
- Why did the prospect say "no?"
- Who initiated the interaction, the salesperson or the prospect?
- You mentioned "one call". Is this a cold call to a business? A preset appointment in a customer's home?
- At one time in this "one call" did the customer say no?

Using real estate as an example. Door knocking or calling people on the phone who have decided to sell their homes without using an agent. "We are not going to use an agent we are doing it ourselves" is the 'no'. - by Community Mailbox
How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call?
It is very realistic. I've already posted a story about how it happened ! - by TonyB
I've already posted a story about how it happened !

Research going back into the 50's showed that a large minority of sales are made after the first no, in fact many are made after several NO's .... or objections or after a combination of attitudes.

This has been known by sales professionals for several millennium, it is just that we have little reliable statistical information available from pre-WW II. Anyway, since there is nothing new under the sun we ought not to refer to anything as if we discovered it, not to suggest this comment is directed at anyone in particular on this website.

NO is really where the sale begins, because the prospect is talking. If they are indifferent (or a LOW REACTOR) then you have almost no chance to get them, if they are talkign - telling you how they feel - then you can close them in a majority of cases.

Not every sale has a NO. In some selling situations only one attitude is displayed; ACCEPTANCE or INDIFFERENCE. That is why the stats show that only a minority of closes had a NO in them, but it is a significant minority. And, in many situations more than one attitude must be dealt with.

of course, all of the above relates to those with the skill. If you are unable to deal with an ojection, you can't get past the first "NO" so how can you deal with more than one attitude, for instance?

Interestingly, I was with a multi million dollar insurance producer today and my father, a great sales trainer in his own right, and I got to mention this thread to them. Both had very interestign come backs, as follows;

INSURANCE AGENT - agreed they could be turned into a sale because they are talking. he stated without prompting on my part (and I have had nothign to do with his training) that it is the people who do not talk that you have a problem with.

MY DAD - stated that giving up is "like throwing away all your sales skills" ... in our discussion, wjhich was very brief, since this is a no briainer conversation, we both agreed that a NO is not necessarily a bad thing, not ynless there is a pre existing condition that prevents going forward. And, with a qualified prospect, there are not manby of these. - by Gold Calling
How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call?
Very realistic although not common. - by Ace Coldiron
There is ultimately one reason why a prospect says "no", and that's because the prospect does not have enough emotional desire for the product to outweigh the cost. Emotions can be increased and decreased with specific stimulation. When an emotion reaches a certain intensity it will produce a physical response or behavior (the action point).

The objective of a salesperson is to use certain techniques to stimulate and intensify emotional responses, specifically the emotion of desire. When the emotion of desire has been intensified enough, the prospect will take action on that emotion by making the purchase. Call it persuasion or manipulation, that's our job and we should strive to be very good at it.

Logical justifications for the purchase should be included so that the mental and emotional states will harmonize and increase the odds of the desired physical behavior (a sale). He must want it and he must believe it is a logical decision to have it.

However, the primary factor in the sales decision is emotional, the emotion of desire. Many will make the decision to purchase even without logical justification because they experience an intense level of desire. But no one make the decision to buy without desire, even if there exists excessive logical justifications.

So what to do when the prospect says no?

Realize that his or her level of desire is not yet strong enough to prompt action. And then begin working to create and intensify that desire.

Hope This Helps - by The Sales Artist
"If they are indifferent (or a LOW REACTOR) then you have almost no chance to get them."

How often would estimate sales people encounter a low reactor when cold calling? - by Community Mailbox
Skip Anderson asked,
- Why did the prospect say "no?"
- Who initiated the interaction, the salesperson or the prospect?
- You mentioned "one call". Is this a cold call to a business? A preset appointment in a customer's home?
- At one time in this "one call" did the customer say no?

Using real estate as an example. Door knocking or calling people on the phone who have decided to sell their homes without using an agent. "We are not going to use an agent we are doing it ourselves" is the 'no'.
Okay, so it sounds like your real question is: "How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change a FSBO's mind about selling their home themselves when you cold call them or door knock to try to get them to list the property with you?"

It's very realistic that a great salesperson could attain a listing in this situation.

Engage the homeowner. Find out if there are any other benefits to selling the property themselves other than saving commission (usually, there won't be). Their decision is all about your commission. Ask the prospect for permission to discuss the commission costs part of the equation. If they agree, you've got to make a compelling case that you will actually make them more money than if they sell it themselves. If you have data to show that you can sell a home more quickly than a homeowner can, you've added value in your proposal and that should be attractive.

As in most all sales scenarios, the key is to engage the prospect and identify their unique needs and desires so you can position your services to meet those needs. - by Skip Anderson
NO is really where the sale begins, because the prospect is talking. If they are indifferent (or a LOW REACTOR) then you have almost no chance to get them, if they are talkign - telling you how they feel - then you can close them in a majority of cases.
I believe that DIALOGUE is where the sale begins. Occasionally that would, as Gold Calling suggests, take the form of NO. After dialog, there has to be some form of AGREEMENT on at least one point, and when that happens, the dialog is enhanced and acceptance can take front stage over indifference.

Experience shows that "NO" is not the most often used word for rejection. - by Ace Coldiron
I gave a real estate example but my question applies to more than real estate. That was an easy example because I know people who sold their home without an agent even though multiple agents called on them and tried to change their mind.

Here is my own example. I had a bad experience with a phone company once and even today if that company calls and wants to sell me on switching over I won't even talk with them. There is nothing they could say that could change my mind.

I am hesistant to believe that the results would have been different if the best salesperson around was the one making the calls. - by Community Mailbox
I had a bad experience with a phone company once and even today if that company calls and wants to sell me on switching over I won't even talk with them. There is nothing they could say that could change my mind.

I am hesistant to believe that the results would have been different if the best salesperson around was the one making the calls.
A "great salesperson" won't win over every prospect, but they'll do it more often than a mediocre or poorly skilled salesperson. You might be right that you'll never ever do business with that company again; your decision may have been clearly made not only for now but for the rest of your life due to your experience. But most are not so clear in their "no". Often, "no" means "maybe" as great salespeople sometimes have the ability to still close transactions with customers who have told them "no." - by Skip Anderson
All salespeople are "Change Agents" -- they are trying to change the WAY someone handles a situation and have them see/believe that their product or service is a better choice than what they are currently using or doing now.

But first you must get the prospect to admit/reveal that they have a problem in the first place.

It is not really a matter of changing a "no" to a "yes", but initially a matter of getting the prospect to start to believe that there could be a better way/solution/supplier than what they are doing currently to improve (fill in this space) for their company.

If they start to trust you and believe your product CAN be better for them than your competitors, you may not have to worry about getting a "no".

But if it really is a 'no' or 'not interested' -- then it is better to learn that early in your conversation with the prospective client than later; so you don't waste valuable time with them, instead of with another opportunity which will say 'yes'. - by Paulette Halpern
I might start by giving them the chance to rant and rave on you - especially if they've had a bad experience in the past. Let them go off. While they do that, they're telling you how their needs weren't met last time, which led to their frustration. Listen for those clues.

Once they've finished, calmly let them know you heard them - portray your understanding and recognition of how frustrating it must have been for them.

Once they're shifted from being defensive to being open because you've listened to them and portrayed understanding, help them understand how a) going at it alone (or resisting your services in general) will not help them meet their overall goals. Then b) show them how working with you will.

Good luck.
Stephen Frenkel
MWI - by sfrenkel
There is ultimately one reason why a prospect says "no", and that's because the prospect does not have enough emotional desire for the product to outweigh the cost.
I am having serious trouble with this comment. Put simply;

What of cost is not a factor in the purchase?

If I was buying a Ferrari the purchase would be emotional indeed and not about money (unless I had no business being at the dealership in the first place, meaning I could not really afford it.

Selling to consumers is different than sellign to someone who does not personally benefit in any way from deciding to buy.

No everyone in business does not benefit, for instance, selling to the owner of the business or an EXEC with stock options or a profit bonus may generate emotions but there are also instances where they may not.

When selling to an EXEC within a business there are many instances where I must say that "desire" had little or nothing to do with it. On the other hand - it is certainly true the benefits are always a part of a sale, one such benefit can be a strong desire ... and in many instances there are little motions at all.

In dealing with a buyer who has no emotional attachment to the sale, it is hard - no impossible - to point at desire as the main factor for the decision not to purchase (or purchase for that matter). I corporate sales there are many different examples of this that I could quote as support of the fact that emotion is not always part of a sale.

If we break it down too far we may say - the EXEC had a desire to do a better job. Thus we are arguing that there is in fact always a DESIRE ... ok, but there is another issue or could be What if the price is lower than what they are spending now? Then we need not "outweigh" anything. Do you see what I am gettign at here?

Language is interesting. In selling it is important to truly understand and I can etell you, in 30 years of investigating every sales school and sales think there is, no one has imporved on the word NEEDS. And if there is a benefit of your product or service that answer a need of the prospect then we have built a building block for a sale.

Some sales are completed with the supporting of just one need, whereas most are 3 or more. Thus, if you knew you had a good prospect and ended up with a NO and no sale that meant you simply did not uncover adn satify enough needs.

It really is simple.

... first you must get the prospect to admit/reveal that they have a problem in the first place.
It is not a problem they must admit to or you must reveal through questionaing (probing) it is a NEED.

The issue with PAIN used instead of NEED is that not all prospects have pain ... or, maybe better put, not all NEDS involve PAIN. Take a business that made $350 million last year, the top EXECS all got their Profit Bonus ... there is no PAIN and no EMOTION attached with a change.

While it is true we are involved in action to change, there ar times in sales when emotion and pain are not a part of the wequation and yet, we can still come away with the sale.

The above example is a real one, we got the order for a $250,000 consulting job even though it was hard to generate any enthusiasm for the work, as they were simply making tonnes of money already (and our main benefit was profit improvement through process imporvement.).

It is not really a matter of changing a "no" to a "yes", but initially a matter of getting the prospect to start to believe that there could be a better way/solution/supplier than what they are doing currently to improve (fill in this space) for their company.
Indeed.

How about chaging "it is not really" above to "it is nothing to do with" ... just to emphasize the point.

How often would estimate sales people encounter a low reactor when cold calling?
In sales stituations this is the least common attitude, by far lower than any of the others (Skeptiscism, Objection & Acceptance) and any of us can say is thank God!

The low reactor is actually only a portion of those who are indifferent. Indifference literally means they don't care. A low reactor is a person who appears not to care but is non talkative too - the hardest to deal with by a country mile but uncommon.

Where as Skeptiscism and Objections are very common. - by Gold Calling
How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call?
Well since I went from a no to a "when can we start" within the timeframe of about 60 minutes, at least once, thmbp2; I would say, it is totally realistic. However I don't believe I changed someone's mind. I actually began listening at that point and answering in a way the prospect could more clearly understand that I absolutely could deliver what they wanted. - by patweber
I have more than 30 years in B2B sales/sales management and I can tell you definitively: the sale starts when the suspect says "no" (ie. tables an objection).

Again, I'm breaking into a rash (with the semantics). We're not mobsters who turn our suspects upside down to catch the loonies falling from their pockets!

We need to uncover as much information as possible in a reasonable period of time (which might be spread over an array of meetings, calls, presentations, demos, etc.). During this discovery process, we are going to meet with objections which are sometimes framed in the negative (ie. perhaps including the word 'no'). These might be price objections, T&C issues, and funding related concerns. Or, we'll run into "low reactors" (PSS terminology).

Is the implication that the SR abandon the call?

Absolutely not! We are paid commissions to understand the situation in its entirety. The successful SR consistently gathers more information in each call to ensure that the sales cycle is pushed along. I've sold copiers door-to-door and I've sold complex technology which implied a prolonged sales cycle. I can tell you that in each instance:
1. where I left with a signed (copier) lease the client was pleased with the experience; and,
2. where I didn't get the order, I had a sufficiently solid relationship that I could return at a later time; and,
3. where the cycle was long (eg. 12 to 18 mo's), in every call I documented the progress and communicated with the parties, so that all were involved in the ultimate outcome;

The implications of commission includes the fact that we're not going to win every time (the tax man insists on an element of risk). The successful SR ensures that in every instance, he knows precisely why or why not a suspect will close. He must, therefore, become adept at managing around objections while qualifying his prospects.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
I was addressing the real estate example provided by the thread originator. There is very frequently a notable difference when selling to a business (B2B) as opposed to a person. The difference is the value of logical justifications in the decision to buy. A personal purchase decision is derived primarily from an emotional desire. We buy what we buy because we want it. This is true whether or not there is logical justification for that decision or (to put it in sales terms) a "need" (logic being subordinate to emotions). Thus, when performing personal sales the primary factor and focus of the salesperson should be on the emotional response of the individual.

A corporate sales situation is different. Although we do deal with individuals and usually only one person will make the decision to buy, logical justification for the purchase is a much larger factor. It becomes less of an issue of whether the person wants the product and more of an issue of whether the purchase makes good business sense (emotions now being subordinate to logic). As a result, as you pointed out, a business sale can occur with little or no emotional influence.

However, a personal sale can occur with little or no logical justification, but seldom (if ever) without emotional influence. The example provided dealt with a personal sales situation, the decision of whether or not to use a Realtor to sell a home. Perhaps the fault is mine for not making the point more clear. But let's not forget that there are different types of sales and each requires a slightly different focus to be effective. - by The Sales Artist
As a sales trainer, I'd make a massive fortune if I could show salespeople how to change a prospect's mind. Salesmanship is about allowing a prospect to change their own mind.

You got the "No" for a reason, and that reason is an objection. An objection is not rejection. An objection is a request for more information. Uncover the objection and address it by supplying the additional information.

Allow your prospect to develop a new opinion based on the new information. Then... close it! thmbp2;

You can do this on one call.

Nick Moreno - by Sales Training Coach
How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call?
There are two different subjects in this question:
  1. change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes
  2. a great salesperson
Great sales pros rarely waste their time trying to change a prospect's mind. The great ones qualify properly, get to the "no" early in the game, say thank you, and move on to a qualified buyer.

This does not mean you should not make an attempt. As we taught; take three shots. three No's and go. Don't frustrate yourself, irritate the prospect, and wear yourself out. - by GSHart
From my experience, the reason it may be "not common" is because I have met very few "very good", let alone "great" sales people. Most salespeople do not understand and practise the basics. - by TonyB
I would submit that "yes" sales people can change a person's mind. Whether you state this as "the prospect looked at something in a different way" or "the sales person understood the Need/Pain the prospect had and showed him/her that the product would solve that Need/Pain" still the person had a change of mind. He or she went from a "no" to a "yes". I have done it hundreds of times. What I think is the more revelant question is how this is done. I will add just a few things regarding this.

First, generally, I recommend to never stop on the first "no", studies have shown that a "no" is not a final "no" until the 6th time. Now that does not mean that you keep asking for the sale over and over again as a second rule is that you should never go in for the close after a "no" until you have presented some new information that allows the prospect to save face and say "yes" as what they said "no" to was different than what you are currently presenting as you have added new information. Third, make sure the prospect is in the correct state of mind to be able to make a position buying decision, but how to do that... is another post - by Joeylean
The issue with PAIN used instead of NEED is that not all prospects have pain ... or, maybe better put, not all NEDS involve PAIN. Take a business that made $350 million last year, the top EXECS all got their Profit Bonus ... there is no PAIN and no EMOTION attached with a change. .
All needs can be turned more emotional when you put them into a 'pain' format....using as a the example of the executives who got their bonus because the company made $350 million....well convert his discomfort of future pain if he doesn't get that bonus next year, and his wife has already SPENT that money..that is 'pain in the future' that he NEEDS to avoid/prevent.

Otherwise he deals with the angry wife, angry at him for not 'bringing home enough bonus bacon, and having to tell her she can't buy something she has already ordered'.

There is pain in the present; fear of pain in the future; memory of pain in the past, that someone doesn't want to experience again....pain comes in lots of forms. - by Paulette Halpern
A sales person who is constantly "seeking "pain" within his suspect accounts is not going to be consistently successful.

I would submit that probing for needs would include "painful" issues but would also uncover undisclosed opportunities. I've repeated the story a number of times on the forum about my sales call based solely on a newspaper article claiming strong revenue growth (at my account). I didn't probe for "pain" rather I presented an appealing "tax dodge" offered by Xerox!

The "pain" topic gets you boxed into a set of issues which may or may not exist in each account. Probing for needs (and listening to the responses) uncovers a wealth of opportunity.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
The "pain" topic gets you boxed into a set of issues which may or may not exist in each account. Probing for needs (and listening to the responses) uncovers a wealth of opportunity.
Pat
"Pain" selling has exactly the opposite, it doesn't get you boxed in if used correctly, as so many do, who have been Sandler trained. It keeps the conversation flowing from the prospect, if you really have a prospect in front of you.

It helps the prospect actually discover that you may have the solution he needs to resolve his problem because you understand his situation so well.

But I am not about to change your mind in this....just opening up the process to others. - by Paulette Halpern
A sales person who is constantly "seeking "pain" within his suspect accounts is not going to be consistently successful.
Pat
I agree with you, Pat. Reducing pain is one reasons customer's buy but it's not the only reason, imo. - by Skip Anderson
I think that any sales person with any experience has probably closed a person on the first call. Not by changing their minds, so to speak, but picking up on buying signals and taking advantage of your experience of listening skills and asking the right questions at the right time as it pertains to the product or service you are selling. But I also think that if your main objective is to close on the first call, you will probably come across with that attitude and a good posibility of losing the prospect. - by mcaldwell
When PAIN was first intro'd as a word to describe a feeling associated with a NEED I wrote a proof to explain why all needs are not felt, meaning there is no PAIN.

PAIN or NEED - this is really an issue of semantics and not selling. Why I object after careful consideration to the use of PAIN is as I stated, PAIN does not exist with all needs.

After my previous post, Paulette, you stated that "all needs can be turned more emotional" and took an example that I posted and more or less twisted it around to fit your argument. well, I can tell you, the future PAIN was not going to be and still isn't an issue. That company was and is making more money than the EXECS needed to get their maximum bonus, they did not feel pain and would not have felt it if we had not worked with them.

We were able to sell the account, not because of any emotional attachment that or any executive felt in that company was to feel, which is a very strong argument as to why all needs are not PAIN. In fact, I could argue this point from many directions, including the fact that some prospects are LOW REACTORS - or INDIFFERENT, they display little emotion and offer little when questioned/probed.

I can't remember all of my PROOF written almost a decade an a half ago about this topic but I seem to remember having several other strong assertions as to why PAIN is not always felt, which include what Pat (Outsource sales) mentioned, which are opportunities the prospect is not aware off.

PAIN is most often associated with what is KNOWN, not what is unknown because the prospect has had not time to figure out how they feel about it. But again, this is semantics.

One thing is certain, if you find a need, get the prospect to state it in their own words, then show them how you can answer that need, you will get the order far more often than if you simply talk about features and benefits that you are uncertain the prospect is interested in.

The men I've known who were top sales people before anyone associated a need with a feeling, describing it as PAIN, still outsell those who were trained to use this terminology. That much I am fully aware of. Meanign that the name we give things is not as important as the ability to lead conversation to find them.

Quite literally, I believe from my study that most people using PAIN are not able to find opportunities or create a need, they are trained to associate a prospect as someone who is going to buy anyway, who knows they are feeling "pain".

I am not sayign that Sandler or whomever taught you to focus on pain does not turn out well trained sales people, I am saying that they would be better if they thought not ONLy of pain.

I would also like to state that we could spend all day in a room to discover we are really thinkign the same and trippign over words. Except for teh fact that I have observed PAIN sellign technique and seen what might have been missed opportunities as I did call CHARTING as a sales consultant (I was not able to interject in that situation but would have gone on while the sales people I charted did not).

Interesting side topic to this thread.

I loved the first expereince I had, as I witnessed my father, who did change the mind of a prospect, who was convinced that Xerox was the only way. This was in 1998, I was still in high school, and no one had a proven plain paper altternative. The prospect felt very strongly that he would feel PAIN if he did NOT buy Xerox ...

My dad did not convince the man he would actually feel pain if he did buy Xerox. And, to this day, I still find that to be the most impressive sales call I ever witnessed (and I have charted over 100 sales peopel to date!).

PAIN is slightly more applicable to a B2C sale than a B2B situation ... but PAIN or NO PAIN, there is always a need. That is why NEED is a superior term than PAIN.

Havign stated that, great sales people are very quick to realize when the buyer has an emotional attachment to the sale and use it, at least the real pros do. And, it is certain that has been known for much longer than the term existed. In other words, we knew about it before it was applied by any sales school.

The great story telling insurance sales guys mastered this in the forties. Edwards taught it very well indeed in the late 50's and early 60's ... and Xerox Learning Systems knew of its existance in the 60's but chose to use the terminolgy I've applied, namely NEEDS, and with solid reason.

The other thing that is annoying is thinkign that we have to ask "How do you feel about that" to know or sense feeling in the way a need is stated. Not only are we using his or her emotions, when that is applicable, we sense them most of the time without a moronic question. And, again, I am not sayign that is wht you teach Paulette, it is just what I have observed.

Anyone who wants to udnerdstands sales better and become a better trainer oguht to try going on 1,000 calls as a fly on teh wall, chartign the sales process. You will be amazed at how this changes your viewpoint on many issues, including the one about PAIN and how to sell with it, without it and against it (as in the example of the sellign against Xerox strategy in the 70's).

Pat and I were competitors, not directly, but he worked in Xerox and I worked outside of it. We saw both sides of the fence ...

Powerful stuff. Persistance beat pain. Why? The need was stronger than the emotion. And, though that was the case once, I would argue that the opposite in some cases is also true.

Ponfder that for a while. - by Gold Calling
:sa Not only realistic but happens quite often.
This type client normally is the know it all client. I love this type. Always stay calm,always keep your voice low and the tone unassuming meaning low.
Compliment this client on how prepared they are and the knowledge they possess.Then add however when we look at this at a different perspective or when we do this what happens and explain why. After each explanation repeat sound good to you.This is where features and the benefits help them understand the long term solution.
When new explanations are given use the feel felt found technique. sound good to you or does that answer that.
Another way to guide this type client ,use the methods you use to get additions to the sale, your add on sales.
We are always changing minds this one should never be a problem. We change minds on price,think about it,talk to a partner,do not have time,send me a proposal in the mail.
Always build the relationship then feed the relationship - by rich34232
cold calling is correct. Making people feel the pain is an easy way to get a sales person out there. You can gte a person on the road faster and start making money quicker.It requests nothing of the person.They do not have a cost to them to become better. They repeat the pain for all objections and concerns never answering the questions.
What I have seen more and more of late those using pain as a way to sell. They look very professional, and while they speak they raise their voice as to demand the authority figure status.
They also call this aggressive sales
But that is for another thread and another time - by rich34232
PAIN or NEED - this is really an issue of semantics and not selling. Why I object after careful consideration to the use of PAIN is as I stated, PAIN does not exist with all needs..........I am not sayign that Sandler or whomever taught you to focus on pain does not turn out well trained sales people, I am saying that they would be better if they thought not ONLy of pain..........And, again, I am not sayign that is wht you teach Paulette, it is just what I have observed.
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Wow, must have touched an awfully painful nerve for you to create the long reply on "pain" vs "need" selling.

Pain is a large part of the dialogue of diagnosis to uncover what the problem the prospect has, what it is costing them, what they are willing to spend to 'resolve the pain'; what will happen if they don't resolve the pain; all the different levels that are feeling the pain within an organization, and making sure the decision maker has the pain not just his 'underlings' and making sure the decision maker is who you are talking with and they have a willingness to resolve the problem....all before you make that magic presentation of the 'solution' to take the pain away. Then that presentation only focuses on what it will take to close the deal.

The Sandler model must be doing something right for the many clients we are training that cross industry lines and include Fortune 500 companies to small entrepreneurs. Can't be too off the mark, with success like that.

Some people don't know how to use Pain Discovery and its associated pieces, and see it as ineffective. That is part of the magic -- it isn't for everyone. It is one of many selling styles/systems. The key is to find a system that works for a business owner/salesperson and master it; then minimize prospects turning you into 'unpaid consultants', so you can 'go to the bank more'.

I don't devalue other approaches, if they work for people that's wonderful. I have been working within the Sandler model for over 20 years, it hasn't failed me; nor my clients today. - by Paulette Halpern
It is possible to influence a prospect to change his or her mind after the first no but it is important to allow the prospect to do so himself by being patient and continuing the conversation. What I mean by this is; listen intently to what the prospect is saying, offering suggestions and ways around the possible problems he may be having and, before the conversation is finished the prospect has changed his mind on his own volition (or so it appears). All it took was simply helping him to reason things out on his own. He has changed his mind on his own, and saved face, you have made a sale and gained a trusted client because you listened and didnot pressure. - by MPrince
How realistic is it to believe that a great salesperson could change someone's mind completely, from No to Yes, about using a service in one call?
Very realistic. People change their minds all the time. - by Clive Miller
Pauleen ... several things;

(1) All my posts are long (or most) and for good reason, it takes sufficient written words to make effective points that people in a forum can understand (and this post is no exception).

That does not prove you touched a nerve specifically though I do feel strongly in disagreement with part of your posts. And;

(2) There is no question that Sandler turns out well trained sales people, as do many other schools, including Huthwaite, Carnegie (SPIN) and others, and;

(3) PAIN does not apply to all sales situations, the great masters of sales knew this 60 years ago that we are aware of (try researching Nightingale, as just one example), this long before Sandler came along with this specific term in a somewhat ineffective attempt to replace the previous term NEED (hot buttons, or even less effectively described with these words/phrases; wants/desires/turn ons - whatever). Just as we have known how to uncover needs and close long before the perception that old school selling/pressure tactics "don't work any more", which is flying around the Internet and prevalent as all too common a quotable comment at this forum too.

(4) Every well known sales school or sales system can claim fortune 500 clients (including some I would not pay one cent), this does not prove anything about PAIN!

I stand on the premise that PAIN is not always applicable, that the word NEED is better suited ...

The example I gave of the company we sold - since I am still in touch with them I can tell you - they made their bonus every year since that year when they bought our service - including this one and they will make it next year and that would have happened with or without the profit improvement we made happen (17% I believe), meaning your come back two posts previously was not a good example of how we could have sold them, how we did sell them, on the other hand, is.

The EXEC felt no pain, still doesn't. The decision (in this case) was made on a NEED. That does not suggest that PAIN is not often involved in a decision to buy, it just was not in this case.

As a master, I have quite naturally sold both ways and can tell you with certainty that a sale is not dependent on a sales technique that is taught, it is dependent on the situation, which includes several factors not the least of which being the BUYER.

Do I buy eggs because of some desire or pain? You might say I would feel pain if there was no food in my fridge but aren't we just taking this concept a wee bit too far if we did agree on this point? PAIN implies emotion and I will argue till I die that not every selling situation involves an emotional decision/purchase (nor should it).

People love to buy, that is surely emotional, they love a DEAL, that too qualifies. But in the case I brought up of the CEO who made the decision to bring in consultants I am very sure he was not making it emotionally, as not only had each EXEC gotten their bonuses every year, they all got rich on stock too. More importantly, I was on the other side of the desk, he did not get excited at all or display any other noticeable emotion.

In fact, I am reminded of the words of a great investor that stated "It is hard to motivate men who have already gotten rich!"

At no time do I wish to appear to be putting down Sandler, this is not the case. I found things wrong with Xerox PSS course (a very weak display of prospecting skills in their training movie - ALSO; it is a basic selling skills course) as well. Huthwaite and their SPIN model escapes dealing with the LOW REACTOR (Indifference) ... they (the majority of selling schools or schools of thought) are almost all about basics, as they should be.

I took every selling course I could, passed PSS II at the age of 17 (youngest ever in Canada), became a REP for Carnegie, voraciously read SPIN and every notable sales book I could get my hands on as well as listening to every Nightingale audio plus J. Douglas Edwards (as far back 78 LP's) recordings.

Each has very interesting bits. None deals with it all.

Suck it up - anyone who thinks that one model deals with every selling situation is really fooling themselves. You are either improving or you are doing the opposite, never let your EGO influence you that you are what you will always be, there is more to learn from meeting prospects.

Other than NEED, which I believe is closest to accomplishing communicating this thing the best, no other word or phrase encapsulates all of the various types of reasons why buying decisions are made (heck, some are made irrationally). Good luck on the thesis that tries to prove otherwise!

An emotional hot button can be said to be a need. Can a B2B accounting decision also be an emotion (and therefore deal with PAIN)? I think not. - by Gold Calling
Each has very interesting bits. None deals with it all.

Suck it up - anyone who thinks that one model deals with every selling situation is really fooling themselves. An emotional hot button can be said to be a need. Can a B2B accounting decision also be an emotion (and therefore deal with PAIN)? I think not.
Sandler isn't for everyone; we know it; there are lots of good training methodologies out there; If someone doesn't see our system as a good model for them; that is fine.

Salespeople are all 'change agents' -- getting a prospect to see that what problems/pains they are experiencing would be best resolved by the salespersons product or service. When the prospect believes that he is in front of the right person, he buys. That is the essence of selling.

Lots of people use the Sandler philosophy, lots don't. Thats OK.

The important piece is 'not winging it' or 'constantly doing it by the seat of your pants'. - by Paulette Halpern
(3) PAIN does not apply to all sales situations, ....
I agree with the post, except for the misspelling of Paulette's name.

I also want to point out that perceived pain can easily influence a person NOT to buy.

As Gold Calling points out, selling situations vary. I personally believe that oversimplifying motivating factors is not helpful. - by Ace Coldiron
When the prospect believes that he is in front of the right person, he buys.
There is a lot of truth to that statement. - by Ace Coldiron
Well it all boils down to level of influence...

what influence is being wielded....?

a very influential person or situation and cause someone to do things they would never plan on doing....think about how many people start smoking cigarettes that thought they never would do such a thing.... how did they get talked into that...? influence... peer pressure...

its similar when we're talking about buying a product....people buy stuff alot of times just to keep up with the neighbors...

now as another poster said, people make new decisions based on new information....so as long as you close early often and late, trial and test closing, you are going to guage the buying temperature of your prospect.... you are then going to provide bits of NEW INFORMATION designed so that it allows you to reasonably ask for the order again...

remember in sales, don't shoot all your arrows at once... give just enough info to bring the temperature up...its called building excitement just before closing.....

for example as soon as i show or tell you about a significant, but not main, benefit of a product or service....and your eyes light up and i see that im hitting a fairly "hot button" for you, then I will quickly ask a yes question or two and then a trial close something like this....

"So yes, the dental benefits includes orthodontic braces"

and the customer seems quite excited about that fact ill say

"and since orthodontic braces can very costly, that would probly save you a little money wouldnt it?"

Trial close

"so surely if this benefits plan was affordable, is it something that you would like to get started with today?"

they may respond with "that depends, show me more" or "well how much does it cost"

if they ask price say "well its very expensive, but dont worry its less than $1000 a month, so its definitely affordable for anyone.... haha no im kidding, its not quite that much.... its $995 haha no seriously, its actually only $39.95 a month for the entire household..."

in other words you want to prepare customers for high price especially if you have one.... like if you are selling a $2000 vacuum cleaner, or a 10k home improvement or something bigger...you want your price to almost seem refreshing.... alot of times people dont have any idea what your price is going to be and if you dont prepare them for high price, they may get sticker shock....which can be especially dangerous for people who try to wait till the end to show prices...

getting back to changing peoples minds in general....on thing to consider is the product or service you sell.... for instance, im going to have more openings to convince someone that a business proposition or investment is the right thing to do as opposed to trying to get a person who wants a truck to buy a sedan...

if i can hold attention in the first scenario and i can talk sensibly and sell myself i may eventually break a prospect down to invest money in a business venture....even if he was totally agianst it to begin with....but how long will a pospect listen to you trying to sell them something they've already decided they dont want such as a truck over a car....either way influence can have an affect, however one just allows for more overall cajolling.

the most critical thing about changing someones mind is to at least seem as though you are doing it for reasons that are only in their best interest... - by planrecruiter
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