Chances are you remember the hall of fame rock band called The Who. In the song, Peter Townsend echoed an idea that has rung true for many of us when he said, “I don’t have to fight to prove I’m right.” How many of us have thought that at one time or another?
Unfortunately, that idea, that confidence isn’t always at the forefront during our sales presentations. All too often, we try to prove that the customer or the prospect is mistaken. Whatever happened to the idea that the customer is always right? It’s true; sometimes the urge to prove that I am right has overtaken my good sense to focus on the client.
And in all fairness, I don’t think any of us consciously believe that we have to prove someone wrong; we simply believe that our product or service is the best fit for their needs. After all, we wouldn’t be trying to sell it to them otherwise, right? In a very real sense, the sales presentation is no longer about presenting information; it is about presenting a counter argument. It’s like presenting an argument in court; every point that they bring up can be answered or countered with a sassy one liner that sounded good on paper. The truth is though, these one-liners and practiced comebacks are nothing but a form of manipulation, and most people are smart enough to see right through them. Would you want to buy something from someone who is trying to manipulate you? I know I wouldn’t.
In the end, a great sales professional learns to move beyond the instinctive need to be right, and focus on the point of view of the client. If their needs cannot be met by your service, it is better in the long run to suggest someone who can fulfill their needs adequately. That way, you’ll be seen as a trustworthy individual, who has their needs as your focus. Even if their views are wrong, and you know that your ideas can save them both time and money, it is not your decision to make. All you can do is present the information, and allow them to make their own choice. Are you willing to do just that for your clients?