I’ve been thinking a lot about the natural tension between buyers and sellers.

Buyers are worried about and thinking “What problems can you solve for me?  What’s unique about you?  Why would I buy from you?  Will your solution work and can I trust you to deliver?  Will buying from you make me look good?”

Sellers worry about wasting time with prospects who are never likely to buy.  Prospects who “lie” about their decision making capability.  Who aren’t upfront about their real agendas.  Who say one thing and do another.

Now I’m not saying prospects do this intentionally.  But think about when you’re a buyer.  You go into a shop and your automatic response to the “Can I help you?” is “Just looking”.  Even if your intent is to purchase something.

So what’s the real problem here?

I’ll postulate it comes from stranger danger.  A naturally ingrained survival mechanism where we don’t trust people from outside our tribe.

And that causes conflict.  As the seller I want your money.  And as the buyer I’m going to resist you.

Not exactly a useful set of beliefs.

Ultimately all sales happen on the basis of trust.  Trust is built on solid communication.

As a seller you need to understand what’s motivating your buyer.  Not just the surface but the deep agenda.  What does this person have to gain or lose by making this decision.

In short you need to get over to their side of the fence and see things from their angle.

Which takes empathy.

But empathy alone isn’t enough.  Stay there and you’ll end up agreeing that they don’t need your solution.

You need to now lead.  Take them by the hand and bring them over to your side.  Show them what their world will be like once they make the decision to move forward.

Then give them a path to doing so.

Your job in selling is to dissolve the tension and natural conflict between you and your buyer.

Your success will be directly proportional to your soft skills, your emotional intelligence and your ability to lead.

Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.

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