Now in consumer selling, if you’re selling anything substantial with one spouse present and one spouse absent, you’re wasting your time. And this is a positioning issue from the beginning. If they’re eager to meet with you, you’re in control, and it’ll be on your terms. Now, if you wanna get tough, you’ll say something like, “You have all the facts here in front of you, and I’m here now. What could you possibly ask this other person that he or she would that you can’t ask me, and we can’t discuss it right now.”
And I’ve done that kind of selling, but if you’re gonna get into give and take over stalls and objections, which I’d much rather preempt and prevent than do, but if you are going to do it, then you ought to drain all the objections and box in the prospect before responding to any.
The guy says, “I can’t afford it right now.” Instead of dealing with that, nod and write down, “Afford it,” and say, “What else?” He says, “Well, I’m not sure it’ll work in my business.” Nod, write down, “Will it work for me?” and say, “What else?” Two or 10, eventually, the prospect will say that’s it. “So if I understand it, if we could resolve these six concerns of yours, then you’d be ready to join. Is that correct?” If he agrees, you should have him. Then you go back, deal with each concern, and cross it off as you go.
And that may be a little manipulative. Persuasion is manipulation. Anybody who claims they’re going to sell non-manipulatively is gonna go hungry.
Every choice you make as a sales pro is, or should be made with its effect on the prospect in mind, and that’s manipulation. I experimented enough in a year of speaking to determine that my sales were much higher if I wore a conservative two-piece suit than if I wore a sports jacket and slacks. I always wore a suit – that’s manipulative.
Manipulation is not good or bad, ethical or unethical in and of itself. Just as contrary to some opinions, a gun is neither good nor bad in and of itself. Intent and actual usage determine good or bad outcomes. If I use manipulation to sell you a service that saves your company $50,000 this year, makes you a hero with your boss, and gets you a promotion, that’s good. If I use identical manipulation to sell you a new roof for your leaky factory at a too-cheap price, we then use substandard materials, the whole thing falls apart in six months, and you get fired over it – that’s bad.
But very, very few people confidently make buying decisions purely through their own initiative. If you think you can be a fact presenter and let people make up their own minds, you will not be in sales very long.