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20 Nov 2013

Don't Frighten People with Your Ambition, but Balance your Ambition with your Empathy in 5 Ways

Ambitious people tend to give people the impression that they are too focused on their own success and will manipulate others to achieve their own goals.  Many such people, including some poor salespeople, tend to look upon every transaction as an opportunity to make a sale and get out.

On the other hand, Empathy people are those that have a long term perspective. They always think of others before thinking of themselves. They do not think of closing the sale as much as they think of opening long-term customer relationships.

A good salesperson balances between ambition and empathy.  Because he knows that if he is too ambitious, he will frighten away customers; if he is too empathetic, he will not be assertive enough to ask for the sale.

There are 5 ways that good salespeople balances between ambition and empathy:

  1. Ask Questions and Never Make Any Assumptions.  When you ask questions and listen to the answer, you put yourself into the other person's shoes.  One can never be ambitious if he listens to others!
  2. Do your Research to know the prospect's history.  This will give you an idea why they do things in certain ways.  Like some Japanese companies, they like to ask you for your family background.  This is their way of knowing if there is a good fit between you and them.
  3. Get Ready Alternatives.  Yes, let the prospect have at least 3 choices: the high price, middle price and low price.  Not just in terms of pricing, but also other things like delivery, color, accessories and specifications.  Don't be like Henry Ford, who said in 1926, "Customers can have any choice of color as long as it is black" and saw his Ford Motor Company being overtaken by new start-up General Motors. 
  4. Get Your Technical People Along When Meet the Prospect.  Because technical people are seen to be more technical and not sales oriented, the prospect will have a different attitude towards you the salesperson.  The prospect will be more open, and once he is opened, you can better understand his needs.
  5. Give the Prospect an Irresistible Offer. An Irresistible Offer is an offer that the prospect cannot resist, and yet does not make you broke. It is not a low price offer but simply an offer that best meets the prospect's most dominant needs presented in an attractive manner. For example, if your prospect wants to go green, an irresistible offer would be to let him be the first to go for the green option if he can decide today.  In this way the prospect is happy and you the salesperson will close the sale. Isn't this a sure-win win-win deal that balances between ambition and empathy?  
By Andy Ng, Sales Coach and Trainer at Asia Trainers.  Come for our Irresistible Selling course (last run for 2013) on 29 Nov 2013 Friday 2 to 5.30 pm.  Details of this course and our other courses are found here. 

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