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Sales Moves

More sales are lost by “selling” than by any other sales error. Sounds kind of weird, I know. But after reading this you’ll not only understand why, you’ll also begin to rethink and convert your selling ways.

Your selling skills are not nearly as powerful as the customer’s reasons for buying. In fact, your reasons for selling are useless if they don’t match the customer’s reasons for buying. This reasoning is as powerful as it is overlooked.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: “Why did my last 10 customers buy from me?” My bet is that you don’t know. Now, I’m talking about knowing the REAL motive, not the “surface” motive like price or friendship. If uncovering these motives is at the heart of your success, take a deeper look at what caused the purchase.

What are buying motives? They are the REAL reasons for making a purchase Many times the salesperson (not you, of course) is fooled into believing that the surface issue is the real reason for the purchase. When a potential customer asks for “bids,” the salesperson thinks that “low price” is the motive — but nothing could be further from the truth.

Think about the way you buy. First, there’s a REASON; then you go shopping. Same with your customers. Price is simply a barrier to owning what you want or need.

AND, if you dig deeper into the buying motive, you will move higher in the decision-making chain (above purchasing and procurement). Cool, huh?

Now here’s the best part: It’s hard work. But this means you eliminate all the lazy salespeople from the race.

OK, let’s get down to the reasons — the motives for buying. Take a look at the motives, and you’ll see that you need to delve deeper, especially if you want to make price less of a barrier. And remember, there may be several motives for the same purchase.

Are some motives more powerful than others? Heck, yeah! Fear of loss is greater than the desire to gain. You determine the value by the number of sales that result from each motive you uncover. How do you expose these all-important motives? You start with the past. Look at past successes. Then add present loyal customers. Existing customers will help you understand the reasons they buy from you. Explore their history. Get their experience. Ask deep. Three or four consecutive “why questions” will get to the hidden motives.

Ask them why that was important? Get their story on the long-term use of your product or service (even if it wasn’t purchased from you). Motive after motive will come forth.

Then explore the dark side. The real truth will come from lost customers. Why did they leave you? What motive wasn’t met? You may even renew a few relationships and regain some lost customers.

Here’s a motivating way to perceive this process: Don’t think of it as “motive.” Think of it as “money.” Find the motive means find the money — or at least the path that will lead you there.

Show me the motive, and I’ll show you the sale.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.

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