How to Sell to Clients Who Don't Want to Buy


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Salespeople as a whole have reached a difficult moment in time.

Potential customers have grown resistant to the feeling of ‘being sold to’ and are wary of sales tactics that seem familiar to them.

The part of the brain that all salespeople should be familiar with is The Reticular Activation System (RAS).
This bundle of nerves in the brain stem primarily controls your ability to wake up and go to sleep, but it also filters out information that it thinks will add burden to your brain.

We (salespeople) have started to become filtered out, and this problem is being made worse as salespeople grow more apathetic towards sales and less motivated to see customers satisfied with the products being sold.

The Biology of Mentally Filtering Out Salespeople

The brain is concerned with the amount of energy it uses, and at times can consider certain stimuli, such as a certain amount of decision making, to be unnecessarily taxing.

This can cause the reflexive part of the brain to become agitated and may do anything it can to shut down the offending thoughts. This can mean that while we’re involved in a sales interaction, the customer may suddenly feel motivated to say things like “I’m busy” “I’m in a rush” “I need to go” “I need to think about it.”

Most of the time, these statements are false, because the customer has often carved out an afternoon to make the purchase and doesn’t have anywhere else to be. (In the case of big purchases, such as for a car).

But because the brain feels threatened by the exertion of decision making, the customer may feel motivated to flee the situation they’re in.

So how do you stop being taxing to someone’s brain stem?

The Pivot

The goal of the salesperson is to pivot towards becoming a figure of authority, someone that the brain rationalises as trustworthy and someone worthy of being listened to.

But how does a salesperson become an authority? With the power of certainty.

A salesperson who is certain is someone that inspires trust. A salesperson communicates the majority of what they’re saying through their body language, and certainty is a big part of that.

If you’re uncertain about what you’re doing, you’re going to communicate that to your customer, and they’re going to feel apprehensive about the sale.

You need to be a lot more sure about the sale than the customer will ever be, so if you’re not sure sure at all; they can never be.

It’s difficult for customers to make a decision, and when that decision is guided by a salesperson, it can be even harder for the brain to look past its reservations and make the leap.

It’s Not a Sale, It’s a Way of Life

It’s a good idea to make sure you see the product as beneficial to peoples lives.

You need to really get to know the product you’re selling and understand how it makes people better and happier.

Once you see your product as truly and deeply valuable to people, it’ll be easier to convey certainty in a sale.

Another handy tip is to repurpose past failures in your mind.

Remember that you aren’t the person you were when you made those mistakes, and that you’re better now because of them.
You’ve learned valuable lessons, and you’re now the version of yourself that’s going to make that sale.

Another thing to remember is a previous moment in your life when you were successful, and you felt inspired.
Remember the previous successes you’ve had and what you did to make those successes happen.

We all have strengths, and these strengths have led us to moments that we’re proud of in our past. They can also lead us to new sales in our future.

Your Sales Trigger

A unique tool in the salespersons tool-belt is the ‘success trigger.’

A trigger can be anything such as a song, smell or action. If it’s a song, for example, you could play the song every time you close a sale.
Over time you’ll begin to associate that song with success and will be able to stimulate future success by listening to the song.

The song will lead you to a place of certainty, which is critical to making the sale.

Whenever you find yourself in a bad moment, allow the song to inspire you and bring you back to the place when you were closing sales, the place where success can happen.

Qualifying a Customer

Remember to ask your critical questions and take the qualifying stage seriously.

This essential part of the process creates trust which is critical for generating the customer’s belief in your role as an authority figure in the sale.

Remember that it’s only once you’re an authority figure that the customer can truly hear and believe that you have their best interest in mind, as opposed to just being a salesperson looking for a sale.

Also, be careful not to fall into the salesperson trap of talking past the limit of your knowledge.
Don’t talk about anything you don’t actually know about, and make sure not to make any claims that can’t be backed up.
The more you say that can’t be verified, the less the customer is going to trust you. Without trust, you won’t have any authority in the sale.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

To Conclude

Remember that in order to make a sale, the customer has to believe that you’re an authority in your business.

An authority is someone that can be trusted and listened to in an industry. If an authority is telling you about a product, it’s not just to sell it to you; it’s because that product is going to change your life.

In order to become an authority, you need to make sure that you speak with conviction and that you’re clearly certain about what you’re selling.

You need to know a lot about your product and make sure that you’re well versed in what it is and how it’ll positively impact your customer’s life.

Lastly, someone who is an authority in an industry can be relied on to speak truthfully about what they’re selling.
An honest and positively motivated salesperson becomes an authority when they’re certain and sell with conviction.

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I’m a well travelled writer who loves nothing more than a well polished video game, an expertly crafted sandwich, and a hot mug of Milo.


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