“In conclusion,” said Nick, “I believe the picture I’ve painted, how my company’s products fit in perfectly with where you are now, will show us the path to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Lucy didn’t respond at first. As the newly appointed CEO, she was used to being able to ask a million questions. Nick’s presentation format didn’t lend itself to that, especially when right at the beginning, he said that all questions and concerns would be dealt with at the end.
“No questions?” asked Nick, seeing that Lucy was not responding.
“Well,” said Lucy, responding at last to a nagging question that finally surfaced in the back of her mind, “somewhere at the beginning of your presentation I heard you say, or I think I heard you say, that pricing guarantees were possible?”
“I see I have to clarify that. Pricing guarantees are only available if you have opted to purchase a range of our products from at least three different categories.”
“I have to say it; you’ve completely lost me.”
“Perhaps this will help,” said Nick, digging through his briefcase, finally coming up with the product comparison chart. As he unfolded it on Lucy’s desk, he noticed that she seemed even more perplexed than before. If she can’t see how this makes sense, thought Nick, maybe I’m just wasting my time with her. Best break this off and go see someone who gets the picture.
As Nick was explaining the chart, Lucy’s phone rang. She picked it up and spoke for a minute frowning.
“Nick, I’m sorry. This is a really important call. Tell you what, why don’t I call you tomorrow? We’ll talk.”
“No problem for me to stop in.”
“I don’t have time to see you tomorrow. I’ll call. Thanks for coming by.” As Nick left her office, she was relieved to finally be able to talk with someone.
As Nick was driving away, he was annoyed at how she had just whisked him away, but at least he was out of there and on to someplace where they could see what he had.
Nick didn’t make the sale, and as he tried harder and harder to get his picture painted, Lucy heard less and less. The final note for Lucy was being presented with the comparison chart. Nick, despite being crystal clear in his presentation, had no idea why his straight-forward approach failed.
Not everyone processes their world visually; somewhere around 40% of the population relies primarily on auditory information to make decisions. What does this have to do with making sales?
In the story, Nick was communicating in visual terms such as “big picture,” “bringing into focus,” and even using a chart at one point to compare models. Unfortunately, Nick was attempting to communicate visually with his prospect who was an auditory perceiver of the world.
Lucy was not getting the picture. Nick, and correctly so, sensed that he was losing her interest. So, doing what he has done in the past in such situations, he intensified his visual presentation with a chart, figuring that this would help.
With each escalation of visual information, Lucy was losing more and more interest in the picture Nick was painting. Why?
She makes her buying decisions by hearing herself talk. If it sounds good then she’s inclined to buy. Nick gave her little chance to communicate with herself.
To find out if you are dealing with an auditory prospect—one who makes buying decisions based on what she hears—ask her a simple question.
“The last time you made a purchase like this, what did you base your decision on?”
“I appreciate that . . . nothing else mattered?”
Your goal is to get her talking. Listen to the type of words she is using. Auditory processors use words and phrases like sound, talk, informed, heard, “music to my ears,” “I hear you loud and clear,” and so on.
Perhaps the best indication of an auditory person is that she likes to talk. This has nothing to do with gender. Male auditories are just as much involved with listening to themselves. In fact, you may have had the experience of selling to an auditory if you have ever said, “Gee, that prospect sold himself, and I didn’t even have to say anything.” Do you hear what I’m saying?
Don’t ever interrupt an auditory . . . wait until she is finished talking, then ask her another question.
Some prospects hear their world, and if you don’t make music to their ears, not only will they turn the volume down, they’ll even shut you off.
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