Confidence Can Kill a Sale

Confidence is important. But confidence that you know the prospect’s problem can kill a sale. If you have been in the same industry for a while, pretty soon you feel like you have seen everything. You listen as the prospect starts to explain his or her problem. At some point you feel like you have heard this before and you pounce in with the solution. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that you start to sound like “know it all” or the smartest person in the room. This has the potential of making the prospect feel “one down” or “not Ok”. Since people don’t like the ‘not ok” feeling, they push back and can eventually shut down the meeting if they are dominant types. Or, people who are not strong willed just humor you until the meeting ends and give you some lame excuses when you try to close or to follow up. The second reason confidence that you know the prospect’s problem can kill a sale is that even though the problem might be the same the consequences of the problem may be different or how the prospect reacts to the problem may be different in every case. These two elements define the prospects pain. So even though the problem is the same the pain could be different. If your solution is geared to the wrong pain, you probably will lose the sale. My neighbor and I might both have tires on our car that don’t pass inspection (same problem). My neighbor’s spouse and kids ride in that car every day to school. The neighbor’s pain might revolve around the safety of the family and durability of the tire. In that case price would be no obstacle. My car may be a third vehicle in a two driver family and will be traded in or sold in the next 6 months. In that case I will want to spend as little as possible and safety might not be an issue and long term durability certainly is not. It’s good to be confident. But in the pain step, humility to admit you don’t know everything will get you closer to the sale.

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