Buyers are selfish. They can afford to be. Sellers cannot. (Next week’s articles will build more on this topic). Buyers want what they want. Successful sellers want what the buyer wants. Mediocre sellers compete with buyers at being selfish. They pay for it with mediocre sales. It is easy to be selfish; in fact, it’s natural. We say and do things to suit our ends; even a generous man gives because he feels good when he does. To succeed at selling means we go against this nature.
Buyers do not want to hear about your oil that has self-cleaning additives. No matter how animated you sound when you say this, the buyer simply does not care. Your excitement is a classic case of selfishness. You are harping on what you want. He wants to hear what he wants. He wants to hear how you will solve his problem. Buyers are selfish. The faster you address his selfishness, the faster you get the sale; the longer you remain selfish the longer it takes to get the sale (if at all you do).
And addressing the selfishness sounds like this: “You are currently struggling with increasing manufacturing costs, specifically for maintenance. Every six months you are forced to shut down the plant to clean the pipes because of the sediments left behind by the diesel that flows through them. The shutdown costs you in three ways. Building up to it, the sediments slow down the machinery and therefore optimal production; they also increase your wear and tear costs; you also lose sales when you shut down because no production is happening then.
Eliminating the sediments and therefore maintenance costs, will cut down your production costs by at least nine percent. That’s about Sh3million monthly. Is this correct?” If you have done your homework, as you should have, you would be on or close to the mark. At this point the buyer is alert. You have tugged at his (selfish) heartstrings. He is primed to hear what comes next. So keeping aligned to buyer selfishness you continue: “Would such savings in production costs be of interest to you?” It’s a leading question. I mean, do you see him saying no? I don’t. He is likely to respond with, “How?”
At this point the selfish seller will excitedly display his selfishness with, “Our oil with self-cleaning additives,” and hope the penny drops. The progressive one doesn’t leave anything to chance; he spells it out and emphasizes ‘your’ not ‘our’. “By using oil that simultaneously cleans your pipes as it flows through them. This automatically eliminates the slowed production and need to shut down your plant. With the sustained optimal production you will increase your production and therefore sales by a further 12 percent. This is what studies based on plants similar to yours and using this oil (showing it) have shown. Would you want that?”