Tap buyer’s selfishness to fast-track your sales

Choose a suitable strategy when you make a pitch to different types of prospects. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

Buyers are selfish we said last week. And to boost sales, progressive sellers align themselves to this selfishness. Because the selfishness can feel convoluted, effective alignment is attained through trial and error.

Still, it remains the seller’s responsibility to find the method to the madness. Here’s a guide that could help.

1. Align with industry

The use of a two-door lift can mean different things to buyers in different industries. That it opens from either side means it could save lives in a hospital, enhance safety in a warehouse and accelerate passenger traffic at an airport.

Instead of having to turn the stretcher to face the surgery room all that needs to happen is the door to open in the direction of said room. In the warehouse, the forklift no longer needs to go up a ramp to get to the upper floors, and in the process increases the chances of an accident.


Now it just enters the lift, is whisked to the floor desired and exits forward or backward as required. At the airport, the two-way lift allows passengers to flow without bumping into each other as they would if the lift opened in one direction only.

2. Align to position

It is foolhardy to give the same pitch about your company-wide software to administration, human resource, sales, finance and IT heads. They each have selfish needs.

Finance, for instance, wants to know the cost, and how your product will help with, say, collections, monitoring and audit. Human resource personnel are more interested in whether it is aligned with the company’s policies and procedures and the labour laws.

The head of sales will be visibly bored when you pitch cost and laws to him. Neither resonates with a selfish need. If there is no demonstration of how it can increase sales, there better be how it can automate sales reports.

The head of IT and his team will perhaps be your most excited buyer. They will want to know how compatible your system is to theirs plus understand the bolts and nuts of your software with geek-enthusiasm.

3. Align to strategy

“The sixth goal in your running strategic plan calls for the promotion of investor education and public awareness. And the ninth calls for enhancing effective and efficient utilisation of technology. We can help you with these two goals. Here’s how. At a fraction of what it would ordinarily cost you, this basic phone-based platform studies one’s income patterns proposes alternative investment avenues complete with projected outcomes and even monitors investment progress for the lay investor.

“You can accelerate public awareness through it by using the podcast function which translates to any of our 41 languages. It also connects to our 24-hour call centre manned by experienced staff who can guide the public on investment matters.”

An executive hearing this is likely to give you his/her full attention. You are giving him/her a solution to what keeps him awake at night.