Would you be caught at a prisons courtyard making a sale? As a man, would you pitch to a lady in the ladies washroom? If you are frowning upon the thought of either, possibly pride is impeding your selling potential.
How did the two scenarios manifest?
A few years back when the dollar to Sudanese pound exchange rate went haywire, loan defaults spiked, banks were in trouble and the way to access bankers, for say, an overdraft, was at the prisons there. Separately, while selling bank accounts, this seller could see this prospective buyer wanted to buy but feared her boss.
“He hates salespeople coming around,” she explained to the seller. “And we cannot take breaks outside the office; in fact, the only place we can do this is in the ladies washroom.” And that was how the male seller and the female buyer ended up completing the account opening documentation and closing the sale inside the room which had “Women” written on the door. It did not matter if the woman was just venting, daring him or putting him off; what mattered was that the iron was hot and the seller struck. That was 10 years ago and the account is still active. Contrary to popular belief, these pride-less acts earn the seller the buyer’s respect, not disdain.
Pride has no place in selling. Pride can frustrate instead of facilitate the sale. Pride is the reason why most sellers who have pitched tent at say, a supermarket, remain glued to it. ‘We’ve come to the customer, haven’t we? I won’t go out there following them around like a dog. If they want to come they will; I won’t beg them to.’ Pride limits the sales potential of the scientific seller. He is more concerned with displaying his scientific intelligence than making the sale. It doesn’t help that his card reads consultant. ‘The farm manager is a fellow scientist. Once I demonstrate how he can grow his roses organically using insects to feed on the pests ravaging his roses, he will buy. After all, in Europe where he sells his roses, the use of chemicals is banned.’ And so he does the demo and the science moves the farm manager. But he is not moved enough to buy. He now becomes ‘artistic’ saying things like, ‘Your price is high’.
Bursting with pride, the Consultant sees this as an insult. Irritated, he thinks: ‘We are men of science; once I show you that it works you should buy. I will not lower myself any further to say things like, ‘Price is what you pay and value is what you get. Let me show you the value you get with using our research …’ And just like that he loses the sale.
Does this mean that the progressive seller lowers himself to oozing desperation? No. What he does is live out this pearl of wisdom: Stoop to conquer.