Did you know that 75% of any sales outcome is directly related to the manner in which trust and rapport is established between the seller and the buyer, and this is done in the initial stages of the relationship?

You are probably agreeing at this point. What is your (and most sales peoples’) tactic to ensure that trust is quickly established? Because I cannot hear your answer, I have to guess that it will be something along the lines of being likeable, helpful, knowing your product, presentable, timely +++.  I consider these factors to be the 1:0:1 or minimum requirements of sales.  If you are not doing this, then why are you in the selling game?

The problem with this skill level is that your competition are doing exactly the same. So, in our competitive market place how do you stand out to be the expert who outplays your competitor? Let’s step back for a moment and consider the view point from the buyer. The following are the precise psychological steps (in order) that your buyer will undertake before committing to a purchase. They will be judging:

  1. you (the salesperson)
  2. your company
  3. your product or service
  4. the price
  5. the time to buy

Number one is you! Stuff that up and you could still have a sale, but the chances diminish and the initial loss in trust building factors will need to be compensated for by other factors, maybe a lower price?

So how do you stand out from your competition?  I have two key strategies that will work for you.  It is highly likely that your competition is either not doing or at best, poorly executing these two factors:


[1] Understanding the buyer’s style. It is easier to achieve this than you may initially think.  I use DISC analysis for this.  First perform a DISC profile and get a professional debrief on yourself. I am not talking about a free emailed report: get the full Monty by an experienced facilitator.  Once you have a full understanding of your belief systems and your own wiring, then you can learn how to read the predominant DISC quadrants in others.  You need to first and foremost be authentic to your profile because this is when you will be tapping into your genius, but in addition to this you need to match your selling style to that of your buyer. (I will be writing another more in-depth article on this shortly.)

[2] Creating tension.  This may seem contradictory to your initial thoughts of relationship building, but this is exactly what is required.  The level and manner in which you build this tension must be matched to the profile type of your buyer (understand their dominant DISC quadrant.)

Without need there is no desire, without desire, there is no action and therefore no sale. Productive tension creation is about getting to truly understand the buyer’s need, digging down as far as possible to get to the root cause, then quantifying how big the problem is.  We are not talking about creating tension through being a jerk or that demanding old-school sales person – yuk!

We are all hardwired to auto-protect, so even though we have known needs because of some challenge or problem in our lives, we mask this potential pain.  We gloss over the consequences, keep a positive attitude and tell everyone that all is well.  Your job as a value-adding salesperson is to get deep into the problem, understand it, quantify it and to then get our buyer to spell out the consequences of this “bad” situation.  Yeah, this is hard work and if not tactfully managed can be risky.

It is good that this is a difficult routine to perfectly master because this is your opportunity to stand out from your competition.  And until you are familiar with this practice it will feel awkward to you, but repetition, finetuning and further practice will turn you into a master. If you think back to a past encounter you have had with a really good sales person you may recognize some of these traits.  This is what the buyer sees: you really “get them”, you have a solid grasp of their problem and the effect it is having on their business, you understand the urgency of finding a solution and you have gone out of your way to ask the difficult questions as opposed to you just “flogging” them a product. They have not only developed some respect for you, but the law of reciprocity starts to take effect (you gave by risking yourself to ask the risky questions!)

So back to the first point, the first psychological barrier in the buyer’s decision-making process, and you have hit the ball out of the park!

Would you like to scale up your sales effectiveness? Enrol now in the next Sales course.  Every course includes theory, practice, a comprehensive workbook and follow-up coaching to ensure that your new learnings are imbedded and results achieved.  Contact me for further details: 029 427 4980 or sean@seanfoster.co.nz