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Should you do what your buyer wants?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 5/10/22 3:06 PM

Asking questions (1)

I've heard from a lot of people and from some of those that I coach is that this fear that if they do this buyer first approach and their buyer is wrong about how they're seeing their problem or categorizing the solution:

  • Should I just do what the buyer wants?
  • Should I just do what they're asking me to? 

Well, the simple answer is no.

Because buyers place value in the conversations that add value by actually challenging the way that they think and offering insights and things that they didn't know.

Another book that's out today is Andy Paul's new book “How To Sell Without Selling Out”. It's out today, ironically. And having read an advance copy of that, I can tell you that one of the major themes in this book is to seek to understand rather than seeking to be understood.

Your buyer may very well be wrong about how they are approaching a particular solution. But when we assume that we're the ones that are right, that's when we start to run into problems. Because what's happening, is that we start  telling them what it is that they should do instead  of actively listening and asking  questions to understand: 

  • What's the current status quo?
  • What's the vision of the future that they want?
  • And what are the challenges that are in their way of getting there?

Should you do what the buyer wants?

Not if you don't know why you're doing it or how it's going to help them make a decision or solve a problem. 

This is why it is important to have this mental fortitude. To be willing to walk away from it as well. Because if it's not the right solution, you have to be able to say just that: “We're not the right solution for you. You might want to consider doing X instead”. 

In order to do that, you have to understand and you have to ask the questions.  And in doing that and asking the questions, you may help them to understand more about their own thought processes. 

So why is, why is this question asking so important?

I mean, it's pretty much the Crux of sales. It's the Crux of learning and understanding. But here's another aspect that you might not realize about this:

When we ask layered questions or sequential questions… A Stanford University study actually showed that when we ask these kinds of elaboration questions or clarification questions, it helps the person (the asker)- In other words, the salesperson, understand somebody else's viewpoints.

But it also does the same thing for your buyer.

Because they also found that when we asked these types of open-ended, sequential layered questions (one that builds off of the other), it actually helps the person who's being asked the questions (your buyer) to be more receptive to other ideas. Even if those ideas are contradictory to their own.

So should you do, what your buyer wants you to do? Even though they're wrong?

Probably not.

There's another study from Harvard University that talked about how when we disclose information, how it impacts our brain when we share information as buyers.

They did an FMRI, which is a functional magnetic resonance imaging system. Basically, it lights up the brain. It shows that when people answer questions, that required them to state their opinions, it increased, that part of the brain that's associated with reward and pleasure.

Which means we like answering the kinds of questions that ask us what we think and how we think that it should go and how we think that it works.

-excerpt from the 2.22.22 #BuyerFirst Ask Me Anything with Carole Mahoney

Join Carole Mahoney, author of the upcoming book "Buyer First: How to Sell The Way People Buy" Live on YouTube, LinkedIn & Facebook on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at Noon EST

And ask her anything about how to shift our mindsets, develop the skillsets, and align how we sell with buyers.

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Topics: sales tactics, sales strategy, sales process, sales best practices, sales questions, sales training