Don’t sell, help people buy

This week I bought a car, after three weeks of research, a few test drives and fierce negotiations.

When I first walked into the dealership, I was keen on buying the boringly reliable Camry. Then I met Immanuel. “Manny” as his work mates call him, asked me a few questions to ascertain what I wanted. After listening carefully to what I had to say, he organised a test drive of the Camry. After I was done, he asked me how it felt and I said it was quite good and exactly what I was looking for. I did not mention that I felt that the engine was a bit sluggish in comparison to my other car which has a V6 engine, but I didn’t expect more from a 2.4L four cylinder engine.  So far, so good.

While we were chatting, my eyes strayed to the car next to us. Following my eyes, he said “That’s the Aurion. It has a 3.5L V6 engine and delivers the same fuel efficiency as the Camry. But I have to warn you. If you drive this car, you will not come back and buy the Camry. I drive an Aurion and it is am..a..zing. Take the test drive, it costs nothing!”. I couldn’t resist and drove the car. Manny was right, this was very different – powerful, smooth and great road stability. I bought the car and paid 25% more than my initial budget. I figured that  if I was going to drive the car for the next four years, the upgrade was worth the pleasure.

Manny sold me the satisfaction of driving a powerful car. While giving me exactly what I wanted in the Camry, he pulled me over to Aurion. There was a big difference between him and a few other car salesmen I met recently, who were bent on selling a specific car rather than listening to me. They all sold Aurions, but Manny helped me buy not only what I needed but also what I wanted. It was about me. In giving me what I wanted, he got what he wanted. He helped me buy from him.

You might sell a premium product or service or have a range on offer. Here is the secret to Manny’s success in this deal:

  1. He asked the right questions to understand my needs and motives
  2. He listened
  3. He handled potential objections by demonstrating value
  4. He helped me buy and achieved his goals

Customers speak about needs openly, but they don’t about motives. If you can seek out motives and help them achieve them, you will enjoy greater sales success, closure ratios and very satisfied customers. The six universal buying motives are:

  • + Desire for gain
  • + Fear of loss
  • + Comfort and convenience
  • + Peace of mind
  • + Enhanced Image
  • + Satisfaction of emotion

Find out how you can discover and meet your customers buying motives today.

I don’t think we understood our real goal when we started Federal Express. We (initially) thought we were selling the transportation of goods; in fact, we were selling peace of mind

Fred Smith, Founder, FedEx Corporation

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. Click the link below to save or share this article.