When a buyer from a small business goes up against a true sales professional, it is like a man jumping in a pen and wrestling a pig. When the exchange is done, the man gets all filthy and the pig actually enjoys it. True sales professionals genuinely love the interaction!
Sales is a dirty business. Not in the sense of being unscrupulous. It is dirty because it involves hard toil and lots of sweat. Upon completing sales negotiations, one or both parties may feel the need to bathe. Promises are typically made. Uncertainty about fulfilling terms on both sides are a common experience. But through the toil, the hard work, and the anxiety, the process yields tangible results. The tangible result of sales is revenue. And, revenue is oxygen to a sales professional!
To be the winning pig in the pen, you gotta haggle! Haggle is an innocent, nonsensical term that equates to wrestling your fellow combatant to get every available advantage. Understand that you are not wrestling with an adversary, but a fellow combatant. Respect the buyer. Business grows by creating environments where both sides feel that they have a sense of dignity. Successful sales professionals want to return again and wrestle some more, not obliterate their opponent with a scorched earth strategy. While pigs enjoy wrestling in the mud, and customers may be outside their area of expertise, the buyer can still benefit. To maximize mutual value, sellers must first prepare to engage, then embrace the process.
Know your domain. Keep the discussion in your area of expertise. Question the prospect so that their answers point toward your solution. Constantly communicate value. Explore the buyer’s points of pain and focus on what is explicitly most important to them. Focusing on those needs is the equivalent to pig wrestling knowing that you have a water hose and clean towels. Lead the buyer to understand clearly your price and value. Help them see exactly how you solve their problem. Then protect their dignity, so you can later ask for more.
Savor the wins. Like the pig, enjoy frolicking in the environment where the action happens. Avoiding confrontation, is not sales. It’s therapy. Realize that selling’s most important purpose is to solve problems and exchange value. Other occupations allow you to make people feel better. Business development success demands solving problems at a price. Please look for win-win solutions. Nevertheless, be sure that your side wins! Then, relish the victory.
Pursuing the deal, for sales professionals, reveal precisely for who they are. That is their character; that is what they do. Give. Take. Serve. Sell. But, at all costs, get yours! Celebrate the wins. Clean yourself up. Get back to work. Start haggling. You have more business to do!
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Mo Patton Sports