No one successfully sells to every single person they meet. Despite the many books and experts out there who claim they can teach you how to sell, it’s just not possible. However, you can improve your chances if you ‘Sell to the MAN’
‘MAN’ is an acronym for ‘Money, Authority, Need’ and it can help you qualify your prospects very simply and easily.
Does your potential customer actually have the money to buy from you? Either they do or they don’t! Now, if you are selling something with a very high value, like a Lamborghini, then ‘I can’t afford it’ is likely to be a very genuine reason not to go ahead. However, with a lower value item (haircut, facial, lawn treatment) then most people could afford it. Therefore, don’t be put off if someone says they can’t afford it. Instead, get creative. Offer alternative ways to pay (cash, transfer, credit or debit card). Get flexible – can they pay in instalments? Get entrepreneurial – can they do a skill swap (a bit of your service for a bit of theirs?) Entrepreneurs don’t have to answer to a complicated hierarchy – as long as it’s a good deal for you, help them to buy in whichever way you can.
You need to deal with the person who will ultimately make the buying decision. This is usually (but not always) the person in charge. If you have a man who has the money for a new car but takes his wife with him to the car showroom, the chances are, she will influence his decision, even if the car is technically ‘his’. Influencers exist in organisations too, so when you are approaching an organisation about selling them something, a really good question to ask is ‘would you please explain your decision-making process?’. That way, you know exactly who is involved. You also don’t want to do your entire pitch to someone who has no influence and then they go to the decision-maker, explain what you are offering (but they don’t do it very well, because they are not you) and then the decision maker just says ‘not interested’. What a waste of time and effort.
If you are selling into organisations, you will have to try and establish a need for your product or service. This will usually be that you are either going to solve a problem or you are going to provide a good ROI (Return on Investment). If you are selling to the public, you might find that you can substitute the word ‘need’ for ‘want’. Individuals are often more emotional about buying decisions – ‘I NEED a dress for the party next week’. Actually you have 6 dresses already, so really you WANT a new one, because it will make you feel glamorous, pretty, special and so on. As a seller, if you can tap into the need or want that matters to your potential customer, the sale is so much easier.
So next time you are with a customer and you want them to buy from you, remember to ‘Sell to the MAN’