Buyers don’t make rational decisions; rather, they make emotional decisions and then justify those by rationalizing them after the fact. This is true even for business customers, who have to use spreadsheets and numbers to support their decisions.
In the 1950s, Dr. Eric Berne developed the theory of transactional analysis to better understand how people communicate. According to the theory, people have three ego states that influence their behavior during social interactions: the adult, the child, and the parent.
The salesman David H. Sandler, together with a psychologist colleague, used some of the theory of transactional analysis to develop Sandler Training. According to the Sandler Selling System, a buying prospect must be emotionally involved in the sale; the “pain” of not having the product has to affect them on an emotional level.
When we make buying decisions, we like to think that our ego’s “adult” state is the one that’s working the hardest, that the logical, analytical, rational part of our behavioral framework weighs both sides of the argument and comes back with a solution.
However, Sandler recognized that neither the “adult” nor the “parent” state is at work until the “child” wants the product. Many of our buying decisions originate in the ego’s child state, where our inner 6-year-old tells us they want something without delay.
There are more sales techniques, methodologies, and frameworks than one could count. Most of them probably work when they are correctly applied, and then there are some that might even hurt the business rather than help it.
In the end, they are like exercise—the best approach is the one that works for you.
“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison
Everything in life is sales. Parents sell their kids on going to bed. Spouses sell their partners on mowing the lawn or putting the cat out. Appealing to a “consumer's” inner child and applying a trial-by-error approach are two ways to make sales more effectively.
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