Human behavior has changed considerably in the past fifty years. One of the primary drivers has been Information Overload. In 1975 it was estimated that the average US citizen was exposed to an average of 200 informational messages a day. By 1984, after the advent of the personal computer, a joint study by a few universities said it had jumped to 1450 informational messages per day; and more recent estimates are much higher. The odds are that anything anyone is interested in will have been exposed to them within any given year.
The average educated person is far more sophisticated now. Most people have developed automatic sales resistance reactions. That is why typical cold-calling techniques have become inefficient and warm-calling is becoming effective.
What has not changed in human nature is that almost everyone makes decisions emotionally and then justifies their decisions with logic. Yet, almost all selling systems are still based on logical ways of “moving” people’s minds through the Five Step Buying Decision Model (AIDCA = Attention-Interest-Desire-Conviction-Action). Pretty soon someone will add a P (for Pain) to “modernize” that scheme. Nevertheless, Needs Selling systems create negative emotional reactions, which then must be overcome before a sale can be made.
Most of the best salespeople have discovered major sales process improvements that adjust to the new behaviors as follows:
- They find and make appointments only with prospects who are ready, willing, and able to buy their products and services.
- They develop deep personal relationships of mutual trust and respect with their prospects during the first meeting.
- They determine the prospect’s buying intentions and capacity, and their conditions of satisfaction.
- They arrive at mutual agreements and mutual commitments that culminates in a sale.
- They temporarily disqualify the prospect at any time during the sales process if they are not committed to getting to a closed sale.