I tend to work with people where they seem to have everything going for them in terms of business and yet something is just not quite working. In many cases they know HOW to sell but for some reason they are not getting enough business.

I am going to do a separate article on self-motivation and I got writing down some assumptions I make that have worked well for me and I also use as a sort of diagnostic when working with other people.

As you read these assumptions please be aware that they are not necessarily true. However, assuming they are true really seems to make a difference.

1. People buy for their own reasons
Many people who are failing in sales are too focused on their own need to make a sale rather than what will motivate the prospect to buy

2. People buy from people they know like and trust
The issue with some accidental sales people is to do with their comfort and skill in developing relationships in some form or another. This was something I really had to work on in the early days and still work on. You cannot get too good at relationships. The key issue is often trust rather than liking. People do not trust pushy sales people (another assumption) and so if you are too pushy then they are unlikely to trust you. They will also not trust us if they can see that we are only interested in the sale in terms of what it will do for us rather than them. They may still buy but often they will go and buy from someone else that they like AND trust.

3. People are only interested in themselves and people they love
To have people take an interest in us and our services, we need to take a sincere interest in them first.

4. People like people like themselves
People tend to feel more comfortable around people like themselves. The truth is that we are all the same and we are all different. I had to learn and practice finding things genuinely in common. On my workshops I often play a game where three total strangers have to find something really bizarre in common within 5 minutes. The winning team get a prize. The stories are amazing and it goes to show that we can all find things in common if we want to.

5. People make their buying decisions based on emotion
All human behaviour is driven by motivation. People do stuff because they want something or don’t want something. A priority in sales is to find out what is important to the person or people doing the buying. I find that business people are more willing to spend money to avoid pain than for pleasure. Ideally there should be both in your offer.

6. People like to be able to rationalize their decisions
Its easy to get the impression that many people buy based on logic. The emotive reason comes first and then it is important for them to be able to justify it, especially if it is a big decision or they want to buy something that is more expensive than an alternative. Again the driver for the rationlisation will be emotion but will seem like logic. Why do you think companies have formal buying processes? That is to try and eliminate the emotion. Any experienced sales professional knows there are ways of influencing this process and again its all emotive!

7. Price will never stop people buying what they want
If people want something badly enough they will get it. Unfortunately it could mean getting it from someone else! If they want your solution then they will find a way of finding the money or negotiating a way forward. If you do not believe me then go and have a talk to a drug addict!! Or perhaps a mother who has gone without in order to buy her child an expensive toy. At the end of the day its all about motivation and if someone is motivated enough they can do anything – even sell!!

8. People talk
If you do something well then people will talk about it. If you do something badly then people will talk about it even more!! If you want referrals then make sure you do the former and not the latter!!

9. People are all different!
Despite the above assumptions, people are different. They differ in what is important to them, in the way they communicate, in the way they relate to people etc etc Success in sales requires that can be flexible and adapt to each person and treat them as a unique individual….or only sell to people like oneself! We do need to generalise to a certain extent in order to do our marketing and develop solutions but we should never forget that each person is special and if we do not think they are special then we should find someone that is!! The biggest reason I find for things not working is that people have over generalised and are finding their sales message is being diluted.