Updated: Sep 3, 2020
It's different, not better.
One of the hardest things as human beings is for us to change our behaviors, modify our DNA. How many times you started something but never really went all the way through with it so it is now engraved within you as a new instilled behavior. Psychologists claim it takes between 21-28 days in order to change a habit. If you go at it daily that is. Well apparently changing a habit is one thing, but what about changing values? Point of view that is based on these values?
Many sales and customer success reps and managers I have worked with struggle with one big challenge. And it is a big one because most of us, at least initially, are not aware it is there. I am referring to trying to sell in a way the customer wants to buy. Don’t sell what you came to sell but rather sell what they want to buy.
You see, by nature, we see things the way we have been brought up, the way we’ve been taught and/or trained. And so when we go to sell, our minds assume everyone likes to be sold to, the same exact way. The thing is though, that speaking to over 30 sales and customer success reps in the last 3 weeks, something I realized something very clearly. Pretty much all of them, once understood the idea that the buyer may want to be sold to, differently than you like, believed their selling approach is still better. Better than the way the buyer wants to buy. They actually believed that even though their prospect and client buy a certain way, their own buying habit is….better.
What I am pointing out here is that while you may feel it is better, you believe it is so only because this is how you’ve been taught or trained to feel. However, you may not need to change your message nor your content of your pitch, just tweak it to fit the way your customer would feel more connected to. Your way of selling and their way of buying is not better, it is just different.
It is not so simple to grasp and even harder as a manager to adopt and implement but open your mind, it will also help you as a manager to empower your team members. By just making them open their mind to the idea will make them accept other approaches and be able to better understand their customer needs.
A farmer boss of mine once asked me to review his presentation and modify it as I see fit. I walked him through my version of the revised deck the next morning. He said” It’s different...not better”. What a lesson. Took me a while to realize he was right. Because me changing it to speak to me more, with my nuances, my world of values and humor, did not make it better.
A friend asked me the other day to help him revise a post for LinkedIn. “Alon, see if you can do your magic with it”. I sent him my version. The next day I saw his post online. He didn’t use even one of my recommended changes. We spoke. It just wasn’t him. And besides, it was not necessarily better, it was just….different.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of, during a period of 2.5 months, in two different events, being on stage right after Trump and right before Obama. I have to admit that for me, the way I was brought up, with my set of values, one of them is better but judging by the crowd in each of these events, perhaps they are just….different.