Business psychology

When it comes to securing a sale, the old rules still apply

- February 11, 2018 2 MIN READ

Want to know the golden rule of securing a sale? Look at all the angles before committing yourself to action.

Any people manager or investigating officer will tell you how frustrating it can be when witnesses to an event have different stories, even when they are telling the truth. Of course, when every witness has an identical story, it’s sometimes a bit too ‘convenient’, but the reality is that we tend to see and hear what we want to see and hear.

In sales, this means that salespeople must always repeat back to a buyer what they think they have heard; and even then there is the possibility of misinterpretation.

And guess what? We soloists are all salespeople, because we all have something to sell; whether it’s purveying our business products or services, or simply selling ourselves as a good employee, friend or team member.

So why is it so easy to get “sales” wrong?

I heard a little story yesterday and it’s a powerful example of how once we perceive something, our ego convinces us that we’re right, ignoring all other possibilities.

The story goes like this.

A worker in a factory was walking out of the factory gate pushing a wheelbarrow, with a box in it.  When the security guard at the gate insisted on knowing what was in the box,  the worker told him it was sawdust; he was taking it home for his car in case it leaked oil while he was working on it.

The disbelieving guard insisted on taking a look; sure enough, it was filled with sawdust, so he let the worker continue on out of the gate.

The same happened the next day. And the day after. After another week, the security guard was unable to contain himself any longer and said “I know you’re up to something much more than taking sawdust, but I can’t work it out. If you tell me the truth, I promise I won’t do anything, but I just need to know for myself”.

The factory worker replied: “I’m stealing wheelbarrows.”

The lesson here being: if you don’t look at all the angles you may miss a considerable threat – or a big opportunity.

As soloists, we have limited resources, so we need to put our efforts where we can do the best job and get the best returns.

Focus on the market that will most appreciate your efforts.  For when your effort is appreciated, you will be compensated in the best way possible.

As the great, late, Ron Tacchi used to put it – “God gave us one mouth and two ears. Do you think he was hinting?”