4 Psychological Traps to Avoid When Selling Solutions
When you’re driving toward closing an important sales opportunity that makes sense for you and your customer, don’t let the psychological pressure to close the deal drive you to leap to the wrong conclusions. In your eagerness to sign off on the new contract, beware of letting almost unconscious biases lead you to inaccurate assumptions.
Whether we have been to solution selling training or not, we are all unfortunately prone to making sales decisions based on so-called gut feel, on flawed input or on our own prejudices. Make sure you are thinking clearly and are not being swayed by the following psychological presuppositions when selling solutions to your target clients.
- The Gambler’s Bias
We all fall prey to this mindset at some point in our sales careers. If, for instance, you have drawn the same one card out of two for the last three or four times, don’t you feel that surely the next time you’ll draw the other card? Actually, there is no better chance statistically. It is still 50-50. But we superstitiously think things will shift to our favor. For a salesperson, if you have lost the last three or four deals, you should not think your turn to win is due. You are most likely losing for a reason directly related to your sales strategy, approach, solutions, pricing, timing, competition, etc. You had better review your recent customer interactions in detail to determine if you need to change your selling behavior or approach.
- The Bias toward Patterns
Be wary of interpreting random sales or customer events as if they constitute a meaningful pattern. We all seek to make sense out of chaos. As an example of the way this can skew your good sense in a sales scenario, have you ever started to think that your success in the last few sales meetings was because of the slides you chose for the presentation? Do not let your assumptions around slides become your “lucky rabbit’s foot.” Every customer is different and every sales presentation should take into account your customer’s unique situation and needs. Your approach should always be tailored to what matters most to each customer.
- The Bias toward Confirmation of Beliefs
We all lean toward interpreting events in a way that confirms what we already believe to be true. If you have decided, for example, that millennials cannot manage their time well, you will look for (and find) examples of when millennials cannot finish their work on schedule. In a solution selling situation, be sure you don’t ask the kind of leading question that simply confirms your previously held opinion. The answers could move you in the wrong direction. And you will most likely miss some key insights that could differentiate your approach.
- The Bias toward the Short-term
We tend to place more importance on recent rather than distant-in-time events. But just because the last few customers were only interested in Solution A, it does not mean you should abandon Solution B. Take a look at a broader time-range data sample before you make any business decisions that could affect your long-term success.
Biases affect our judgment and our decision-making process during selling situations. As a salesperson, don’t be blinded by potential biases that can skew how you interact with your customers. You need to think clearly as you assess what moves to make to differentiate yourself from the competition and to help your customers to succeed.