BIG IDEA: If You Treat Your Customers Small, They Will Never Buy Big


Do you want potential buyers to invest big in
your product? Then you must steer clear of treating them small.


I want you to reflect upon this scenario for a moment. Imagine that you walk into a car dealership with the intention of buying a vehicle when you encounter a salesperson who speaks down to you. What would your reaction be to this treatment? Would you want to make such a sizable purchase from this person?


A situation such as the one described above is most likely to elicit a fight or flight response in any one of us on the receiving end of such belittling behavior. As science has proven, stress-inducing moments actually kick the adrenal glands into gear, which results in the steroid hormone known as cortisol being released into the bloodstream. Your body will automatically fly into fight or flight mode, resulting in an accelerated heartbeat, rapid breathing, tense muscles… and the urge to either argue with that demeaning salesperson or flee from such a tense scene.


Obviously, no sales professional wants to be perceived as that condescending salesperson who triggers a customer’s fight or flight response. Thus, it is crucial to remember the following: No human being should ever be made to feel as though he or she is not enough. After all, who is going to get excited about spending big on a product after being made to feel small by the salesperson selling it?


If we break it down further, you as a sales professional are not better than your customer. And your customer is not better than you. The two of you have equal footing in the sense that you play different roles, but no one is more important than the other. As a salesperson, you play the role of the adviser. And your customer plays the role of the buyer. So you play different roles, but no one is better than the other.


In order to truly connect with your customers, you must avoid treating them small. Implement the three-step strategy below to start making them feel big instead:




1.Treat every single customer as someone who can buy.
No one is a “sales whisperer.” No one can truly predict which potential client who walks through the door will actually end up making a purchase. Thus, the best course of action for any sales professional is to treat every single customer who comes in as though that person can buy.


When approaching potential clients, you need to avoid curb-qualifying them. A common behavior in the sales profession is to size up customers based on how they look or what they say. But making such sweeping generalizations can lead you to the mistaken assumption that a potential buyer is not capable of purchasing your product when he or she is actually both willing and able to spend big. And if you start talking down to this client based on the misguided conclusion that he or she is not a real buyer, you will most likely lose the sale.


Instead of making surface judgments about a potential buyer, I want you to picture this person as someone who has all the money in the world. Think of this customer as a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates. As such, no matter how expensive your product may be, you are going to treat this person as though he or she has the means to purchase it. That way, you will ensure that every buyer you encounter is going to be made to feel big.




2. Teach your customers something new.
Another way to make potential buyers feel important is to teach them something new. Naturally, people want to see the value in the product that they are spending top dollar to purchase. So if you can share fresh insights about your product that your customers don’t already know – particularly if this information appeals to their interests and ideals – you are going to make them happy.


Though it may sound surprising, just the process of learning in and of itself is enough to elicit joy in your customers. Scientific research has shown that the act of learning is linked to the brain’s release of dopamine, which is often referred to as the “pleasure chemical.” When dopamine is released, it elicits feelings of bliss and euphoria. So it makes sense that the more you keep your customers engaged in learning, the happier they will be.


Taking the time to teach your customers is certain to pay off, since the more elated they become, the more likely they will be to spend… and spend big.




3. Talk to your customers instead of down to them.
No customer wants to feel like you are treating him or her like a child, which is exactly what happens when you talk down to someone. If you want to avoid making a buyer feel small, you must talk directly to him or her instead.


A great example is to compare how parents and grandparents communicate with the same set of children. As a parent myself, I have reflected upon the difference between how I speak to my kids and how their grandparents (my own parents) talk to them. When I am struggling with something, I tend to physically talk down to my children, Saunders and Mary Jane. On the other hand, their grandparents will hoist the kids up and have them sitting where they can talk to them instead of down to them. In doing so, a shared connection is created and the children feel safe to tell the truth about what is going on in their lives.


We all want to feel as though we are being treated like a human being, so avoid belittling behavior and make your customer feel big instead.


Put the three steps above into action and you will soon reap big rewards when it comes to improved relationships with your customers. After all, if they feel big, they will spend big.






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JASON FORREST (two time Stevie Award winner – 2014 Silver Stevie Award for sales training program of the year, and 2013 Gold Stevie Award for sales training or education leader of the year) is an expert at creating high-performance sales organizations through sales training programs, management training programs, and cultural awareness training. He addresses beliefs (not just behaviors) to increase sales, develop leaders, implement cultural accountability, and transform companies into sales organizations. A sales professional at heart, Forrest believes in both the art and science of the sales process. Forrest’s competitive distinction is his behavior-modification approach (which focuses on people, process, and presentation) and his focus on beliefs, not just behaviors. Check out Jason live here.


FORREST PERFORMANCE GROUP is a global leader and designer of corporate training programs, leadership training programs, and sales training programs. Forrest PG’s unique distinction and edge is its belief that true, permanent change begins from the top, transforms from the inside-out, and requires long-term coaching and accountability, rather than short-term training. Too many organizations are short-sighted regarding training and only provide one-day motivational events to entertain sales pros, giving them only short-term boosts in energy and temporary performance lifts. One-day events can be valuable for rejuvenating or jump-starting performance, but a complete training program with coaching along the way makes all of the difference. Increased sales, measurable ROI, accountability, tangible and relevant sales tools are just a few of the results of an FPG training program. Check out who we are here.

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