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Even though he knows intellectually that you may have a better solution, he will do everything he can to justify his earlier decision; to do otherwise would cause great internal dissonance and discomfort.
So, then, how do you deal with this situation?
1.Recognize that your job in selling is to understand what people do – and to work with them to help them do things better.
2.Don't try to sell by showing that your product or service is better than competitors' (or whatever else they might be doing).
Wait – that sounds inconsistent, you say. First you say that I should help him do things better, but I shouldn't show them why my product is better?
The seeming inconsistency resolves itself when you remove yourself from trying to “sell your product” and shift your focus to understanding what people do, why they do things that way, and what they're hoping to accomplish in future. Your questions should be squarely focused on prospect – not on you.
The best way to bring these seeming contradictory goals into alignment is to show your prospect how you can ENHANCE what they are already doing. By showing how you can enhance, in essence what you are saying is “Hey, you've got something that's working here, and I'm not going to upset your apple cart. My goal is to help you take what you've already got, and help you make it even better.”
By taking approach to enhance you accomplish two important things. First, you are helping prospect maintain their sense of consistency which will make you an ally. Second, by starting with this approach, you may make a small sale initially but you now have door open to larger sales and beginning of a long-term relationship.
As Cialdini sums up “For salesperson, strategy is to obtain a large purchase by starting with a small one. Almost any small sale will do, because purpose of that small transaction is not profit. It is commitment. Further purchases, even much larger ones, are expected to flow from commitment. "
Mark Dembo; President, Lexien Management Consultants (http://www.lexien.com) Lexien Management Consultants provides sales training, consulting, and coaching services to organizations and individuals who are motivated to grow their businesses. Each month, Lexien publishes the Sales Success Newsletter .