Elaine has a cousin, Nancy. Nancy has a daughter, Kris. Kris has a daughter, Laura. Laura’s cool.
Laura’s a participant in Model UN at her high school. A couple of weeks ago, she was at our house having dinner and we somehow got onto the subject of American politics. I don’t remember the specific topic, but knowing the political makeup of most of the adults at the table, I made some extreme comment like ship them all back, or shoot him, or some other comment just to take the conversation to a new level. After the adults went back and forth trying to decide how to ‘fix me’, someone said, “Laura, you’re up on these kind of things, how should we deal with Rick?” Laura replied, “The North Koreans would agree with Rick’s approach.”
That got the table going again, but let me tell you why Laura’s cool. Laura left for Italy the next day for a multiple day summit where several countries were going to be presenting their position on some current situation on which a decision must be made by the UN. She was going to be presenting her case as a delegate from North Korea. NORTH KOREA! Get it? She has to put her own beliefs aside and fully understand the North Korean point of view. WHAT SHE THINKS OR BELIEVES DOESN’T MATTER. Isn’t that great? She’s getting sales coaching in high school. She’s learning how to put what she believes aside long enough to get the job done. If she argues what she personally believes, she loses.
Isn’t that what salespeople need to do? Put themselves aside? Understand their prospect? Remember this post?
Now, I admit that it’s a bit of a stretch comparing Laura understanding North Korea’s beliefs and positions to a salesperson understanding a prospect’s beliefs and positions because, in this case, Laura’s not trying to change North Korea’s mind to get them to accept a new position. But, can you see that by understanding their beliefs and positions, she’s much better equipped to explain why they might want to change their mind?
So, the lesson from Laura is,
If you understand your prospect’s position enough so that you could argue their side, you’ll find yourself able to look at your offering through your prospect’s eyes and maybe discover why they might buy.