Selling Products or Concepts: You CAN predict how people will buy.

Every organization is involved in selling. They might be selling products, services, concepts or ideas. However there is a tendency to use techniques developed during the last century.

Our clients today are very different from those of 10 years ago: they are more sophisticated in their buying styles and systems; are more computer literate and tend to use the internet before buying a product or service so it seems inefficient to use techniques that no longer work such as telling the client about the product / service, etc. The traditional “Product presentation” is an example of “Telling”!

“Telling” just communicates information.
Selling moves people to action.

“Telling” is focussed on the seller.
Selling is focussed on the buyer.

“Telling” does not lead to success.
Results require selling, not telling.

In order to sell elegantly and effectively it is important that the salesman remember some key points:
1. Rapport is the prelude to the sale.
It is a recognized fact that people will buy from other people who are like them. The old-fashioned technique of the salesman looking for a shared interest with the client to lead him into a sales pitch has been so overused that many people reject it when it is used. There are other, more elegant and effective, ways of achieving rapport.

2. People buy RESULTS for themselves, not the salesman.
People buy things that will make their lives easier, more enjoyable, safer, etc. If the purchase is successful in giving them the result they want today, they will go back to the salesman for future purchases.

3. People buy:
– For THEIR reasons.
Many sales techniques teach the salesman a series of “arguments” to use to sell their product. The truth is that frequently these “arguments” have little or no relationship with the reasons why the person might buy the product. It is always much more effective to find out the client’s reasons for buying instead of presupposing them!

– In their own way.
People develop buying strategies based on a range of different experiences and needs. Once a salesman has discovered the buyer’s strategy, it is easy to elegantly sell them the product or service. To discover the buyer’s strategies only requires a maximum of 7 questions!

– In their own time.
Many salesmen do not realize that actual or potential clients do not like to be “pushed” into the sales pitch. When a client is ready to start talking about the purchase, they will always send a signal to the salesman. If the salesman starts selling before the signal is sent, the result is often a lost sale.

4. The decision to BUY is:
1st. – Emotional.
2nd. – Logical justification.

People often reject the most “logical” option when making a buying decision and, instead, make an entirely emotional choice. However, frequently, to avoid buyer’s remorse, the buyer find logical arguments to reinforce the correctness of their decision.

5. The expert salesman must earn to see the world as the Buyer sees it.
The expert salesman is a person who knows:
– How to find out how the client perceives the world.
– How to reflect back this knowledge in his sales pitch.

6. The only advantage the expert salesman need is himself!
One of the most common complaints from salesmen is that they need more sales material to “fight off” the competition.

Selling is great fun when you know how to do it correctly!

Please feel free to visit our bilingual (English & Spanish) web page:

© Brownlee & Associates, Madrid, Spain, 2001. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied, translated or reproduced in any form without the prior written consent of Brownlee & Associates.


About ianbrownlee

Ian Brownlee, the founder of Brownlee & Associates has been actively involved in the field of interpersonal & transcultural communication since 1977. He has worked in universities and companies in the following countries: Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, England, The United States of America & Spain, as a teacher, university lecturer, trainer, researcher & consultant. In addition, his experience in living in these countries, and studying the language & communication and interaction styles of each has aided him in reaching a real understanding of intercultural and transcultural differences and how to resolve them. Ian Brownlee has various masters degrees from British Universities: One in Linguistics & Teaching English Overseas from Manchester University, one in Training & Development with a specialization in the area of Communication and Adult learning awarded by the University of Sheffield. He has also gained professional qualifications in Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy from various professional organizations. During his university career he has also studied elements of Sociology, Organizational psychology, Educational psychology, Psycholinguistics and Kinesics. He is a licensed Practitioner, Master Practitioner, and Master Trainer in NLP. as well as being a trainer in Ericksonian Hypnosis. He is a member of a wide range of professional organizations involved in Training, Applied Psychology, Hypnotherapy & Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Communication & Cross-cultural Communication. He is also recognized by the Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, as a Negotiation Skills Trainer & Mediator and has been a collaborator on various projects with the program, and as such is in great demand as a negotiation consultant for some of the largest multinationals operating worldwide. His wide experience gained in multinational organizations in positions such as Director of Training, Communications Consultant and Negotiator / Mediator has helped many people to learn and apply new methods of negotiating skills and advanced communication techniques both in their private and professional lives. He has published various articles & books related to the field of interpersonal communication and he is the author of all the courses taught by Brownlee & Associates. He has lived and worked in Spain since 1985, initially as a trainer / Special Assistant in a multinational pharmaceutical company and then as the Training Manager for a multinational company involved in Clinical Analysis & Nuclear Medicine. Brownlee & Associates was formed in 1991 and currently has a small, highly-trained staff. While based in Madrid, courses are given world-wide either in English or Spanish. Brownlee & Associates currently work with leading international companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals , Information systems, luxury products, food & beverages, etc.
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