When I ask this question to b2b sales people, I usually get a strange look as an immediate reply and then the famous – Towards or Away From, what are you talking about?
The true is this type of knowledge can mean the difference between making a sales and losing a sale depending upon how you present your solutions. Do I have your attention now?
Good, here is the what I’m talking about…
First, some background to help you understand what I’m sharing with you. Most b2b sales people are goal oriented individuals who are consistently moving towards a goal or objective – including a sale.
However, while most – but not all – sales people are towards people, about half the population are towards people and surprise – the other half are away from people. Therefore, since most sales people are towards, I would guess that most buyers are Away From individuals.
Okay, so what is the difference?
- Towards People – are always moving to a goal or objective. They talk about opportunities, achievements, gaining ground, moving forward, going for the brass ring, and improving their position. In other words, these people are moving toward a goal or objective.
- Away From People – are wanting to move away from a problem or issue. These people talk about solving their problems, eliminating a barrier, overcoming issues, quieting down a situation, lowering resistance to eliminating waste, or getting away (or over) a problem or challenge. In other words, these people want to get away from things like problems, situations, issues or misunderstandings.
You can discover which side a decision maker or buyer is by asking good questions and then listening to their responses. Whenever emotional words are used listen to the direction they want to take – towards it or away from it.
Here is the key for you to remember – present your solutions in their language preference, not your preference. This appears to difficult for many people – to think like the other person rather than their normal thought process. I have found this to be very true when working with b2b sales when coaching or a workshop on developing real rapport.
The reason for the difficult is simple. People are emotional attached to their way of doing things and have a hard time seeing the other point of view. Yet, if you really want to gain rapport or win an account – you must connect with the buyer or decision maker and use their preferences of language.
The second key is use the preferred language in your presentation or letter of agreements. Solve the problem for the away from at both the individual and business level and you will win more often.