"We've decided to hire someone with totally different skills than yours..." and then they hire someone just like you, but more expensive and not as good.
"We're not going to buy a car this month, my husband wants to wait..." and then you see them driving a new car from that other dealer, the one with the lousy reputation.
"I'm just not interested..." and then you see the new RFP, one you could have helped them write to get a more profitable and productive outcome.
People lie to salesmen all the time. We do it because salespeople have trained us to, and because we're afraid.
Prospects (people like us) lie in many situations, because when we announce that we''ve made the decision to hire someone else, or when we tell the pitching entrepreneur we don't like her business model, or when we clearly articulate why we're not going to do business, the salesperson responds by questioning the judgment of the prospect.
In exchange for telling the truth, the prospect is disrespected.
Of course we don't tell the truth--if we do, we're often bullied or berated or made to feel dumb.
Is it any surprise that it's easier to just avoid the conflict altogether? Of course, there's an alternative, but it requires confidence and patience on the part of the seller and marketer.
Someone who chooses not to buy from you isn't stupid. They're not unable to process ideas logically, nor are they unethical or manipulated by others. No, it's simpler than that:
Given what they know and what they believe, the prospect is making exactly the right decision.
We always make our decision based on what we know and believe. That's a tautology, based on the definition... a decision is the path you take based on what you know and believe, right?
The challenge, then, it seems to me, is to realize that perhaps the prospect knows something you don't, or, just as likely, doesn't believe what you believe. Your job as a marketer is to figure out what your prospect's biases and worldview and fears and beliefs are, and as a salesperson, your job is to help them know what you know.
I wanted to comment the bold sentence: We always make our decision based on what we know and believe. That reminds me of my customer behavior classes in the United States: One customer decision making process is a complex process, which implies several phases and factors which will impact it.And I think it is very interesting that we should not blame one customer not to have picked our product or service, but we should focus on what triggered this decision, and especially, what we have not done to influence it toward our company.
The difficult part out of it is to be able to get this information, because as Seth is explaining, most of the time, the customer will keep this information for him, not to be judged.I also believe that in some ways, the customer may not be sure that he took the right decision. He would like to have but as nowadays we have always the choice with a large range of products whatever we buy, the decision making process is becoming more difficult.This is the reason why customers are seeking for customer reviews to make sure and to comfort their choices.
As long as there is a competition, there will always be customers not buying your products, but it is important to know what information they did not have, and what they believed, in order to get as few people as possible shoppers leaving your store with empty hands.
What do you think about it.