You have to be prepared to take a risk or two to succeed. But don’t expect your customers to have the same level of zest for risk-taking. Particularly when they know they will ultimately pay for it when the risk turns sour, or you, as the salesperson, under-delivers.
For the most part, taking risks is a tense and uncomfortable experience for a customer. Each customer will have a different risk threshold: a level of perceived risk they are willing to move towards but never cross over. As sales professionals, we can at times underestimate the inherent risks relating to what we sell.
These risks can seem immaterial to us, but they can be debilitating for customers — particularly if we have never purchased a similar product or taken time out to assess the risks from the consumer’s point of view.
Customers are cautious creatures and even more so when the economy is flat. This can be frustrating for both the vendor and customer.
The customer laments, ‘I really want to buy, but I just don’t trust my ability to pay or receive the required value leverage, it’s too risky.’ And the salesperson grumbles, ‘I know you need my help, but what else do I need to demonstrate to gain your trust?!’
These stalemates play out habitually in challenging markets. The best way to cut through the customer’s fear is to remove all traces of perceived risk. In addition, provide them with critical information that takes them to a place of new knowledge and clarity.
To really drive change, or change the customer’s point of view, you will need to completely commit to your commercial cause and be willing to fight for it, because ultimately you’re fighting for the customer.
Giving up at the first sign of rejection from a customer tells them how committed you really are and it validates their lack of belief in you. When you apply the right de-risking strategy and communicate from a place of belief, the customer will be transformed from frozen and confused to willing and motivated.
Trent Leyshan is the founder of BOOM!, Australia’s leading sales training and development specialist.