Maybe you never make a buying decision on the basis of your personal response to the sales person. I’ve had people say that to me, “All my business decisions are purely logical – I don’t need any of that rapport stuff!”
And the next words out of the mouth are, “No, there’s just something about Jim that I don’t trust.”
I’m not prejudiced against any particular type of person, but a kinaesthetic person has some unique features that make them fantastically successful when dealing with other kinaesthetic people, and not so successful with other types. So let me tell you about Bob, the Photocopier man.
I was working at an Event Management Company selling $50k—$60k sponsorships and we had some really great marketing material – but we were printing the promotional brochures out on a bubble jet printer and I said, “Listen – this is not cost effective and it doesn’t look good. You spent all this money (about $20k) designing this marketing material, would you please let me get a proper printer?”
He told me to go ahead, signed off on the budget, and I called up a photocopier company and asked them to send someone out because we were ready to buy a unit. I’d had previous experience with this brand at another company and knew that they were really reliable, and produced great results, so the only reason that I asked them to send someone out is because there were two very similar models and I could not work out what was the difference between them.
So Bob was their representative and the morning he was coming in I had a bit of a crisis. Three of my sales staff were sick, we had a big sponsorship meeting prepared and I was having to divide different appointments between people, and shuffle things around to get everything done that day with three people missing.
When Bob walked in I said, “Bob, it’s so great to have you here, thanks for coming, I had a bit of a crisis this morning, as it turns out I don’t have an hour to spend with you, I could probably do 15 minutes. But it’s okay because I’ve already decided to go ahead, I’ve got the budget signed off, I just need you to tell me what’s the difference between this model and this one.”
And Bob launches into his sales spiel, “Oh yes, Chandell, thanks for having me. Our company started in 19…”
So he got through about three pages in his compendium and I said, “No, I’m sorry to interrupt but I don’t think you understand – I’m ready to buy, the boss has signed off on the budget. All I need is for you to tell me what’s the difference between this model and the model with the E, because we’re ready to buy.”
“Oh yes, and you know our toners are all recycled …” He just talked and talked and completely failed to listen.
After 45 minutes of their history and how they dispose of the cartridges and everything else, I’m about to kill him. There was no way I was going to buy this machine because when you buy a machine from them, the person that sells it to you is also your account manager, and I was not going to deal with Bob every time we had a problem with the machine. So I thanked him for his time and I sent him on his merry way, picked up the phone and I called their competitor.
Bob lost a sale that he already had because he didn’t listen, and he didn’t give me what I wanted. All he could see was what he had been taught, and how he wanted to be sold to.
Meta Description: The sad story of how lack of understanding of internal representation systems lost a deal.