Convincing A Customer?
At school and at work, we need to prove that what we say is right. At work, we have to convince colleagues and defend a project. It could be called making a case. A common example would be that of a lawyer bringing proof to their arguments. Another would be the hero who convinces everyone by being very inspired himself. Another type of superhero could be a politician, full of conviction and able to get everyone to endorse his beliefs and affirm his leadership. In many cases, self-confidence is the key and it is about talking loudly, with conviction and showing self-confidence.
When you try to convince someone of something, you are stating your views and confronting their ideas. You are telling each other your positions and everyone is supposed to explain their views. You will succeed if you are able to convince the others. Success is achieved when your proposition is adopted and you manage to have everyone recognize that your’s is the best solution. This is a pretty routine exercise in professional life.
It does not work the same way in Luxury selling. By trying to convince your customer with your arguments, you want to demonstrate that you are right, which therefore means that your customer has to be wrong. And if you manage to get your customer to take a decision, it means that you succeeded in imposing your view.
Let us keep looking at Paul. An inexperienced sales advisor tries to get him to sign up to a 20-year investment plan with a convincing approach:
Paul: “I still don’t see the point of subscribing for 20 years.”
Advisor. “Okay, it’s really what is the best for you in terms of return
Paul: “Why not only 10 years or 15? And how could you be
certain about the return on investment with such an unstable economy?”
Advisor. “Well, just let me show you why you should subscribe for
20 years and not less, Mr. Morgan. You will see and you will understand why you should subscribe for 20 years. A longer period is really the best for you.”
Paul: “Well, you can always try but I warn you, I am very hard to
The word convince comes from Latin, meaning to conquer or vanquish. It implies the notion of battling, opposition. By telling him that subscribing for 20 years is the best option, the inexperienced sales advisor will attempt to demonstrate that he is right. Paul is not receptive: why would give his attention only to be told that he is wrong? There is inevitable tension. There is a winner and someone has to compromise and accept, be a loser in the confrontation.
You can easily see that there is danger in this sort of approach to convincing a customer. Your customer is not an opponent, and he wants to be right. Even if he accepts your proposal, you need your customer to be happy and not left feeling like the loser in the conversation. More than anything, you want your customer to be happy, very happy about the decision he is taking. How can he be happy if he feels that he has had to change his initial state of mind? How can he be happy if he feels that he has no choice but to accept the sales advisor’s position? Even if he understands that the advisor is right, it is still not pleasant to be wrong.