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April 28, 2020

Soft on People, Hard on Problem

Here’s a mistake that I see a lot of salespeople make.

They go hard on the person that they’re negotiating with and soft on the problem that needs solving.

That’s completely the wrong way to go about things.

It can lead to you getting aggressive in your attempts to sell to a person. And when you’re aggressive, you start to get pushy. You almost treat the negotiation as a conflict, rather than an effort to reach a solution that’s good for both parties.

In this situation, the person you’re talking to will feel like they’re getting attacked. They’re going to feel this immense pressure from you to buy whatever you’re selling.

And usually, that leads to them walking away from the deal.

People don’t like it when you go in hard on them instead of going in hard on the problem. After all, it’s the problem that you’re looking to attack with your solution.

So, what do I mean when I say that you need to go soft on the person?

This is where emotional intelligence comes into the negotiation process. You have to understand that you need to build a relationship with this person before making your offer.

When you jump straight into an attempt to sell, you’re giving that person no reason to trust you. They don’t understand how what you’re selling solves a problem that they have. And they can see that you have no interest in learning about that problem.

You just want to boost your sales numbers.

This can be a challenge, especially if the client’s coming in hard on you. Even if you’re not overtly aggressive with your language, you may get passive-aggressive in response.

You have to control your emotions.

Refocus the discussion on the problem and go hard on that. 

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