Change originates in dialogue – two way interaction

Think about the clients you have won: What atmosphere did the conversation take place in? What questions, and how many, did the client ask? How frequent was the contact? How did the conversations evolve? How were concessions requested and given?

Dialogue characteristics

  • Client and sales person take time for each other: no time pressure or limits.
  • Client and sales person ask roughly the same amount of questions: in both directions.
  • Client and sales person listen to each other: what are the signals, verbal and non-verbal?
  • There is room to say yes or no: clients mostly defend their freedom of choice, whether they are aware of this or not.
  • There is rhythm and order in the communication: emails are replied to within an acceptable amount of time. You stay in touch.

In other words, there is a balance between giving and receiving. There is cooperation.

Non-dialogue characteristics

  • Deadlines; not enough time foreseen; interruptions
  • Breaking of word: small promises are not kept
  • Presentations, PowerPoint slideshows: how can you make the client change their mind if you give everything away or present the client with foregone conclusions?
  • Client and sales person are going to dispute: clients will defend decisions they have already taken in the past and stay with the competition.

Without any dialogue, your client will form their own opinion (“Why change when everything’s already ok?”) and then show resistance in the sales process.

With dialogue, the client can reconsider their opinion – and purchasing decision.

  • Not every client will be open to change. When you give clients new information, they filter it and often reject it. The information doesn’t fit in with their ideas. Being right is not the same as being proven right.

If someone wants to choose a new supplier, they have to review and/or update their earlier purchasing decision. A process has to be created. Differentiation Selling is a method that teaches you how to do this.

Copyright © 2011, René Knecht