Friday, February 4, 2011

Sales and Reverification

I think I figured out one of my mental blocks with selling.  Just pondering why I find it so hard to convince people to buy home telephone service and it came to me.

In sales you have to very readily flow from one assumption with the person to the next.  You have to build energy, keep them flowing from one yes to another till it seems completely natural to accept the whole package.

But I don't tend to work that way with people.  At least not most of the time.  I tend to try to reverify understanding and agreement very routinely.  I can see a lot of different possible interpretations of many statements and I find myself having to ask clarifying questions to figure out exactly which one is meant.  I perceive possible interpretations of things that I say, leading me to give caveats, explanations, parentheticals, and clarifications all over the place.  I tend to expect people to want these from me.

That probably sound stupid that someone might want those from me, but given that I have trouble narrowing understanding to a socially perceived likelyhood, its what I have success using.

For instance, lets recall the cheese ball incident, or I think there was an apple cider incident.  Nobody was trying to charitably give me such a delicious snack to eat, but my perception of social intent was weak so I saw the possible solution to the problem that they were out with no one attending them because they were for me.  So I ate them.  In that situation trying to flow easily from one assumption to another in an energy building way till I accepted the whole package and the whole plate of cheese balls led to me eating someone else's food.  I would have had better social success if I had reverified meaning.  I recall the book I bought on autistic self advocacy recommended autistics and aspies not simply assume that they have a mutual understanding but to regularly reverify understanding because misunderstandings can multiply on each other so rapidly that there is no room for recovery until too late.

Granted I don't tend to accidentally steal cheese balls anymore, but that same sort of thing can happen just as easily with different consequences.  I could mention other incidents where a lack of reverification caused a problem or even a significant degree of pain.  So its something that by now has been fairly well conditioned into me.

So what happens when I try to sell?  I feel impelled to mention the non introductory price almost in the same sentence as the introductory price.  The installation and activation fees almost as soon as I get the first sign of agreement.  I emphasize real total price instead of the "as low as" that you'll never sign up for because you don't want the stripped down version.  There are so many pieces of information that if I don't reverify understanding then the misunderstandings will multiply till things break down.  So as a result I struggle to gather momentum towards a close.  I really feel a deep impulsion to make sure the other person understands all the details.

I don't know if realizing that will make me a better salesman, but it seems like a good thing to know about myself.