Wiping the Slate Clean in Sales

clean slateAs part of the sales process, you might need to resort to a strategy of wiping the slate clean with your potential clients. Much of the decision process is based on past buying experiences. If your buyer made a purchase of a product similar to yours and was unhappy with it you face a double-edged sword. On one side, they are unhappy with your competitor’s product which makes them a pretty good candidate for yours. On the other side, their bad past experience may make them hesitant to even try your type of product again.

If, in your rapport-building and qualifying stages of the sales process, you discover some prejudices against your type of product, you’ll have to overcome those before you can move forward. You need to clear the buyers’ minds of any misconceptions or pre-conceived notions. Your job becomes not just to explain the benefits of your product, but to differentiate it from those negative experiences of the past. You may also have to invest a little more time in selling your own credibility as an industry expert.

Real-Life Example of Wiping the Slate Clean

I know of salespeople who go so far as to walk into meetings with clients carrying a small white board, dry erase markers and an eraser. Very low tech, right? As the client tells them their woes about past experiences with their type of product, they write down the bullet points. Then, as the salesperson explains the benefits of their product over the previously owned one, they have the buyer  literally wipe those bullets off the white board. The end result is a clean slate, an open mind, and an opportunity for forward progress in the sale. Some tablet computers have white board capabilities so there’s a not-so-old-school option for using this strategy. And, by having the potential client wipe the screen, you are engaging their senses more deeply in the sales process — a double-win for you.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

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