gavel on white backgroundMany buyers have been trained (or learned) that they can be judge and jury in sales situations. They know that they can tell a seller about their situation, needs, or wants and then sit back and wait for the seller to make a recommendation.

Then they judge.

They pass judgment on the idea, service, or solution as a distant and uninvolved observer.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can stop the judgment with a collaborative selling approach as you work with the buyer to review options, explore their ideas, and work together to outline the final solution.

Implementing a collaborative approach means taking control of the conversation in a different way. You may need to guide the buyer through the process which takes skill and expertise to move the conversation from taking an order to collaboration.

For example, a VP of Sales told me he knew exactly what he wanted—rather needed—in a training solution. He was prepared with information and just wanted me to “price it out.”

Yet I knew that the probability of closing the sale was lower if I just gave a price. He could easily price shop and I could lose the sale.

Instead, I navigated the conversation by listening and gathering the information he was willing to share. Then I asked, “Are you willing to consider additional information and options that will give you a higher return on this investment?”

I explained that I wouldn’t waste his time or money to implement something that would not earn him the ROI he was looking for.

He agreed to give me 60 minutes—the game changer I needed. Together we discovered information that led to a more relevant solution—one that shortened the timeframe but cost a little more.

The conversation showcased my expertise and separated me from the competitors.

The $100k sale closed the next week.

Why was it a win? Because he was a big part of the solution, and instead of being the judge he became the advocate for his own solution.

That’s how collaboration works. We influence, bring our expertise, guide the conversation, collect information, and then we involve the buyer—to the degree they want—to build, review, and agree on a solution.

The ‘we’ stops the premature and disengaged judgment. Most buyers want to be in control and involved. They can rest their judgment for a while and get resolution to a problem, opportunity, want, or need instead.

What do you think? Do you believe you can have control over the sales conversation and continue to make it about Them and earn the sale?

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