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L.U.V. is in the Air

red baloon…not because of Valentine’s Day but to get stalled deals moving

Sitting in the Audi showroom, Sandra (the Wife), said: “Remember the shenanigans when we bought our A5 three years ago? The guy selling it (privately) got really fed up and wanted to pull out”.

As it was a private sale we’d sensibly invested time and money in an RAC inspection. An illegal tyre prevented a test drive on their first inspection. And the second inspection recommended an Audi specialist check a vibration at high speed (as Wife drives enthusiastically, this was a must).

At each stage there were negotiations with the seller and actions we insisted he take, so I understood his frustration. But the car was exactly what we wanted.

Even though I was the buyer, it was time to show him some LUV so I phoned and said I understood his frustration, summarised how far we had come and how close we were, then concluded by saying: “We still want to buy the car, you still want to sell it. Do you really want to start again from scratch?”

How this applies to stalled deals for salespeople

In Deal Clinics, when we get to the actions you could take part, the most common suggestion I put forward is to create a summary for the customer along similar lines. For example:

“We’ve been working with you on this project for X months and I thought it would be a good idea to summarise our understanding:

1. What you want to achieve is …
2. Why this is important to you and why now is …
3. Your key issues and challenges are …”

This demonstrates you have Listened and Understood. As a result they feel Valued and you have earned the right to ask a tough question or make a challenging statement.

There are many examples of how well this exercise works but my favourite is the salesperson who concluded with:

“Not much seems to have happened in the last month and I’m concerned that you won’t get the money approved from the five stakeholders by the deadline”.

The customer’s response: “Let me explain to you how we are going to do this. Oh, and by the way, your company doesn’t have a reputation for being exactly fast on approvals, can you prove to us that you will be ready to do the deal by the deadline?”

Now that’s what I call a result – and all because of a little L.U.V.

Finally, have a look at John Paul Young performing his 1970s classic: Love is in the Air