How do you quickly establish a relationship with a prospect?

How to Quickly Establish a Relationship with a Prospect

How do you quickly establish a relationship with a prospect? So you got the meeting. You’re in the door, but you quickly realize as you go through discovery that the decision maker has a completely polarized point of view. You believe that they need to think completely differently about how to solve their problem and they go: “No, we’re fine. We’re going to do this. We’re going to look internally to solve our problem.” 

Here’s the rub: You know that they can’t do it internally so you’ve got two polarized points of view on your hands as you begin to establish a relationship with the prospect. You’re at the North Pole, and you see that this way is up. But they’re at the South Pole, and they have a completely different viewpoint. The way they see the world is entirely different than the way you see the world. So how do you get them to change their viewpoint and go with your sales strategy? 

Let’s just assume it’s just in their best interest to see your point of view, and what they’re doing is really just making a bad decision. How do you get them to see your point of view when they see the world completely different? 

Here’s the truth: Until you Take the Trip® from your position in the North Pole and come down to the South Pole and see their point of view, they will never listen to you. They will never embrace your point of view, no matter how good your sales strategy is. We have to first validate what they believe and what’s important to them before they’ll ever come and see our perspective

But this is very difficult. It’s very easy to hear about this and it makes perfect sense but it’s extremely difficult to do. Right now, America is debating about whether to build a wall on the border of Mexico. Some people strongly believe we should build a wall. Some people are vehemently against it. So let’s say you’re for building the wall and somebody says: “Well, I don’t think we should build a wall.” 

What do you do? Do you immediately say: “Oh, that’s great, let’s talk about that, let me hear your perspective?” 

No, when we hear somebody who says something that we vehemently disagree with, our natural inclination is to start our argument, make our point, go to court, make our case. But this diminishes receptivity. Until we can articulate their point of view as well or better than they can, they’re never going to see our point of view. 

Two things happen when we Take the Trip® that completely changes the emotional temperature of the room. The first is you have an “oh” moment. When someone has a polarized point of view, there’s something that you don’t understand, but after taking the trip, you go: “Oh, that’s why you believe what you believe. That’s why you think the way you think. That’s why this is important to you.” And when you have an “oh” moment, your confusion (or probably frustration) gets replaced with empathy. You care. You demonstrate that you care about the person that you’re talking to. 

Secondly, when you validate somebody’s point of view, you’re communicating that you also care about what they believe. That’s one of our greatest emotional needs — to be validated. 

So when you demonstrate empathy, and you validate their point of view, you are creating a high level of receptivity and the likelihood that they’re going to Take the Trip® back to your side of the world and see your point of view.

If you’re interested in learning more about ASLAN’s sales management tips about how to establish a relationship with a prospect, sign up for our newsletter, read our blog, or reach out to us. We’re happy to talk. 

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