Social psychologists call it The Boomerang Effect. Politicians call it Blowback. Spiritually, it can be called Karma.
Whatever you call it, what goes around does come around. And this applies to good and bad actions. Do you agree with this sentiment?
The Boomerang Effect in Sales
Buyers are generally careful around salespeople. Their mood can likely be classified on a spectrum with cautious on one end and deep mistrust on the other end. Both are extremes and most buyers will fit somewhere on this spectrum.
If you think about it, both extremes are bad for sales professionals today. At no point do buyers naturally walk into a transaction completely trustworthy of the sales professional and/or the vendor.
The reason, in my opinion, is quite simple: buyers think that people in our profession are out to make a quick buck, putting our needs ahead of the buyer. Whether this is true or not is debatable and a discussion for another day. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that buyers generally find sales people as a nuisance.
The Boomerang Returns!
It’s unfortunate that buyers simply paint all of us in the sales profession with the same brush. But we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
In the quest to make a sale some of us have pushed and prodded in ways that buyers just didn’t like. And now, that same effect is coming back and affecting us all.
Ask buyers to describe salespeople and you’ll get answers like:
- There to make a quick buck
- Someone that doesn’t understand me
- Commission focused
- A nuisance
Should I go on?
This is the direct result of something we’ve done.
What Can We Do?
Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we should start putting out some good energy into all buyer interactions.
- Give some good, get some good.
- Create value first. Get value in return later.
- Add enough value. Win the deal.
- Treat the deal like gold. Build life-long relationships.
Perhaps you already know this. I find myself always having to course correct at times when I feel the buyer isn’t just ready. Maria Tribble says it’s okay to let the buyer go. If they’re not ready, what’s the point? I agree.
The Bottom Line
What’s next for us as a profession? I personally feel we have to return to the basics. I know we have quotas but they must be equally as important as the buyer’s needs.
Please don’t take this as a manifesto to stop selling or closing on deals. That’s not what this is about. This is simply about the fact that we’ve clearly rubbed buyers the wrong way.
If you need evidence, calculate your personal cold-calling and e-mailing success rate. If it’s in decline over the last few years, you’ll start to understand why buyers now prefer doing research and seek education on their own.
What can we do immediately? Let’s send the boomerang out this time with good intentions but also let the buyer know and feel that you’ve got their priorities front and center.
Full disclosure: I wrote this to create a positive boomerang effect! 🙂