As you may know, Ted Williams was a star player for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 through 1960, except for the three years he spent in World War II… and one of his many nicknames was, “The Best Hitter that Ever Was!”
In fact, in 1941 he posted a .406 batting average, making him the last Major League player to bat over .400 in a season.
So, you may be wondering how Mr. Williams might provide some solid advice for sales professionals…
Well, the story goes that one day a young newspaper reporter ran into Ted at a train station… as you can imagine, the youngster was quite impressed and found himself rambling on about what an “honor it was… meeting the best batter in baseball… and so on and so on…” And then he said to Ted Williams, “Gee Mr. Williams, you must be a great student of hitting.”
To which Ted replied, “No son, I’m a great student of pitching!”
Tying this into the sales process, as sales professionals we must understand both the selling process and the buying process; we must learn why people might be most likely to buy-in to our ideas and proposals, and then structure our presentations to match that thinking process.
Along those lines, in his book, “The Anatomy of Persuasion,” author Norbert Aubuchon shared his research on defining the buying or “buying-in” process. He identified the following five steps:
- NEEDS – a buyer has an unsatisfied need, either recognized or unrecognized
- RECOGNIZE – a buyer recognizes the need, and makes it a priority; the buyer is willing to act
- SEARCH – the buyer seeks information on how to satisfy the need
- EVALUATE – the buyer matches the information with requirements and rates the results
- DECIDE – positive ratings usually result in a buying decision; negative ratings result in continued search
Interestingly, these steps align nicely with the steps for selling a product or service, which are outlined in our previous post!