By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida – Can we please stop whining!
Have you noticed this annoying trait that appears more often in your daily routine? From hospitals to hospitality, airlines to air conditioning repair, understaffed businesses are understaffed, leading to unproductive pushback.
My marketing work often requires direct interaction with managers and salespeople in high-level positions. From major market manager to top seller, whining seems to be all the rage and contagious. Like COVID, no matter what you do to prevent it, when it shows up it will control the environment and change the plan. Believe me, I’ve been through both and neither is easy to quit.
In my recent experience, whining as a selling strategy has usually surfaced somewhere in the negotiation process, when salespeople and/or managers lose focus on the win-win objective and rely on emotional triggers. The salesperson arrives empty and unprepared to open the door to a mutually beneficial conclusion. Experience shows that all parties to a real negotiation will work together to achieve an agreement that is good for all. The higher the stakes, the more time, thought and resources are devoted to the solution set. If you keep an eye on the price, the negotiation should never become personal, adversarial or a relationship breakdown.
So let’s stop here and identify how this current whining trend sounds and offer some takeaways to avoid disrupting the sales process and destroying the relationship you’ve built with your customers.
1) “You spend more with them than with us” is not a sales strategy. It almost sounds confrontational. Sometimes positioning the advertiser to justify a competitive spend can backfire, as you put the advertiser on the defensive in what should be a smooth process. Try a more positive approach like: “Based on the market analysis we’ve done, it looks like radio (audio) is working for you. Here is a concept that will increase your share of voice______. »
2) “I’ve worked hard to get you what you want.” Seriously, the guilt card? Are we still looking for an “A for effort” in a job where we get paid to close a business? Direct your frustration into a more positive direction. Try to move the process along using non-confrontational words, “Is there flexibility…” or “We’re getting closer to…” Sometimes the answers will help point you towards a win-win solution.
Rejection is part of any successful sales and management career path.
But whining at your customer is not a good look. As the saying goes, “Stop whining and start selling!”
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a sales, marketing and media development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa by email at: [email protected]