Tell Your Customers Why They Don’t Need You

You probably want your customers to trust you. And you probably tell them the truth about why they should buy from you.

You might think that’s enough for them to trust you, but of course it’s not. Oddly, what’s missing is telling them something about why they might not need you. Here’s why.

Consider these two sentences:

1. If you’re serious about wealth management, then you should consider whole life insurance as part of your portfolio.

2. If you distinctly need insurance coverage in addition to an investment product, then you should consider whole life insurance as part of your portfolio.

The first paragraph is a form of manipulative selling–like the assumptive close (“OK, shall we start on Monday or on Wednesday?”), or inducing a series of ‘yes’ answers (“Now, I assume you want your children to be taken care of, right?”).

Most people get annoyed when asked a question to which there’s only one reasonable answer. And most of us consider being asked that question a reason not to buy from the asker. So–don’t do that.

Instead, ask a question that allows reasonable people to answer differently.

Ask Questions that Allow Buyers to Self-Select

The second sentence is different. It provides information by distinguishing between people who might find value in the product and those who might not. Phrased that way, it not only educates the customer, it allows the customer to make a decision to opt-in or opt-out.

Most salespeople get nervous about questions that allow customers to opt out. Not, however, salespeople who understand the power of trust.

By giving a customer knowledge that permits opting out, a salesperson is putting him—or herself at risk. But without risk, there can be no trust—only control and the illusion of choice.

The reason trust works in sales is because human beings reciprocate when they are trusted. They appreciate being treated as adults, they appreciate not being manipulated and they appreciate being given choices that help them make intelligent decisions.

And they show their appreciation by buying, disproportionately, from those who treat them that way.

Let your customers know why they might not need you.