It’s Time to Move the Chair!

Businesswoman discussing with colleagues over laptop in office

When I do sales training, I often bring up the concept “Move the Chair.” This object lesson works best when I have a round table with two chairs sitting across from each other. I ask the sales reps, “What does this scene look like?” Typically, they answer that it looks like a sales rep sitting across from a prospect or current customer.

“Great!” I say, “Now go take one of the chairs and put it next to the other one.” After they have moved the chair either physically or by imagining it, I ask them what this new arrangement represents. Usually, I get a long look that just drips with the question “What are you talking about?”

Becoming a Cheerleader

Here’s what I’m after with this re-positioning: Imagine you were so sold on your product or service, knowing without a doubt that it is the perfect fit for your prospect/customer, that you became a cheerleader rooting for them to purchase it. This exercise moves you from the mindset of the sales rep to the mindset of someone working at that company who is trying to convince others to give your product/service a shot.

What makes you most excited about the possibility of adding this product? What will it do for the business that will help you achieve more than ever before?

By imagining yourself in that position, your attitude and approach shift from selling to assisting and helping the customer obtain your product. You start to understand where the customer is coming from and what their priorities might be, all because you imagined your chair moving from one side of the table to the other.

Selling from a Mindset of Empathy

Now more than ever, we need to have empathy and understand what our customers are going through. Every business out there is facing new challenges in response to rapidly changing conditions as a result of COVID-19. Often, they need help to meet them.

That is where you can come in. You have the solution they need; you just need to take the time to understand why that is the case. At the end of the day, we are all human beings trying to meet our goals, even in the B2B market. By sitting next to your customers and prospects (or just imagining yourself on their side of the table from the other end of a video call), you enter the mindset you need to prompt a better conversation. This discussion will focus on helping them achieve their goals and business objectives instead of just trying to sell them something.  

Good Selling,

Steve

Need More Sales Tips and Tricks?

Steve recently gave a webinar going through 20 (yes, that’s right 20!) tips to crush your sales plan for 2020. With the shift everyone is experiencing right now, it may be the right time to adjust your approach and correct anything that you did not have the time to address before.

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Steve Waltz

Steve Waltz

Steve is part of the Innovia Consulting team as a Customer Engagement Specialist. He studied business at Ball State University and has spent his career in the automotive, healthcare/pharma, and enterprise software industries. He is passionate about helping others achieve success and spends the majority of his free time with his family and following his Chicago Cubbies.

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