It is very fashionable these days to say:
“See the forest instead of seeing the tree.”
Although it has become a cliché, the principle behind this expression is still entirely accurate.
One of the biggest problems we face every week with the company salespeople is precisely this.
The fact that the salesperson often only looks at his navel or the navel of his company.
It is usual for him to say: “I don’t understand my customers” or “I don’t understand this problem.”
First of all, we have to thin out the sea of arguments and preconceived ideas that arise.
After this process, we often see that the only reason the salesperson doesn’t better understand what’s going on is simply that they look at the situation from the perspective:
“What’s in it for me, the salesperson?”.
But is this the proper perspective to analyze a situation involving customers?
Of course not.
The correct perspective would be:
“What does my customer gain or lose from this?”.
That is, to step back and look at the forest instead of the tree.
Often we are so caught up in the problem at hand that we fail to take a step back and look at what is going on with different eyes and perspectives.
One of the things we can do when a salesperson is “blocked” in complex sales or negotiation is to help them stand up, walk around the room and look at the problems from different physical angles.
You are probably thinking, but why stand up?
Changing our physical posture or the location from which we are looking at the problem has a brutal impact on our analysis process.
The human being is a very territorial animal.
There is an area of study, called proxemics, that deals with precisely this—the use of spaces, physical barriers, virtual barriers, safety distances, etc.
But when it comes to the analysis and decision process, it is fundamental that the salesperson gets out from behind their desk.
In this position, we are defended by the security of our visible and invisible barriers.
For example, our office, our desk, etc…
When we step out of our comfort and safety zone, moving around our room or even around the company, the perspective we have is completely different.
If you always look at things from the same perspective, the conclusions and results you will reach will always be the same.
Most of the time, the solution is within our reach. The perspective from which we are looking for it is not the best one.
Try the following exercise.
Take two chairs and place them facing each other at a distance you would sit in a meeting with a client.
Sit in the first chair and imagine (or, if you like, hallucinate) as best you can that your most complex client is sitting in it.
Bring out your imagination resources from when you were a child and, for a few moments, come with us to play make-believe.
From that position and imagining your client is in front of you, analyze the situation as best you can.
Next, experiment: stand up and move a little away from the two chairs, but always looking at them.
Imagine that you are still sitting there, as well as your customer.
More or less as if you were outside your body observing the scene.
Now, in this external position, analyze the problem again.
Then do another experiment again.
Sit in your client’s place.
Imagine that you are still sitting there, in the chair opposite, and analyze the problem again, this time as if you were your client.
Above all, with all the implications of this situation.
Finally, stand up and sit back down in your seat.
Analyze the problem again and see if you are still looking at your customer and the sale in the same way as at the beginning of the process.
You will see that in most cases, this is no longer the case.
This week, when you want a different perspective on the situation, stand up and do this exercise.
You will see that you will come to entirely different conclusions than usual.
Also published on Medium.