In the next several columns I will be putting on my benefit sales trainer hat, with a series of columns called, "If you want to sell, do this." These will be detailed selling techniques that producers in my firm's FutureOffice Network use every day with great success.

These techniques will work for you if you deploy them as described. Do not deviate from these "magical formulas" - they work! Study them carefully and then try them out. You will generate more business and create raving fans among your customers - customers who will want to work with you for a long time.

This month, we'll begin our look at the two-factor technique with an examination of the three psychological states of a prospect. I love this technique because it works well and will help you understand how to get more "hits" on your sales calls.


Three psychological states of a buyer after the sales call

Your buyer moves among three psychological states as you make a sales presentation. The first state, which is highly desired, is where the buyer is angry about something - as long as it isn't you. This is the "dissatisfied buyer." The motivation for the dissatisfaction could be his or her broker, the carrier, price, service issues, doctors not getting paid in a timely manner, etc.

At this stage, you astutely utter melodious words on how you can help the buyer out of his dissatisfied state. You want to take the buyer from being dissatisfied to being satisfied - with you. Then you win.

There is a catch, however: there's a state in the middle called "not dissatisfied." It can mess up your sales presentation and prevent you from getting an AOR.

This is where most salespeople find themselves with a buyer when all the selling is done. You've done a bang-up job selling and advising on how you can help the buyer - who is dissatisfied with something - and you've moved the buyer closer to you, but only so close that he is now not dissatisfied.

That means he likes what you say, but something is still missing. Your buyer is left in a state where he is not dissatisfied.

This is not the same as "satisfied." You do not get an AOR from a buyer in the "dissatisfied" or "not dissatisfied" states. You lose.

The only state where you'll get an AOR is when you move your buyer to the "satisfied" state, based on what you've said to and shown the buyer.

How do you move a buyer to "satisfied"? For most sellers, this is a difficult task. You are having a difficult time moving buyers to "satisfied" if you are churning lots of prospects without making a sale.

You move a buyer to "satisfied" by giving extra value or value that the buyer is currently not receiving.

Most of our partners in the FutureOffice Network understand this concept and get more business for their time because they provide added value that the customer wants but is not receiving from their current adviser.

Value can be presented as two types of tools: ones that take work off the buyer's plate and ones that give the buyer back time. Are you focusing on your customers' needs besides just giving good rates and adding value in these two areas?

Think of this in baseball terms. A hitter doesn't have to hit the ball 100 feet above the outfield fence for a home run. If the ball is hit 10 feet over the fence, the result is the same: a home run.

You are the hitter. You just need to have a few value-adds that have strong appeal to the buyer and that your competitor either does not have or cannot present well, and you score.

Next month, in Part 2, we'll complete our look at the two-factor technique.

Davidson is the founder of and He is also on the faculty of the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Contact him at

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