Life is a Rollercoaster

This week I’d like to show you a great tip when you really need to appreciate what your customer is thinking. Ideal for the consultative salesperson and sales coach.I’ve never travelled on a rollercoaster. Honest, I know it sounds remarkable, but I’ve never had the courage to climb in the small cab and ride the heart wrenching and stomach churning experience.

Until one afternoon over Christmas when my youngest son dared me to get on the ride at Poulton’s Park. Now if you ever want to motivate me to do something, you only need to dare me. I think it’s hard wired into most men.

I watched Euan first and thought I’d use the 1st, 2nd, 3rd position that we use all the time when selling. Now this clever little tip helps you see, feel and fully understand what it’s like for someone else and in sales, is a really useful way of exploring the customer’s point of view.

1st position is where you look at things through your own eyes and as I stared at Euan on the rollercoaster all I could think of was fear, trepidation, how foolish, help!

2nd position is where you step out of your shoes and move into the customer’s shoes and look at thinks through this person’s eyes, in other words see and feel their point of view. So I tried this and moved into Euan’s shoes. Initially I could still feel my fear and trepidation, but I kept at it and began to see how Euan saw the ride. He was smiling and cheering, so loud I could hear him from where I was standing. As he approached the top of the loop just before he was to plunge downwards at breath-taking speed, his look was of apprehension but total excitement. He was enjoying the thrill of the ride and I started to feel what this was like for him.

3rd position is where you stand back, disassociate yourself from both viewpoints and look objectively at the situation. With customers, we get to see their views and yours in tandem. On the rollercoaster I could see Euan’s viewpoint, mine and the other passengers on the coaster. I realised that everyone seemed to be having fun and that this miserable father was seeing the rollercoaster in a very blinkered way.

And did I enjoy it? Yes I did, and I had to go on it again and again. In fact since it wasn’t too busy I went on the same ride 3 times and Euan now thinks his Dad is real cool.

So next time you really want to appreciate your customer’s point of view, go from 1st position, to 2nd and then finally to 3rd position.