[E39] Behavior Week: Controller Part II – Letting Controllers Control And Still Getting The Sale

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Authentic Persuasion Show
Authentic Persuasion Show
[E39] Behavior Week: Controller Part II – Letting Controllers Control And Still Getting The Sale
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If you listened to the last episode, there were probably no surprises.

None of this information is surprising or new or ground breaking.

The key is using it to enhance interactions and understand relationships better.

In this episode I talk about how the Controller group likes to buy and how to sell to them.


Episode 39 – Transcript

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On this episode, I talked about how to help people by when they are in the behavior group that must always be in control. Welcome to Episode 39 of The Sales Experience Podcast. The previous episode was part one of my discussion about controllers. To recap, in case you missed that one or just to refresh your memory; the control group is defined by their desire or need to be in control of situations, and possibly other people.

The name says it all. Remember, I’m not saying any of this to indicate what’s right or wrong, or which group is better than others, unless somebody is harming somebody, but that’s a whole different discussion. The desire to control situations is not a negative thing, again, unless it’s causing harm to other people, or it’s meant to hurt other people or put them down. If you’re out with a group of friends and no one can decide where to go next, the controller in the group is going to step up, take charge and decide what to do next, and where to go. If you don’t have someone like that in your group, then literally, you might stand around all night and not decide what do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do? I don’t know what you want to do?

The controller is the one that can break that cycle, and literally step in and say, here’s what we should do. Let’s go do it. Follow me, I know where we’re going to go. Controlling type behavior groups are important for running companies. This position is at the top of the org chart for a reason, most of the time because they must control everything. They must have a certain level of control over where that ship is going and that it’s being run successful. And the balance within a controller for empathy and confrontation and control is valuable for getting things done that might not otherwise get done by other people.

All right. Let’s shift into what happens when a controller wants to buy, how do they like to buy? Well, like I said in the previous show, they like to buy with a certain level of confrontation. The key is that they always must feel like they’re in control, like they’re in charge of the station. So, when they go on to that car lot using the previous example, the big thing for them is that they’re going to be asking lots of questions.

They’re going to be going pretty hard at the salesperson. They have to feel like they’re the ones in control and in charge of the relationship and of the transaction, and they are the ones who are going to decide what happens. They don’t like manipulation, they don’t like tricks, they don’t like games. If they determine or pick up on the fact that you might be manipulating them or a salesperson’s trying to pull tricks on them, they will literally crush them into oblivion.

They will not stand for that they’re okay with confrontation, they’ll call the salesperson out on it and they’ll totally walk away from the transaction. And so this group, the controllers want to be in charge and want to know everything that might be good or bad about the product or service they’re looking at. They really want to know all of the holes.

Their questions are going to be about probing and looking for interesting defined every vulnerability, weak spot or negative downside to a product or service because they want to know what they’re getting into, and then they want to make that decision.

The worst thing that can happen to a controller is they buy something, walk away from the transaction, get home deal with that product or service, maybe it’s a day later, maybe it’s a week later and find out that there’s a problem or a defect or something negative that they didn’t know. And then now they don’t feel like they’re in control, and they feel like they got screwed over, they are going to be really mad. And again, because this group is okay with confrontation, that fury will come back at the sales rep or the company in full bore. This group is not going to just passively sit on their hands and go, oh, well, I made a mistake. I’m totally okay with that, but it’s probably my fault. They’re going to go full attack mode.

Most likely, again, these are generalities, but they’re going to go really hard at the company because they’re going to be upset. So, if you’re in the selling situation and you’re selling to controllers, the big key takeaways from all of this is that you want make sure that A, you’re honest, no tricks, no manipulation, and no high pressure tactics. You try to use high pressure tactics, manipulation tactics, sales strategies like you know, really hardcore ones on a controller, they’re just going to fight back, none of it’s going to work and they’re going to push back. You’ve got to let them be in control, especially when it comes to all of their questions and everything they’re going to hit you with.

Just make sure that you answer with honesty. And if you don’t know an answer, tell them you don’t know, don’t try to BS your way through an interaction with a controller because they’re just going to tear you apart. They’re going to sniff it out and then they’re just going to end it. So, make sure if you don’t know the answer something, go ask for help, get somebody else on the phone or in the meeting with them. You know, get somebody who can answer their question so that they feel comfortable that what they’re about to buy, the product or service is going to fit their needs, does what it’s supposed to do and it’s going to be the right decision for them. And so that’s very important to do.

Now they’re going to hit you with lots of questions. Just make sure you let them run with those questions. Again, those questions are their way of trying to find out if this is the right fit. But you’ve got to balance that because the thing is, and this is what’s interesting about controllers, because they like a little confrontation, they like a little bit of a fight. So, you want to push back as well. You don’t want to be a complete doormat and just take all of their questions and hope that they decide to buy, you want to push back. You want to make sure that you ask them questions.

Keep in mind the fundamental thing, and everyone knows this, if you’ve been in sales for any length of time you’ve heard this is that the person who’s asking questions is always in control. And so if they’re asking questions of you, they’re in control. That’s how you know you’re dealing with the controller because they’re just hitting you with questions and trying to control everything about the interaction. But what you’ve got to do if you ever want to be effective in sales, is you have to have control.

You’re the sales professional so you’ve got to turn it around on them and ask them questions, and try to wrestle back control and drive the bus at the right level. If you do it too hard, you’re going to upset them, they’re going to feel like they lost control, which like I said in the last episode is their big fear that they’re out of control. So, they’ve got to feel like they’re in control. But you’ve got to be driving the bus and make sure you get to a sale to complete a transaction. And they will actually respect you more if you’re answering their questions, but also pushing back, also asking questions of your own, also just being straight to the point with them, they will appreciate it because they want that confrontation. And they want to feel like they have confidence in you and or your company, product and service. And so just keep that in mind.

The big thing when selling to controllers, once you’ve identified that you’re dealing with a controller is to do judo moves on them, right? It’s to not go on a head to head battle and just have a confrontational fight with them. Because if you do that and you just keep battling with them, the problem is, is you may win, right.

Mentally you may say, yeah, I got them, I asked them questions, I shut them down, problem is they’ll just walk away, and then you have no deal. And so at the end of the day, like they say you win the battle, but you lose the war and that’s not the goal. But when you’re dealing with a controller you want to use judo, which is where you use their energy against them. Instead of trying to fight it, you want to use that energy to close deals as their own decision and their way of looking at things.

They’re asking questions, you’re answering it, and then you’re basically walking them through the transaction and to a close deal with their energy and with their focus. And when this is done right, you will earn their business and their respect because they will appreciate a professional who didn’t just fold at all their questions, but basically gave them what they needed. The key with dealing with controllers, it’s always got to be their idea. You can’t tell them what they need to think, you can’t tell them what their goals are.

You need to ask them questions when you can, when you can get a word in edgewise. Ask them questions, figure out what their goals are, what their needs are, where their pain points are, and then basically put it in their hands that the best thing for them to do is buy from you because that will solve their issues. But you’ve got to keep it as their idea, it’s got to be from their point of view. You can’t tell them, hey, you need to do this, because this is important. That’s you trying to take control, they don’t like to be controlled, you’ll have a dead deal. You need to put it in framework of what it’s their idea where it’s Hey, Bob, I’m sure you already know that this is the best thing that you can do for your situation because like you told me, X, Y and Z, this would solve that by putting you into A, B, C. And then they’ll have to agree with you because it makes sense, but they’re still in control. So keep that in mind.

I know that’s a lot of information. Controllers can be really difficult to deal with on a sales transaction. For a lot of sales reps if you’re in or you’re not super strong, you don’t enjoy confrontation, this group here will feel like the ones that you can never close and never handle. And you just don’t like dealing with because of that confrontational almost attack mode and what that feels like.

But this group here is very closable once you understand who they are, how to deal with them, and how to approach them, how to handle their questions, and where that’s coming from instead of taking it personal. It’s about what they’re looking for and what they like. But once you meet them there, once you get to the point in that conversation in that relationship with the controller, where they feel satisfied and happy about what they’re going after; they’ll be a client for life. They’ll be in love with what you offer with your product, your service, with you as a sales professional, and they could become a huge client long term for you and your business because they appreciate and they respect you for what you did. That’s it for this episode and discussion about controllers.

Do not miss tomorrow’s episode, where I’m going to bring together all of these nine previous episodes, the four groups that we’ve been talking about into one kind of summary and actionable way that you can use this in conversations, with relationships, with people in your life, in your sales role, whatever that may look like. I’m going to wrap it all up and do my best to give you as many ways to really put these things into action.

And until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.

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