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Mars and Venus – Part IV: What makes sense to buyers?

Did you ever feel that the person you were speaking to was living on another planet? Did it ever cross your mind that they might think the same about you? This is what can happen if your communication with your customer is not in synch with their sense of reality.

I am using the term sense, however to mean how they actually mentally process information. While each of us has five senses, we normally perceive the world stronger through one than the other four.

Knowing which sense a person favours, can really help your levels of communication with that person.

Did you ever forget something, like the name of a song, and you were describing your frustration to someone at not being able to remember it. Which of the following 5 sentences might you use to describe your situation?

  • It is so frustrating; I can feel it right on the tip of my tongue.
  • I nearly have it; I can hear it clearly in my head.
  • It's so close; I can see it in my mind's eye.
  • I want to remember that so badly, I can almost taste it.
  • It just stinks not being able to remember it.

So which of these did you associate with?

For me it is visual, but I don't know which one it is for you right now. You probably don't know which sense your customer uses.

Once you do know, it is like finding the combination to a safe.

This is the key to finding the language to use with your prospect, so that you are on the same page, and they can start to understand precisely the benefits of your offering.

So how do you find out which sense a prospect favours?

In reality most people favour one of three senses; hearing, seeing and touching. The best time to find out people's strategies is during the small talk, or ice breaker conversation at the beginning of a meeting.

You may be discussing hobbies; an easy example is when somebody says they love golf. You might say something like, “It is great when one hits a good shot and how do you know when you have hit a good one?”

The response is likely to be something along the lines of;

  • I love seeing the ball arcing up, and falling in the centre of the fairway.
  • That feeling when you make a clean strike is magical.
  • It's the sound; there is no sound sweeter that a well struck drive.

If you were selling clothes, you might ask “what do you look for in a garment?” In this case most clothes buyers normally go by look and/or feel, but they do major on one, and their responses would be similar to one of the following;

  • I look for a good cut, with vibrant colours
  • I like the texture, the material should not be abrasive.
How to adapt, once you know which sense a buyer favours

You might be selling sports clothes and love the texture of the latest range of active wear, but your buyer is a visual person. In this situation, you must go with their strategy and ask them questions about what they are looking for in a range of colours and what cut they believe their customers want.

It is important to note here, that even after you have elicited the buyer's strategy, you do not go into sell mode. It is still vitally important to remain in question mode. The key is to ask questions, that the prospect can feel comfortable in answering.

While this is just a summary of how people buy, in order to ensure you are able to connect correctly, you should ensure that you ask the right questions to ascertain someone's strategy, as it relates to the value proposition of your offering.

There is no point asking the clothes type questions, if you are trying to sell a sophisticated piece of customer service software to the Service manager of a large telecommunications company.


Every day, we use the 3R™ Success Framework, to help companies reach the next level in their growth strategy, and as we enter the execution and monitoring phases we help our customer's sales teams know exactly how to achieve superior results using these tools.

This type of targeted assistance is not something that can be delivered through standard classroom or eLearning methods. Our customers tell us, that this can only be achieved, when they really want to explore ways of achieving levels of true excellence. We do this through a combination of coaching and mentoring, of both the executive team and the sales team, to achieve superior results.

This series of articles will explore the different psychological buying patterns or your customersPsychology Articles, and help you to identify how they make decisions.

Source: Free Articles from


This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing. For previous articles like this, visit 3R's Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.Do you require a business growth specialist in Ireland with particular expertise on sales, marketing and business development? We help you get more sales leads, close more sales & increase your profit.

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