We work with several psychologists on the emotional elements of both buying and selling. One thing they have always stressed to us is the importance of what they call “validation.”
Validation is defined in this context as acknowledging and respecting the other person’s point of view. We may not agree with it, but we acknowledge and validate his/her right to have and express it.
So let’s say you are selling a car and the customer says: “That car is a gas guzzler.”
Now, your gut response might be: “No it’s not . . . it gets great gas mileage.” But now you have a confrontation on your hands, which is obviously deadly to a sales conversation.
Instead, the psychs tell us a better way to handle it might be to say something like:
“Ah . . . gas mileage is important to you. I understand, with gas prices so high these days. Actually, this car’s performance is better than you might think ….etc.”
This simple technique accomplishes several very powerful things…
- It shows you are listening.
- It expresses your respect for the other person’s point of view.
- It turns what could have been an argument into a thoughtful discussion
. . . all good.
Validation has amazing power to help establish and build rapport. Incidentally, it works great when communicating with your spouse as well. 🙂
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