The Power of the Un-Sell

un-sell

Have you ever heard of the “Un-Sell?” We have all heard of tons of sales techniques over the years. We may have used some of them, and we may have had some of them used on us. Sometimes those conversations are easy, as the buyer has already decided what they want. Often there is more discussion needed in order to come to a mutually satisfying agreement, and these conversations can be uncomfortable to both sides. In the end, the point of sales is generally the same: close the deal. Get the buyer to agree to give the seller money for goods or services.

hand-819279At Polymath, we’ve learned to go about sales in a very different way, and we are really enjoying it.

We call it the “un-sell.”

We have decided that having the right clients is much more important than closing a deal. Rather than entering an initial consultation appointment with the intention of making sure we get a contract signed, we set the intention to make sure that the relationship is going to be a good fit for both sides. We allow room for hope and excitement for the potential opportunity, but we do not get attached to a particular outcome.

Transparency is key when using the un-sell. We are completely honest about wanting to make sure that they have the best fit for their needs, even if that is not with us. There is no blame or fault in not being a fit. We collaboratively work with the client to see if there may be any areas in which our needs are not in alignment, which is a great learning experience for both sides.

If it is going to turn out that a client is not a good fit, it’s much better for both sides if we learn that as early on as possible, before we have invested time, money, and energy into developing the infrastructure of our working relationship.

The un-sell is an active approach, not a passive one.

In this initial meeting, we like to joke about “lighting all the fuses” on the potential bombs that could blow up later. We see what “pops” early on, rather than forcing something to work that does not feel natural. We also triage for compatibility in our onboarding questionnaire, before ever scheduling the appointment. Nonetheless, some nuances of personality and more specific questions are best assessed in a personal interaction.

Over the course of the un-sell conversation, generally the client is so impressed with our integrity and honest approach, they are looking for ways that they can shift their systems to make our model a better fit for them. The un-sell reverses the usual flow of the conversation to one where the client is courting us for our services, rather than having us courting them for their money. The lack of pressure from us creates a slight vacuum, and the client naturally fills that vacuum.

Provided that it is a good fit, we then begin the discussion about timeline, pricing, and next steps. Those discussions are easy once the foundations of trust and mutually beneficial value have been established.

This leads to the deep, long-term relationships that we love.

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