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Please Stop Selling Me!

January 7th, 2016

Selling is something each and every one of us does every day. You may not be in sales as such, but we sell our partner on what we want to do this weekend, our kids (non-Orange) on cleaning up there room (for a reason or a price), and our boss on a day off, or other issues. Using the tools of Colors in the ways we communicate has huge value in getting more of what we want, and doing less of what doesn’t work. (You can also change selling to managing, coaching, recruiting, etc…)

Recently, an Orange friend called me in total frustration. She needed a new heating and A/C system. A sales person came to her house, she told him that she was not an expert, her system had crapped out, and that she wanted a new one. Well, not so fast. The sales person was a high Green, and the Colors conflict started. The questions were endless as to what she needed, wanted, might consider, the house square footage, high efficiency benefits and drawbacks, and so on.

With every question my Orange friend was getting more impatient. In a number of different ways she kept telling the sales person that she just wanted the system, she trusted him, she didn’t know the specs, but that he could recommend what he felt was appropriate and it’d be a done deal. Nope – it wasn’t that simple. At that point, it was another 10 minutes of explaining various options, features, advantages, drawbacks, and so forth.

By now, my friends’ head was ready to explode, and her efforts turned to doing whatever she could just to get this sales person out of her house. It was the equivalent to quicksand, and she was stuck. She answered phone calls, started her car, and even tried to explain she really had to go! When the sales person finally did leave, her first call was to me, yelling into the phone: “I just wanted to buy the system. I just wanted to write a check and be done with it. But he wouldn’t let me!”

Greens are really gifted at teaching others. But that only applies if others want to learn. In this case, my friend had no interest in the inner working of a heating system. She just wanted to get it handled! Communicating, like selling, is not about you. It’s about the person you are dealing with, and more often than not, we over-talk, and over-sell. Be careful, and watch the clues to their Colors before you get going. Or in this case: Watch the waving check book, shut up, and get the order!


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