Handle adversity. Embrace uncertainty. Never settle.
May 21, 2023

770. "Sales and Stockholm Syndrome: Striking a Balance Between Customer Empathy and Professional Obligations"

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In this captivating episode, we delve into the intriguing world of sales psychology and uncover a surprising parallel with a psychological phenomenon known as Stockholm Syndrome. 

Join me as I explore how sales professionals can unintentionally develop a strong bond with their customers that they lose sight of their responsibilities. 

  • Discover the risks of falling into this trap, and learn actionable strategies to balance empathizing with customers and fulfilling your obligations as a salesperson. 
  • Gain valuable insights to navigate the emotional waters of sales successfully and deliver exceptional service while maintaining professionalism. 

If you're ready to break free from the grip of Stockholm Syndrome in sales and reclaim your role as an empowered sales professional, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in now and unlock the secrets to sales success.
Stay tuned to the end for a self-reflective question to help you apply these principles to your own life. Get a free copy of these questions @ thesaleslife1@gmail.com

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The greatest sale you will ever make is to sell you on you. You're more than enough. Never settle. Keep Selling. 


Stockholm Syndrome is where a hostage forms a bond with the one who captured him. That is so strong that they'll do anything for 'em. So much so that we've seen situations like this where the hostage ends up breaking the law with the one who captured 'em. It's the craziest thing ever. And you look at a scenario like that and you're like, dude, that's crazy. But chances are if you're in sales, you've probably developed at one point in your career or another, , if not now. Stockholm Syndrome, this is where you actually form a bond that is so strong with your customer that you lose sight of your responsibilities as a salesperson, and that's to provide a. Welcome to the Marsh Bodies Podcast. Everybody in life is dealing with three things, uncertainty, adversity, and complacency. And the ones who succeed. Have learned how to embrace uncertainty, handle the adversity, and never settle again using five skills. And they all start with the letter C. On this podcast, you're gonna learn how to be a better communicator, not only with yourself, but also with others as well. You're also gonna learn how to be more creative using my own story as a reference point, go back and listen to some of the older ones. You'll learn how to be resourceful when you lack the resources, and you won't be sitting there blaming everybody else for your situation. You just become resourceful. That's also being curious. No longer living in statements and start asking questions again. You'll also learn how to be a continuous learner and take action on what you learn because learning is not enough. There's a bunch of books behind me. Just what I read doesn't mean anything. It's what I apply. And then last, which is the granddaddy of 'em all. You're also gonna be confrontational. Confrontational is not a bad thing. Being productively confrontational, not only with the things in your own life, but also with others as well. For more resources, go to marsh b.com. That's M A R S H B U I C E. Today's episode, episode seven 70. I'm so excited about bringing to you sales and the Stockholm Syndrome, striking a balance between customer empathy and professional obligations and. Today's episode reveals a fascinating parallel between a psychological phenomenon in the sales profession known as the Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome, which you probably heard it before, is typically associated with hostage situations. And surprisingly, man, you can find it in the sales world as well. You just don't even realize it. , but even if you're not in the sales profession, you're gonna find a lot of parallels because I say selling is a life skill. It's not just a profession, but you're gonna find that you've probably adopted some of the Stockholm syndrome. Let me paint the picture for you. In the Stockholm syndrome. A hostage forms an unbreakable bind with their captor, and it's so strong that they'll actually go to any length to please their captor. So much so that there are reports of the hostage robbing the bank with the captor. Sounds crazy, but that's how strong the forces are. Now, replace the hostage with that of a salesperson and the captor with their customer. That's the essence of what we're gonna explore today. In sales, building connections and empathizing with customers. Man, that's vital. But where do we draw the line between understanding their emotions and losing sight of our responsibilities as a sales professional? That's the question we're gonna take head on today. So get ready to prime your mind and we're gonna dive into the world of the sales psychology and if you're not in the profession of sales, you can use this. Just swap it out and see where in your professional and personal career where you've tended to blur the lines and you've had this me against the world kind of mentality, and it's actually working against you It's my hope that when you walk away from this episode that you're gonna have a healthy balance between having customer empathy and fulfilling your obligations as a salesperson. Also I have a free resource for you to help make you better. So email me at thesaleslife1@gmail..com that's the sales life, the number one gmail.com. In the subject line, put episode seven 70. and I will send you some actionable takeaways from today's episode and some self-reflective questions that you can ask not only of yourself, but also to your team as well. This would be something great for you to sit down and for your team to listen to and then practice and have a open discussion with these self-reflective questions. So fasten your belts because today we're gonna break free of the grip of the elusive Stockholm syndrome and reclaim your role and your responsibilities. Let's jump right in. So there's a psychological condition called Stockholm Syndrome, and it's fascinating, actually. Stockholm Syndrome is where a hostage forms a bond with the one who captured him. That is so strong that they'll do anything for 'em. So much so that we've seen situations like this where the hostage ends up breaking the law with the one who captured 'em. It's the craziest thing ever. And you look at a scenario like that and you're like, dude, that's crazy. But chances are if you're in sales, you've probably developed at one point in your career or another, , if not now. Stockholm Syndrome, this is where you actually form a bond that is so strong with your customer that you lose sight of your responsibilities as a salesperson, and that's to provide a. You can't be apathetic in sales and just be some damn robot. But you also can't be so highly charged in emotions that you get sucked into forming this bond with them, and you lose sight of the fact that you have a responsibility, an obligation to fulfill. With your customers, and that means that you have to work your process. That means that you have to follow this cadence. So you have to be empathetic. You have to feel the emotions of your customer, but you don't go down the drain hole with them The most common thing is, when some sort of term or condition is not met and the customer asks for it and you think that it can happen, and you go to your sales manager and they say, no, I can't do that. Even if they could, and this is where you lose your shit and you're like, man, what I mean, you did it for this other person this is where you get sucked into it, man. It's the sales manager's job to make the. You have to respect whatever that call is, and you roll with it. And then you go out there and you sell your customers on the fact that these are favorable terms but you've also gotta sell them on how you come into play, the level of service that you offer your customers. Not only now. , but after the sale is way more important than some facts and figures and terms. They're gonna forget about the terms. 10 minutes after signing. Now it's where you come into play, but if you get so sucked up in that vortex, Of just embodying their emotions and abandoning your obligations for a salesperson. That's the greatest disservice that you can do for a customer. And it's a big reason why salespeople end up out of the business, because it's not the one voice you embody. It's the 10, 20, 50 hundreds of customers voices that you just lay on top of your shoulders and this is what makes you believe it's a me against them, the establishment, the company, the sales manager, all the other salespeople, and you're working against everybody. Stockholm Syndrome. So pay attention to the way that you're interacting during negotiations and working with your customers. Don't skip the processes because the customer is making these demands. sheerly out of emotions you have a job to do and whether they agree to do business with you or not. You gotta live to go another day. You've got more customers to take care of than this one. So pay attention to their emotions, align with them, but help them see higher possibilities, better solutions. That you have to offer. If this customer doesn't want to do business with you based on the terms and conditions, and you've done your best to offer additional perspectives in higher level thinking and solutions. If they don't wanna do business with you then and they want to go with the lower priced, inferior product and salesperson, you gotta let 'em go. They'll be back. And you've gotta go on to the next thing. Get outta this scarcity mentality as if this customer's the last customer you'll ever meet. You're not on a desert island, your mind is on a desert island, but you're not. Stop acting. Stop. Hey, hey, save me. No. And customers don't even wanna do business with that anyway. And even if you agree to their terms and conditions, many times your customers leave unsatisfied. And if they're not unsatisfied cuz they feel like they could have gotten more. And many times your customers leave unsatisfied cuz they feel like there was more on the table that you didn't provide. This is why you gotta draw the line in the sand. Say this is. This is what I can do, but this is what I can do afterwards, and it's important that you know that because I'm not a guy that's been in the business for six months. I'm a guy who's been in the business for 24 years. I plan on being here a long time. Even if you switch vendors, even if you go somewhere else, even if you say no, today, it's all right. Five years from. I'm still gonna be selling, I'm still gonna be providing solutions. I'm still gonna be offering the level of service that hundreds of my customers come back to a time and time and time again. See what kind of swagger that is. See what kind of confidence that customers get. Sucked right into. And I'm not even trying to suck you in. I'm trying to make a point because I know what I can provide. I know what I can do for my customers. So check yourself, man, if you're in this me against the world kind of mentality right now. Stockholm Syndrome. If you feel like your sales managers are out of touch and sales people are out to get you, and the company is, is just not what it used to be, it's you. You're not what you used to be. You gotta do your job. Your obligation is to provide a level of services, what you got in the business for. I wanna help people. Well help 'em, help 'em see something brighter and better on the other. Or let 'em know. Do all the research you want. I know. We'll be back together because when you lay it all on the table, not just the terms and conditions, and you see my proven track record in the time that I've been in the business, you'll see what I know to be. I'm your best fit. I'm your man. Dude, I want to jump in here and I want to add something that after I've recorded this episode, And I fell into the Stockholm syndrome. Lemme tell you what happened. I had a customer come in and I went out there and met him and dude, immediately we hit it off. I mean, we're both built, we both work out tatted up, just, just bro vibes all the way. I just became like a fanboy, I guess. And dude, we were, you know, we were talking to each other and, and I mean, we just, we just hit it off, got to know each other's family a little bit, sat down. I reviewed all of his information, gave him his options. And just the more we talked, the more I just was certain that he was just gonna go right into it and go ahead and buy. And then he said, this all looks good. I can handle that. Let me talk to my wife and I gotta go to the dentist and I'll be back after that, I fell into it. I lost my bearings and my responsibility of making sure that I'm addressing any concerns. I didn't watch his body language. Actions speak louder than words. See, his words were saying the right things, but his actions were saying, Hey, I'll check you later. And before I even finished the sentence, you know what happened? I told the salesperson, oh, don't worry, he's coming back. He's just going to the dentist. He'll be right back. I'm still waiting on that guy. A week later, you know what he did? He shopped, he found a better deal somewhere else. And I was so mad at myself that I just slipped right into this thing. I didn't even see it until it was too late. But instead of just kicking the can down the road, I had to ask myself, what did you do wrong? And I tell you what I did wrong. When I presented everything, what I should have done is make sure that we are completely done and get some sort of leverage of a buy-in. Whether we go ahead and start the process of the paperwork. And if he didn't and he pushed against that, then I should have seen that. For instance, I would've said, okay, well look, does all this work for you? What do you think the wife will say? Oh, she's gonna say, it's up to me. All right, well if it's up to you, can you handle this? Does this, all this fit into your budget? Oh yeah, yeah, I can do that. All right, well, let's go ahead and get started on everything. well I gotta go to the dentist, won't take about a minute. Let's go ahead and move forward. That way I can go ahead and get your truck prepped and then you can pick it up later on this afternoon. See, that is a litmus test to see if he pushes against that. If he, if I would've done that, he would've pushed against it, and I would've known right then and there. It's not for certain, because he already said it's, I wanna run it by the wife. But it's solely up to me. But also, if he would've came back and said, nah, I still wanna run it by the wife, great. Tell you what, let's go ahead and move forward with the paperwork. And if there's any sort of adjustments that need to be made once you talk to her, that's an easy fix. Unless I'm missing something here. See if I would've done that, I would've been able to see that we're not completely done yet. There are still some underlying concerns and if he would've said, yeah, but the budget, and a lot of times, man, when you're persistent like that, the real thing comes out, which was the budget. Cuz I even asked him when I followed up, he was receptive. He told me, Hey, I'm buying somewhere else. And I said, Hey, I'm always looking to improve. Where did I go wrong? And he said it was a budget thing. I missed it. And what I should have done is been persistent, pushed myself to be persistent with him moving forward on his words, that everything is good. That way I would know there was an issue and I could have, he would've pushed against it we could have taken all the offerings off. Which were like protections, warranties, stuff like that. Backed everything out and then rebuilt what was most important, and I missed that. And unfortunately, a salesperson who had worked hours to earn that customer's trust, I messed it up. But it was a learning lesson for me. It was something that I'd gotten complacent. I'd let my guard down. And I failed to do my job as a salesperson. So it's, it happens, I'm, I'm 25 years into this man, and it happens and it's just a sobering reminder. Not that I get cynical about it, that I get, it is a challenge. You gotta tighten up. And I see the errors of my ways. And I lost sight of the responsibility that I have to provide a service. I know wherever he buys, no one's gonna give him the level of service that I can. But I miss that I did him on justice because I did not fully complete my job as a salesperson. So I'm susceptible to it. Also, man, don't think for one minute I have it all together cuz I don't. It's a lesson that I'm learning every single day. Before we get outta here, I'm gonna ask you a few questions that I want you to pause and really think about these things, and if you want these, I'll email you these questions as well. thesaleslife1@gmail.com That's the sales life, the number1@gmail.com, and then the subject line, put episode seven 70 and I'll send you these questions. The first question I want to ask you is, am I finding the right balance between empathy and professionalism and my sales interactions? How can I ensure that I understand and connect with my customer's emotions without losing sight of my responsibilities? Second question, do I have clear boundaries in place when dealing with customer demands? Am I effectively communicating what I can and can I do super important while providing also exceptional service? See, you can give exceptional service without having to cave to every single demand. The third question I want to ask you, am I focused on long-term value and service, or am I overly fixated on closing a deal based solely on the terms on in the conditions? How can you emphasize the value that you bring? Do the value and the level of service that you bring, bring that into the realm. To help provide the quality that your customers are willing to pay for. Fourth question, super important. Have I fallen into scarcity mentality? Believing that a single customer's decision determines my success? How can I shift my mindset to embrace abundance? Knowing there are plenty of other opportunities out there. And the last question, am I seeking growth in customer improvement in my sales approach? How can I stay adaptable and open to strategies, techniques, resources to enhance my professional sales career? This is why I say communication, curiosity, creativity, continuous learning and action, and productive confrontation. The five questions I just asked you. Deal with those five things. You gotta remember, man, self-reflection is a personal journey, and these questions I hope will help you gain some valuable insights on your own practices, both in and out of the sales world. So I challenge you, man. Take time to reflect. I know I will. I listen to my own episodes and take my own advice. So take time to reflect on the experiences and make the adjustments where you're necessary. Just do one thing, take one question a day. This week, it's five of them. Take one question a day and really work on those, work on that one question, and don't go to the next one until you get that one taken care of, and then you go to the next one. This is how you're gonna elevate your game. This is how you're gonna get unstuck from your situations as well. All right? Remember, the greatest sale that you will ever make is a sale you on. You. Keep it simple. Keep it moving. Never settle. Keep selling your way through life no matter what.