Wikipedia defines human nature as the concept that there are a set of characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting, which all 'normal' human beings have in common. Most sales processes adhere to that philosophy, gearing sales tactics to capitalize on the commonality of all humans. It makes sense, right? Won't most "normal" human beings react to any given sales tactic similarly? I believe the answer is yes... and no. Certain human characteristics will be consistent across many individuals and situations but beware of utilizing "one-size-fits-all" sales processes with "scripted" responses to your customers. That approach is outdated.

The Feel, Felt, Found Technique

Let's examine a very common example of a classic "human nature" scripted sales tactic. This is a well-known tactic for handling objections called "Feel, Felt, Found." When confronted with an objection such as price, your response would be "I know exactly how you feel, a lot of people felt the same way about the price before they took the time to learn about this product. Once they had the chance to understand in more detail what this product could do for them, they actually found the price to be quite reasonable." This scripted response is designed to accomplish two things. First, it is supposed to show your empathy for the customer. Second, it is intended to tap into the customer's "human nature," based on the assumption that your customer wants to feel like everyone else.

New Human Nature

Human nature has changed. I believe the new human nature drives us to great lengths NOT to be like everyone else. Why would you want to leverage sales tactics and scripts that try to presuppose what will be effective based upon how "most people" will react, when more and more of us aren't anything like "most people?" Each of us is unique. We want to be treated as unique, and we expect the companies we do business with to understand and respond to that fact.

It is time to throw out the old "Feel, Felt, Found" one-size-fits-all canned sales tactic, and adopt a process that allows us to understand exactly what our customers are trying to tell us. We should make sure we are listening carefully to understand how their problems are unique to them and partner with them to create unique solutions that solve their problems exactly the way they are experiencing them.

Take the time to listen carefully, acknowledge your customer's concern and thoroughly explore the situation to verify your understanding before offering solutions. This is how we can meet the challenges of today's customers. We all want to have it our way, that's just "human nature."