Article: The ScareCrow: Your Client Doesn’t Have a Brain

19th April 2016 | By Frances Pratt

Scarecrow. Your Client Doesn't Have a Brain

This article carries on from Meet Dorothy ~ Your Client

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking... don't they?”  Scarecrow Wizard of Oz.

I have sold lots of things to many different people.  There is a common theme, your client doesn’t understand what you sell.   More than that, they are very often scared of what they don’t know and certainly worried that others might know that they don’t know.

All sounds a little complicated … that’s because none of it is logical, it is based on emotions.  Mostly fear.

If you can successfully hold your client's hand, get them to be honest about their fears then you have a fighting chance of helping them to address these and buy from you.  Let’s unpack how this works.

What is your client afraid of?

  1. What They Don't Know

Lots of people are not only afraid of what they don’t know, they are also afraid that you will find out that they don’t know. This creates a cat and mouse game to get to the truth.

Here are some tips on how to address this.

  1. Take an educational approach
  2. Don’t assume that people know what you do or anything about it
  3. Let them know the outcome

“At the end of our meeting you will understand …… My job is to give you all the information you need to make an informed business decision on ……”

  1. The Consequences of Doing Something

Because this isn’t an something they understand and they haven't found someone they trust, they just feel safer staying on their pole in the field, watching the world go by.

You have to compel them to join you.  You have to wave a carrot and wield a stick (sometimes in equal measure) to get them to understand what doing nothing means.  To educate them to understand that doing nothing is worse than doing something.

Note of caution: Sometimes doing nothing is a legitimate response.  Be sure to give them the information so they can make the decision.  No bullying (Lion) tactics allowed.

How to positively deal with fear

The first thing to understand is that fear of what we don’t know is an extremely normal human experience.  Whether you are selling to individuals, big companies or anything in between, fear will be there waiting to shut the door in your face.

You have to push their buttons. 

It’s true, if you are going to help them overcome fear, then you have to be upfront with them.  Help them to explore their fears.  Here’s some tips on how to do that:

  • Name it.  Name what you see and listen carefully to the response.
  • Tell stories.  Use stories of other people’s fears (that you think are relevant).  About what they found and how they overcame them > more here

After you have pushed their fear buttons, you HAVE to apply a salve.  Talk about the solution and how you can help them overcome their problem.  You have to make it worth their while to do something, despite their fears.

Just like the scarecrow, our clients are smarter and more in touch than they think they are.  Tell them what you know to inspire them into action, but be honest.  Think about Dorothy.  She didn’t say “Absolutely the Wizard will be able to help you.”  She said that he might. They went on a journey together … down the yellow brick road.

What BAD Sales People do:

You can take advantage of people.  When they are scared they can make decisions, that they later regret.  Have you heard of buyers remorse.  You can use these tactics for evil … but I know you will use them for good.  I trust you.

Take Your Clients on a Buying Journey,

help them experience the difference you can make for them.

“Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.
"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.” 

L. Frank BaumThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Next week we are the Tin Man where I ask you to Be Like the Tin Man & Have a Heart

For the love of sales,


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