Life is and should be a constant transition point for most people. If you don’t have very many transition points, then I would highly encourage you to read further. Also, as a sales person or a person who wants to influence others, understanding transition points of others can help you sell more and influence more.
So what is a transition point?
A transition point could really be described as any transition from one place in life to another, but there are a few very specific transition points that everyone will go through at some point in their life, especially if they live long enough.
- Teen to Adult
- High School to College
- College grad to first employment (wage earner)
- Single to Married
- Non-parent to parent
- Employed to Unemployed
- Unemployed To Employed
- Old job, old field to New Job, New Field
- Old job, old field to Same Company, New Job
- Spouse to Divorce
- Family to Single
- Promotion in a company
- Change of Job to another company
Again, if you have lived long enough you can already see that you have been in one of the transition points already.
With a transition point each of us now have a new role or responsibility that has some certain identities that accompany it. Some of these new identities are known to you and everyone else. And some of these new identities, may be a perception that you have that you must live up to.
When I was twenty-two I got married to my girlfriend at the time. The marriage lasted about nine months. But during that relationship and the marriage I had assumed many roles and identities that come along in a relationship and marriage. Many of these identities are the ones that society is aware of and expects as well.
We had the new house, we had the dog, we had the two cars, we had the large yard, we had all of the yard equipment, and I had the pickup truck that made practical sense to me at the time.
After this lengthy five-year relationship that ended in divorce. I had accumulated all of these assumed roles, responsibilities, and identity that I no longer wanted to be identified with. I am at a transition point.
The very first thing I did, well after I took care of the major things. Such as shelter, food, and clothing.
I moved on to the next big thing, which at 22, was “What the heck am I driving around in this old man pickup for!”
I can’t be seen on the dating scene with a pickup truck that married guys drive. I was taking on a new identity. And I didn’t want my identity to be associated with this truck.
At thirty-nine years old, it would be much more acceptable. But at twenty-two, it was in no way in my mind acceptable for me to be driving around in this pick up truck. I obviously bought a new vehicle pretty quickly after.
I was in a transition point. And when people are at transition points in their life, they have new identities that they are attempting to live up to. As a sales person, you can play to those new identities and help shape the one that a buyer wants.
Another example of this is a really good friend of mine. Now since we are both in sales, we understand people pretty well. We both understand that all consumers have needs and desires, but ultimately there is one reason why people buy. And that is always the emotional reason they want something.
Like in my example, it was really image that was driving my purchasing decision, and not logic. Especially since I bought a vehicle I couldn’t afford with money I didn’t really have at the time.
But back to my friend. At age forty or so, they went through a transition point. They took a new job as an executive in a company. This was really their first time being at that level in their career. With this new role there was a certain identity that comes with it. In their mind and in most people minds. They felt like they needed to live in a different house. An executive house. An executive house has a lot of parameters, but to just name a few.
It must be in a very desirable location in the city they live. Meaning it has to be some what exclusive and even hard to get and purchase. The neighbors must be similar people as they are. High income earners with very high-profile positions in the community and especially in their organization or they must own their own businesses. The size of the house and the look and lure of the house all matter.
Although my friend had many reasons to buy a new house. A growing family, a more desirable location based on their lifestyle, etc. The real reason they purchased the home was because they felt like this new identity and role they were now in, had certain expectations associated with it. They spent more than they really wanted to at the time, but it didn’t matter to them. And they ultimately sold that house and made a very nice return I am sure.
Again, as in my personal example, and in my friends example. These transition points in our life forced us, and inspired us, to consider making different purchases than we were currently making at the time. As practical buyers we both could have easily stayed in our current situations. It made much more sense financially. But I bought a new vehicle and my friend bought the house.
If you are hiring people for a new job, if you are trying to inspire people to stay motivated on the job, and if you are in sales or leadership. Understanding these transition points can help you have the influence you want to have. But you have to understand and know the situation better to actually appeal to the persons needs, desires and wants.
All of this is done through asking questions. But most people don’t do a very good job at asking questions. Leaders don’t spend the time with their employees enough to understand what it is they want and are seeking.
And as a sales trainer and a buyer of products for the last thirty years of my life, sales people definitely don’t do a good job at asking questions to understand the buyers desires and actually try to understand their situation.
When you understand where a person is at this point in their life you will be able to appeal to their motives and desires and sell them exactly what they want.
If you are interested in learning how to do this. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To your success and your future.