Using Aikido Selling To Close Sales with Self-Educating Buyers

aikido selling b2b sales prospecting

The reason your sales prospects love all the free, helpful content marketing you create is because they end up using it against you. Self-educating buyers are using Google Searches and your (and your competitors’) digital content marketing efforts to do their homework. And they think they know what they need to know in order to hold a balanced discussion with you or a member of your sales team. But they’re usually wrong.

Turning The Tables On Sales Prospects

The self-educated buyer has a huge blind spot. Put simply – the self-educated buyer doesn’t know what they don’t know. The false sense of knowledge created by self-education blinds them to a simple fact: they do not always know every question to ask or every scenario to consider. This creates a unique opportunity for you and your sales team to leverage the information gap to create doubt in the mind of the self-educated buyer. And doubt is your friend. This is where Aikido Selling, a simple three-step social selling process, leverages the buyer’s blind spot to rebalance the selling process in your favor.

The Aikido Selling Process Explained

First – Prospect Triage

Once a prospect has been identified, use their preferred medium to understand what they know. If you can, try to determine how or where they obtained their knowledge. Often buyers’ research uncovers mistaken or outdated information that can hurt your chances of winning the sale. It’s important that you know this and take corrective action to correctly reframe their research data before you begin sharing new information.

Second – Find The Blind Spot

Once you’ve established what the buyer does and does not know and corrected misinformation, identify the missing information they need to make the right educated buying decision – buying from you. Once you’ve determined which questions they failed to ask and/or research, you can highlight any relevant product or service features they may have missed.

Third – Complete Their Education

Whatever you do, don’t appear argumentative. This is the antithesis of Aikido Selling because it aligns you and the buyer as opposing forces. Instead, approach this step as a caring educator that seeks to enlighten and help the student. Don’t sell. Teach. The goal of the Aikido sale is to let the buyer sell themselves. They want to sell themselves. That’s why they self-educated in the first place. It’s imperative that you and your sales teams understand this psychological underpinning and then leverage it every time you encounter a self-educating prospect.

Learn More About Aikido Selling

Hopefully this article has set you on the right track. But if you’d like to learn more about marketing and selling to self-educated buyers, feel free to go grab a copy of my new book, The Invisible Sale, where I dive much deeper into the topic and discuss actionable strategies to help your company adapt to today’s content marketing driven sales lead and close process.

Or check out our Social Selling Workshop, where we teach you how to apply Aikido Techniques to improve your closing rates.

The Invisible Sale

Stop losing leads and sales to digitally savvy competitors. Take the first step in building your own Painless Prospecting platform that drives leads while you sleep.

  • Research shows that today's “self-educated buyers” are more than halfway through the buying decision process before they even contact you.
  • Discover Ppropinquity - the science of relationship formation
  • Learn how to create a Behavioral Email effort to make every sales call count
  • Social Selling Explained: tips, tricks and strategies for prospecting directly via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Learn how to Rightsize your marketing content: saving money by matching production quality to your specific marketing and sales needs
  • Learn from the Pros: suggestions for choosing devices, apps, software, and accessories for quickly creating high-quality DIY content
  • Real-life B2B and B2C case studies showing how others have applied Tom's techniques

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About Tom Martin

Tom is 25+ year veteran of the sales & marketing industry with a penchant for stiff drinks, good debates and showing companies how to Sell Greatly, and turn conversations into customers. He is the founder of Converse Digital , author of The Invisible Sale and a contributing writer for Advertising Age. Tom guides clients through the digital sales & marketing maze and helps companies teach their sales force how to Painlessly Prospect their way to more sales. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


  1. […] educated buyers do not want to be sold to and that is where AIKIDO selling techniques can be used by the sales […]

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