The New Buyer’s Journey…Curating Ideas From the Genius of Shari Levitin

Shari Levitin

Prologue by Sharon Scott Wilson

Shari Levitin is a visionary…one of the most dynamic leaders in our industry. By the time you read this, you may have already missed attending her June 1, 2021, live online event, “The New Buyer’s Journey.” If so, you can find it on Resort Trades’ YouTube channel. At the time of this writing, we have only received a preview, but what we do know is: Shari has innovated and come out of several recent experiences a changed woman. We share with you, here, a few of her thoughts as recorded on her blog site at ShariLevitin.com.

How Sean Made Shari Change Directions(Transcribed from an online interview.)

“So, some people bought pandemic puppies,” says Shari. “I decided to buy a pandemic Porsche!

“I’m in Park City and there are two Porsche dealerships in town. There’s one that’s 45 minutes away; the other is two hours away. So, I do what everybody does: I start out by getting on the website and I look at the different cars.

“I call the guy 45 minutes away and I say, ‘Hey, can you send me some information on these three cars that are in your lot?’ He says, ‘Oh. You’ve got to come down and test drive them!’

“I said, ‘I’m not coming down while we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Can you just send me the information?’ He’s giving me all this crap and says I have to come in. I don’t!

“So, then I call the second dealership and get this guy, Sean, and I said, ‘Hey Sean, can you send me some information on these three cars?’ Well, he not only sends me all the information. Then he says why don’t we get on a zoom call and we can design the exact car and color you want, in case we don’t have that in the shop.

“I thought, okay, because I was looking for white with beige interior…very unusual. So, we go online together on a zoom call, right? We’re putting together all the options I want and he says, ‘Ooh. That’s a tough combo, but I’m on it.

“Two days later he connects with me on LinkedIn and starts sharing my videos on all of these multiple channels of communication.

“Then I kind of go dark because I’m not that intent on buying a car. I kid you not…. A few days later I get a video text to my phone of the exact car coming off the trailer! The car is wrapped up like a present.  Then he starts videotaping: ‘Oh, look at this; look at that!  If you want to come in today we’re serving chili down here!’

“I bought the car. But here’s the lesson: Too many salespeople think about the sales process, instead of the buying process, and today customers don’t buy linearly. It’s not like the old days.

“We’ve got to meet them where they are and use as many channels of communication as we can. That’s what Sean did.

“I got this beautiful new car and drove it through the lot in front of the guy that screwed up!”

Shari on Motivation (Transcribed from a YouTube video.)

“The bottom line is there are what we call core motivators.

“We all know people buy based on emotion and justify with logic. Saving money is a motivator, but it’s not what I call a core motivator and here’s why. Yes, your customers are buying to save money. There’s no question about it. People do buy to save money, but it’s not a core motivator.

“It’s what I’m going to call a third-level motivator and here’s what I mean by that: If I do something to save money…. Let’s say that I get some extra money and I put it into an investment, okay? You might ask, ‘Why? What are you going to do with it?’

“I’m not going to take that investment to my grave! There’s a reason that I’m doing it. I’m either doing it to leave to my children, which means I’m doing it to leave a legacy, or I’m doing it because when I’m older I want security. That money is going to do something at the end of the day. It’s not the end of the train. There’s a ‘why’ underneath that savings….”

“…If we’re selling to the idea of saving money, we’re not selling to somebody’s core emotional motivator. When you sell to somebody’s core emotional motivator you are more likely to get a sale because when you sell to somebody’s core emotional needs, what you’re doing is creating urgency.

“’I am NOT going to make a decision today. I am NOT going to be urgent unless something speaks to my core! Lots of things can help me save money.  I can save money by buying a cheaper pen; I can save money by eating at Burger King; but you tell me about having more romance? I’m interested!’

“’I’m interested when you tell me about being able to spend more quality time with my child who went off to college and doesn’t seem that interested anymore. I’m interested because money can’t buy that! Money can’t buy that and now I’m interested. You talked to me about security, because I’m up at night worried about how I’m going to afford my medical care and now there’s a way to afford that? I’m interested.

“’You talked to me about a vacation to rekindle romance when maybe things haven’t been going so well. I’m interested. I feel guilty because I promised my spouse something I haven’t been able to deliver on and this may be the solution I’m interested in because I’ve been a workaholic. I’m interested.’

“Remember that commercial: There’re some things money can’t buy; for everything else there’s MasterCard. It’s stuck because it’s such a good commercial that twenty years later we remember it. Twenty years later we remember that commercial! Emotion sells.”

Want to find out what Shari describes as the Core Motivators? Google “Core Motivators — The 7 Key Motivators to Get Anyone to do Anything.”

The Three Lessons Shari Learned After Death of a Friend

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Shari wrote a very touching homage to her friend and long-time employee after his recent death. Go to her blog at ShariLevitin.com to read her very moving sentiments after her loss of Kent Kozimor. “Though we can never escape pain, we can always change our perspective,” she writes. “I know Kent would have wanted me to learn from it, write about it, and, of course, have him edit it. So here are three lessons I’ve learned from losing my most loyal employee.”]

Take Time to Mourn and Reflect

What could I have done better? What were my last words to Kent? Were they “Good Job”, “Thank you for all you do?”, “How are your Grandkids?”. I hope so, but I’m not certain. I’ve been contemplating this for the last few weeks since his death. I hope my last words were kind, thoughtful and encouraging. It got me thinking of the Aristotle quote: “Be Kind for Everyone is Fighting a Great Battle.”

What Makes Someone Life Worth Living?

I’m grateful I took the time over the years to know Kent as a person, a father, and a friend. But, I haven’t always taken this time with others. For that, I’m disappointed in myself and, at times, even ashamed. What I do know is we can’t possibly affect someone’s outer world if we don’t take time to understand their inner world.

Remember the Back-up Singers

Kent didn’t need to be the frontman, just like the backup singers in the documentary “20 Feet from Stardom.” Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, and many others who sang backup for the Rolling Stones didn’t need to take center stage. Said Lisa Fischer, “I reject the notion that the job you excel at is not enough to aspire to, that there has to be something more. I love supporting other artists.” She added, “Some People will do anything to be famous. I just want to sing.”