Identifying the customer's "wants, needs, desires, hopes, dreams and aspirations" are the essentials to any training program. Simply put, once you have identified these essentials, you have a chance to close a sale --- UNLESS you are confronted with "the third party expert".
A third party expert (TPE) can be anyone - a husband, wife, sister, brother, friend, cousin or another customer interested in the same or similar product who has no ties to your customer. When a TPE vocalizes their opinion, often times it is considered "written in stone". If the input provided by the TPE is positive, you have a greater chance of closing the deal. If it's negative, it often times is a dead deal.
The same TPE experiences are found when we are selling real estate. I have had clients in the past who rely on the TPE to make their decisions for them. Often times these TPEs are hundreds or even thousands of miles away! By the time they make their "remote decision", the property they have been looking at is already under contract.
How do we deal with the TPE? Just as we would any other sales situation ---- know your stuff, maintain your customer's trust and don't be afraid to provide your input even if it may be contrary to the TPE. Obviously, it's not what you say but how you say it that matters.