17/08/2020 by Sian Thomas 0 Comments
Ditch the tricks and become a trusted sales advisor
We’re in business for the long haul right? If that’s the case then why are so many sales people still employing sleazy sales tactics that prizes closing the deal over serving the customer well? It’s as if they’re competing objectives which of course they’re not, if anything these objectives should be aligned to create the longevity of success we desire. After all you’ve heard the phrase once bitten, twice shy? If you are looking to continue working with those customers then why would you start the relationship on the wrong foot?
I’m sure you have fallen prey to some of these tactics as have I and it never feels good, the result? To effectively blacklist these organisations forever. No wonder people generally feel antipathy towards sales people and when professionals from other disciplines have to rely on selling to grow their businesses their deep rooted anxieties surface and they do everything to avoid it.
So let’s explore these main culprits:
1. The scarcity sell
This is based on the principle that when a product or service is limited in availability (or perceived as being limited), it therefore becomes more attractive.
Yes, this is a very powerful technique when it’s actually true and what you’re selling has some meaningful value to its intended audience however it has been ruthlessly hijacked by organisations when it’s not actually the case. This tactic is easy to spot, especially when promoted aggressively. The consequence of employing this tactic is that when you’ve been caught out your integrity is immediately brought into question.
2. The pressure sell
This is a selling approach where the salesperson attempts to control the sales interaction and pressure the customer into making a purchase.
In addition to the standard direct approach, this comes under many other guises including time limited offers and back of the room sales. Relying on manipulative techniques this approach rarely ends well as it often uses NLP to rouse the prospects' emotions and pressures them into buying on the spot. All without consideration and the ability to conduct due diligence which opens the door to buyers’ remorse where it is unlikely you will ever see them again.
3. The assumptive sell
This is defined as the practice of trying to sell something by acting as though the person that you are trying to sell it to has already decided to buy it.
This is a close relative of the alternative close, “do you want it in green or red?” Because you’ve assumed the sale you’ve fast tracked the process of building a relationship and truly understanding the customers’ situation which could result in missing out on other opportunities with them or indeed their network. Just imagine this in a dating scenario, you’d run for the hills!
Although a non-exhaustive list (I’m sure there are many more tactics you could add which would make for interesting conversation) I want to conclude on a positive note and reassure you that there are some excellent sales practitioners out there. Simply what puts them heads and shoulders above their peers in terms of both closing business and retaining it is that they take the time to understand those that stand the best chance of benefiting from their solution.
Selling effectively is very much a skill that can be learned but it begins with the customer so taking the time to develop the relationship and become a trusted advisor will pay you dividends which vastly outweigh the impact any outdated shady tactics will provide.
I would love to hear your stories, experiences and insights on the topic so feel free to share your comments below.