As a sales guy, you know when you lose the prospect.
It’s when a lively conversation between the buyer and you suddenly gets weird.
It’s when the buyer clearly needs one thing and you try to sell him something else because that something else pays you more. It’s when the buyer clearly knows you’re full of sh_t and you continue to plow on.
Been there. Been that.
Fortunately, most of us grow out of it by the second week of our sales careers. Sadly some never do and never realize how obvious they are.
Here are 3 reasons why people might hate buying from you.
1. You pretend you’re not selling when you’re selling. Everybody sells. Without sales people, nothing happens. Selling is the single most vital function in any for-profit organization. So if you’re somebody who is paid to sell something, why do you persist on pretending to review my financial plans, inspect my duct work or provide account walk-throughs. Just say, ‘I’d like to see if there is an opportunity for us to do some business.’ Any other approach and you’re spotted as a two-bit fake from a mile away because the last time I checked, most people leave their houses once in a while.
2. You forget that sometimes the customer actually knows more than you do. The internet is the great equalizer. Your customer probably has more information on you and your competitors than you even knew existed. If you work in a company, you’re fed company messaging. Your customer sees your company messaging and raises you review sites, consumer forums and product blogs. Anything but the truth gets you labelled as a liar. Your customer can literally be reading stuff about your product while you’re talking on the phone. Nobody ever blamed a guy for saying “I don’t know. I’ll check.” But everybody hates the guy who said “I know,” and lied his way to a sale.
3. You still use ‘closing’ techniques when all you need to do is simply ask for a purchase. Seriously. This isn’t Glengarry Glen Ross and you don’t look half as cool as Ed Harris. It’s not Always be Closing. It’s Always be Cognizant (of not being an ass). It’s 2012 and people have options, including buying directly on the internet without interfacing with anybody at all. A survey of professional buyers in Neil Rackham’s Spin Selling clearly shows that pro-buyers who detect ‘closing’ techniques are much less likely to buy from you. Hell, they might not even return your calls. If you’ve done your job and made it obvious that your widget could make my life better in some way, just ask me to buy it. “I think we’ve covered everything. Can we proceed with the sale?”
The Golden Rule applies in everything, including whatever it is you’re selling. Deal with your customers the way you want to be dealt with as a customer. If you don’t put up with BS-spouting sales people, than don’t be one yourself.