We are all Sleazy Salesman (but we have secrets to growing your profit)
Who loves Sales people?
Not many, Sales Managers maybe? Sales people make the world go round , but we often feel we are given a bad rep.
Is it because you think we are taught to use mind games to sell you things you don’t need and laugh all the way to the bank?
Do customers feel we have an impertinent answer to all your objections and we are supremely over confident?
Sure, in the mid 1980’s when I was starting as a direct salesman, we were taught ‘Buyers are Liars’ and they don’t know what is good for them. But many of us are just the same. Don’t we, as parents, lie to toddlers to get them to eat vegetables and drink medicine, because we as adults know better than them.
Now you could counter with:
“Where is the comparison with healthy vegetables given to kids, and a $500 tread mill that is now a clothes’ horse, or the 2,000 U.S.D. vacuum cleaner that the sales man made me buy?” Are they really the same thing?
Back before the Internet and the time of Marketing, the Salesman was King. He wore slim ties and skinny pants and drove two cars (one was a convertible sports car) we knew all the tricks of the game.
We were experts in less than ethical rapport building.
The £5 Note Trick
One colleague of mine bought a house off this trick of turning up at a potential client’s door with his vacuum cleaner and a five-pound note in his hand (from his wallet). He would always greet the householder with:
“Found this on your garden path dear; it must be yours!”
Hands them the note and next thing is he is in the door and trust is taken for granted. He sold so many vacuum cleaners he bought a nice semi-detached house in suburbia within a few years!
Now I am not saying we should all be (or we all were) sleazy like this guy was. The point is that people buy when they trust you; the sale is not always based on how economically viable the product or service is, it has always been about buying the person.
No sale is ever made without emotion. Recent research has shown all purchases are an emotional roller coaster.
In research, MRI scans when people are given purchasing choices show massive activity in the brain when thinking about purchasing, hence the term ‘Retail Therapy’. Even in a sterile business environment away from all the psychology-based tricks used by the retail game, there is emotional trust between salesman and Buyer.
Develop trust but do it ethically.
Poor me! (The empathy approach)
We always led with trust-based examples where you demonstrated a human side. When I was selling office machines in a very competitive market, I always tried to be the last in to see the potential client. We knew the other companies’ sales people would quickly jump on a lead. I tried to delay as much as I could so that I knew the client had seen the others and they would always look surprised when I said:
“Oh, you have seen Mary from ABC Company already? Oh wow, they were quick. Oh well you won’t want to see my photocopier, Mary’s machine and her company are amazing!”
They would say “No we really want to see your model please” (oh the illusion of choice!)
“Oh, are you sure? because Mary’s model is so much shinier and faster than ours”
“Oh, okay then,” I would groan, as the customer starts unpacking your machine for you with an eager smile!
Someone once said: Life is a stage and we are all actors.
Knowing all too well that speed was not their main concern, after all my research, the customer found this approach was different to the robotic sales drills from our competitors. Then I pushed home the price of consumables, which was our strong point and the competitors’ weaknesses. More often than not I got the deal.
There is a fine skill to disparage your competitors in a professional way.
Another example was on my first office day where we hit the phones all day to get appointments for the week ahead from our database and from competitor users. I listened to the other guys in our office and tried their sales talk but it didn’t go well. At one point I was talking to an Office Manager and she was totally disinterested in seeing me. I then changed tact and just said:
“Actually Mrs. Jones, would you believe this is my first day on the job, and the other sales people in my office are all using this script and I am struggling to be honest. In fact I am actually quite nervous and not sure I can do this at all.”
She changed her tone with me almost immediately and warmed to me, then chatted for 20 minutes about her first job as a call centre lady at the telephone exchange many years ago. She empathised with my plight and invited me to her office to chat further. Naturally, you know how the rest of this story goes. She was my first sale and first sales never die!
Always be yourself. It is too difficult trying to be anyone else
More recently, as a Digital Marketing Consultant with my own business, I told potential clients on my first visit to their office a hard truth:
“Listen, the work ethic involved (after I have taught you all I know about how to drive traffic to your website and involve a target market in your journey and gain their trust and eventually sales) is not an easy one, and over 90% of the people I have consulted with, and told them what I am telling you now, will not be able to find the time or the impetus to actually do what is needed. Please keep this in mind before you ask me to come in and train you!”
It is always greeted with positive nods and a relaxing demeanor by the people opposite me on the table, as if to say I have nothing to gain by telling them this. In fact, it is actually trying to get them not to buy, taking the edge off the sales. Nevertheless, after listening to my ominous forewarning, most still got me in and only 10% are still blogging to this day. It is like they are happy to pay just for the information and happy in the knowledge that their failure to brand and market their business effectively was purely due to them being lazy.
Give people honest warnings especially if it demonstrates an ethically sound character. Now here you may say:
“Fake it till you make it huh!”
We were taught from day one that you cannot lie every day and expect to make good sales because your body language will betray you! You either have to believe your lie so well, which will result in some bad karma later on in life, or find a product or service you have utter faith in. This is why the top direct sales companies still invest so much in sales training, events and seminars.
Be honest with your clients even if it demonstrates a weakness; it shows you’re human
A New Hope:
There is so much science and psychology training that goes into the best sales people. It takes a lifetime to master and I am still a student, learning new things every day. I am glad to say the mind tricks I learned back in the days of the slim ties and skinny pants are now being put to good use.
Fast forward to 2020 and the world of business has changed. The Marketing always thought they were the most important in the company. Now it seems that they really do hold sway and if you can combine the years of sales skills into online marketing then you have a dynamic mix of Sales and Marketing.
You have to build trust and tell it like it is and have empathy to endear yourself to your target market. We at leads4biz, try to combine all this into our sites and blog what we know to help you develop your business. This is called reciprocal marketing as in ‘give first’.
We developed a free Digital business directory over 8 years to give any business free marketing to our social media reach of 300,000 and the sites’ traffic of over 30,000 visits per/month.
We now have a community that currently consists of over 6,000 listed members and 100,000 subscribers in ten countries who are willing to give us their current buying information which we share to our other members to match buyers and sellers.
Now you can either find a Matrix type brain input device, find the program called ‘sales skills’ and input 25 years of experience directly into your head and be a sales master in 5 seconds, then find the digital marketing master program, download 10 years of Internet Marketing experience in 5 seconds as well, or…..
You can get real and join leads4biz, use our 25 years’ experience in both sales and marketing and read our buying requests, contact the buyer and send your best sales person right now.
It’s not difficult to see that a company who supplies you with sales’ leads for your business rather than having you spend time looking for buyers, is a company worth partnering with. We hope you agree and hope you try us to see how easy it can be to sell your products, through our Business matching system.
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