Selling when you know people hate to be sold
Do you agree with the statement that “people love to buy, but hate to be sold”?
I ask that question quite frequently and have not run into too many that do not agree. Our usual reaction when we think we are getting sold is to disengage somehow. Depending on your personality and how hard someone is trying to sell you, the reactions vary from a curt, “not interested!” and walking away, to a more polite exit and saying something like, “let me think about it and get back to you”. Regardless of how we react most will do so by distancing themselves from the seller or putting up some kind of a wall.
What Are The Triggers That Cause Us to Feel We’re Being Sold?
What does the salesperson have to do to create that feeling that you are being sold to? If you think about it, there are many times we deal with a salespeople where we do not feel like we are being sold – they are actually quite helpful. But then they will say or do something that causes us to feel like they are just selling. What are those things?
Here’s some of the more common ones:
* Not asking any questions to understand you and your situation
* Not listening when you are talking
* Talking about their product before knowing what you are currently doing or what you feel you need
* Rushing the sales process or creating false urgency
Don’t Do Those Things!
Sounds simple enough but somehow when you take normal people who as consumers hate to be sold, and put them in a position where they have to sell, the rules can quickly fly out the window. However, it can be done. You can actually sell products without violating one of the very things that causes you to disengage as a consumer.
* Don’t describe your product to the client to determine whether or not they have a need for it. People buy solutions to problems not products. So, get them talking about the problem that your product solves. For example, if you are trying to get your client to see a wealth management specialist then get them talking about where their investments are now and their level of satisfaction with common problems such as level of contact with the adviser, overall return, and confidence in their ability to retire on time. There’s an interesting thing that happens when someone starts vocalizing how dissatisfied they are with their current situation: they start to become more psychologically ready to listen to how you can help them. When you do start to discuss your product you will have a much more receptive audience when they have articulated the problem first.
* Ask questions and listen. Let their answers influence what you will tell them about your product (or not tell them). As Stephen Covey once said, “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Always begin any sale by understanding what the client is doing now – what’s working for them, not working for them, and generally just getting them talking about their situation. People will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say after they feel fully heard.
* The steps of the sale are pretty constant. The length of time it takes each customer to go through each step is not. Respect that a client’s timing may not match yours. Rushing the sales process is a surefire way to get someone to disengage.
* Those who sincerely care about the person they are talking to and are trying to help them will naturally come across much more like a service person than a typical salesperson. Be sincere and many common problems associated with selling miraculously disappear.
People like the process of buying ... usually. What’s more predictable is that most do not like to be sold. Know what the triggers are that cause your clients to disengaged and then make sure your process is set up to avoid doing those things.