“Have I got a deal for you!”
Those words are sure to make you cringe as you run in the opposite direction from the proverbial salesperson and whatever they’re hawking today. “Only $9.99!” they shout, following you through the store as they plead for just a minute of your time. A polite “No thank-you” gets you nowhere with this character, who seems genuinely puzzled by your lack of interest in his product.
We’ve all encountered this type of “sales-y” approach to sales – whether you’ve been assaulted by perfume sprayers in department stores, or bombarded by furniture salesmen competing for your commission when all you wanted was a closer look at that couch in the window. Essentially, it’s this kind of in-your-face approach that gives the sales industry a bad rap, and most salespeople I know abhor these tactics, too. But the very nature of business demands revenue generated by sales, so marketing your products and services is necessary to survive, particularly in today’s tough economy.
It’s a Catch 22 of sorts – you need to make the sale, but you don’t want to be “sales-y” about it. So what’s a salesperson to do? How do you communicate with customers if you can’t give them your typical sales pitch? Those of you who have been reading along with me from the beginning know what I’m about to say next. The answer is to drop the spiel and get real by ditching pitching for good.
When you take a “sales-y” approach to sales, customers instinctively distance themselves not only from you, but from your message as well. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, or how much it will help them. If you come on too strong, the walls will go up and – let me tell you from experience, my friend – they won’t come back down anytime soon.
So how can you make the sale if you take pitching out of the equation? The answer is simple. All you have to do is demonstrate your knowledge, and you’ll never feel like you’re pitching again. It’s a little secret I call “Pitching vs. Selling” and I’m happy to share how this subtle shift in the way you deliver your message can make all the difference for customers, and for the success of your business, too.
Now, you may be contemplating the difference between pitching versus selling, so let me explain the nuances here. In order to get customers to say “yes” to your product or service (and feel good about it!), you need to connect with them on a personal level. Don’t send them running in the opposite direction by defaulting to that uncomfortable sales pitch you’ve committed to memory. Instead, start a conversation about how your product or service will impact their lives in a positive way. You’ve done the research so you’re the expert now. It’s time to share your knowledge and let the conversation shift to the outcomes of their investment if they choose to buy your particular product or service. Don’t rattle-off a laundry list of features, bonuses or savings – that’s pitching. Instead, focus on how your product or service will add value to the customer’s life. Make the sale by educating customers versus cramming canned sales-speak down their throats.
When you embrace this concept and wholeheartedly share your knowledge for the purpose of serving others, then you’ll never feel like the proverbial salesperson again. Here are a few quick, easy and effective ways to get started along this path:
• Engage customers in one-on-one conversations to find out what they need and offer solutions;
• Show them how your product or service works;
• Send emails with information that will help customers understand how your product or service will enhance their quality of life;
• Create videos to share your knowledge in an innovative and engaging way;
• Make presentations or schedule speaking engagements to demonstrate your expertise and grow name recognition for both yourself and your brand.
Now you’re selling, not pitching. It’s a value-for-value exchange that everyone can feel good about! FBN