Bill’s issue is that he is too aggressive and has the “old school” mentality of “do whatever it takes to get the sale”. Being too aggressive and “pushy” raises a few questions of Bill’s values and also the future business that will be cut from the customer because they no longer have the trust required to have a successful business relationship.
Jane’s challenge is that she is a “nice” a girl. But being “nice” isn’t really the problem. It’s more that she’s too indirect and is deathly afraid of being seen as the “Pushy Sales Girl”. So she continues to casually suggest solutions to the businesses she speaks to, downplaying any sense of urgency so as not to alarm the customer.
“I want to be around for the long-term and don’t want to jeopardize our relationship over a trivial item,” she says. She just doesn’t ask for the business. What this is doing, however, is creating a plethora of problems. The customer doesn’t always know what services or products they need, nor understand the value of some of the products that are being offered.
Sound like the proverbial dilemma? How often is a sale not closed because of fear of sounding too pushy or being too aggressive? When products or services are not offered to a customer or potential customer for that fear of being too aggressive or too confident — think about what the client will miss out on if they don’t have your product or service. A salesperson owes it to their customer to be sure they have the best possible solution — the expert’s solution — yours.
A new school of thought about selling has since developed. They have now developed the mindset of the “consultant“.
Consultative Selling is providing products or services your customer’s needs as opposed to the traditional aggressive selling techniques. It simply means doing what’s best for the customer.
This consultative way of selling has been popularized in response to the customers that have been upset by the pushy sales people. Using the hard sell and raises the level of expertise and trustworthiness of the sales person.
They are there to help the customer. What that level of trust between the customer and consultant provides is a relationship where the customer will now do what the consultant recommends because they are now considered the expert.
Two things that will help in achieving this sales technique. The first is having the right mindset. When a salesperson thinks, “I don’t care if the customer buys or not, I just want to do what’s right for their business,” this will bring more business as a biproduct.
Secondly, something that will definitely help Bill’s situation, is to “Seek to understand, THEN to be understood”. Listening skills in any sales process is by far one of the most important attributes in any sale.
Looking out for the customer’s best needs doesn’t always provide instantaneous results. But what it will provide, based on the trust and relationship that has developed, is opportunity for a preserved territory and potential earnings.