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  • #1005822
    LeelaCosgrove
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    I believe a great salesperson should actually make you feel happy about buying from them, create some excitement, it should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both parties.

    I agree completely … what I wonder about is where the line is … because what you view as ‘pushy’ might to others just be ‘asking for the sale’.

    What you discussed in your original post is called an ‘assumptive close’.

    The point being you ask the prospect – “So, would you like it in red or black?” … or “So, would Tuesday or Wednesday be a better time for us to deliver?”. The assumptive close works under it’s own assumption … that if you don’t want to buy, you’ll say “I’m not ready to buy yet” – and then the sales person can go back and see what other objections you have – that is, what they haven’t told you that you need to know to buy.

    To me, being pushy is saying:

    “Hey – do you want to buy this?”
    “What do you mean no??? What’s wrong with you?? Freaking buy it already.”

    Which, while underneath many salespeople feel this way, is just bad manners.

    That said – I don’t see anything wrong or pushy about an assumptive close. See in sales the most important thing is to get to the objection so you can find out what is REALLY holding people back. The assumptive close is a great way to get to the heart of the matter.

    “Do you want it in red or black?”
    “Hold on – I haven’t said I want it all.”
    “Okay, well – what do you need to know to make that decision?”

    Sales is a game. Don’t take it personally – the salesperson certainly isn’t! They’re just trying to get to the heart of your objection so that you’ll answer it …

    They certainly don’t want you to buy something that you don’t want to buy … ask any salesperson and they’ll tell you the bane of their existence is refunds / unhappy clients.

    So I agree it should be a fun experience – and most of the time I’ve found it is! In fact, on several occasions when selling for other people, clients have been shocked to find out I’m actually a salesperson …

    That said, you don’t always get the sale by it just being fun and enjoyable. Sometimes, you have to bring in the pain – you have to remind the client of what they’re missing out on if they don’t buy your product … and sometimes you do have to call people when they’re being wishy washy …

    I had a client who I was ‘nice’ to for a couple of months on the phone … We had great chats but he had taken up hours of my time and hadn’t made a decision … eventually I was just like …

    “I love our chats – and you’re a great guy. But it’s time to make a decision. It’s been 8 weeks – why are you still putting off what you KNOW you need to do? That’s 8 weeks you could have been getting the results you wanted. It’s time for you to make a decision … “

    He did … dropped $30k upfront on a program … and then hugged me and thanked me the next time I saw him for kicking his butt into gear and getting him moving.

    There’s pushy and there’s pushy … but in most cases (and there are exceptions, I’ll admit) – the salesperson is just trying to sell you something they believe you need.

    If you disagree, just tell them so – they’ll try and answer your objections, because that’s what we do – and if you convince them you’re right, then they’ll leave you alone and go on to the next person …

    As Ben Affleck says in Boiler Room (one of my alltime favourite sales movies!)

    “No sale? WRONG! A sale is made on every call! Either you sell him on the stock or he sells you on why he can’t. A sale is made on every call – the only question is, who’s it gonna be? You or him?”

    If you’re more convinced you DON’T want something than the salesperson is that you do, you’ll win … they’ll move on …

    #1005823
    Rachel Reeves
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    I think that’s just the thing. Leela is saying here that she doesn’t see ‘Cold Calling’ as necessarily being a pushy thing, it is what the person on the sales end makes it – and it shouldn’t be pushy / aggressive and should be marketed to the right group of people if you would like to get a sale. Would I be right in thinking this is what you are getting at Leela?

    For me, if someone comes across as pushy, aggressive or manipulative then they don’t get the time. If someone is polite and provides me with some food for thought then I might remember them, but I certainly don’t sign up straight away until I’ve researched things thoroughly for myself. It is a learned skill to be able to quickly, politely and confidently maneuver these types of sales calls. Working as a Personal Assistant for a good part of my career I have learned this skill and become very good at it. This might sound strange, but I have been known to smile at, and actually enjoy picking up on some of the stunts that they try to pull – I have come across worst than what you speak of, no jokes. So anyway with time and practice it does get easier. Be polite, be confident, but get straight to the point. If they try to speak over you then you have every right to thank them for their call and let them know that you will be hanging up now.

    #1005824
    peppie
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    That’s all well and good, I also can tell a (pushy) sales type where to go if I am simply not interested (or play the game if I have the time and inclination), but the original point of this thread is that some people just cannot manage to handle the pressure they may be put under by some sales types AND some sales types will just simply take advantage of that for their own ends. And THAT as I see it is just plain and downright selfish attitude.

    I am thinking too of the many such types who came to the business I partnered once to who I literally had to say “look, there is the door and you had better use it”, because they actually believed they had the right to bulldoze right in!

    Your ideal salesperson Leela may not want refunds etc., but there are obviously ones who are far from ideal!!!

    #1005825
    Burgo
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    You know what ‘cold calling ‘ should not be about getting the sale, it should be about making contact.
    Without making contact there will never be a sale.
    So we make a contact.

    Next call we hopefully make the sale, because the customer has met you and you have told them about your products and services so they are expecting you to call again.

    Sometime this may take several visits by the salesperson but the fact that you have shown an interest in them by calling back increases the oportunities to close the sale with little effort

    This approach will give you a customer for life.
    the ‘hard sell’ approach may get you a sale but not necessary a customer.

    That’s my opinion for what its worth.

    #1005826
    Rachel Reeves
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    peppie, post: 5170 wrote:
    That’s all well and good, I also can tell a (pushy) sales type where to go if I am simply not interested (or play the game if I have the time and inclination), but the original point of this thread is that some people just cannot manage to handle the pressure they may be put under by some sales types AND some sales types will just simply take advantage of that for their own ends. And THAT as I see it is just plain and downright selfish attitude.

    Yes, it is called character building I believe. What would be life if we didn’t have obstacles like this put in our way to strengthen our understanding, knowledge and character?

    I think that in this we should also remember and respect that some of the people who are making sales calls don’t have much and are trying to make a living. It might even be the difference between them having food on their table, or not.

    #1005827
    LeelaCosgrove
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    rachelr, post: 5168 wrote:
    I think that’s just the thing. Leela is saying here that she doesn’t see ‘Cold Calling’ as necessarily being a pushy thing, it is what the person on the sales end makes it – and it shouldn’t be pushy / aggressive and should be marketed to the right group of people if you would like to get a sale. Would I be right in thinking this is what you are getting at Leela?

    Pretty much, Rachel! I think the argument here is really about definition. I don’t consider some of the earlier stories posted about sales to be overly pushy. Sounds to me like the salesperson did their job … built the benefit, asked for the sale then tried to handle objections. That’s not pushy – that’s how you sell stuff.

    I’ve run into this a lot over the years. You call someone and they abuse you … and it’s like … I wasn’t being pushy. I wasn’t being rude. I simply called you, established you needed my product, asked for the sale and tried to answer your objections. And you abuse me? I’m not pushy (at least, not until I’ve created rapport and got permission for it) – but some people define pushy as ‘being a salesperson’. That’s got nothing to do with the salesperson and everything to do with the prospects own fear of saying No … so they get aggressive because they’re uncomfortable … and then take it out on me …

    Particularly from business people, this is something I’ve never understood.

    Your ideal salesperson Leela may not want refunds etc., but there are obviously ones who are far from ideal!!!

    True, but those salespeople don’t tend to last long.

    Sales is about creating rapport – pushing people around doesn’t create rapport, it just creates animosity.

    Then clients and prospects complain … and what company wants a salesperson who makes their company look bad? They might be able to get another job or two, but they won’t last long there either … then they get reputations …

    but the original point of this thread is that some people just cannot manage to handle the pressure they may be put under by some sales types

    Absolutely.

    And I maintain …

    Deal with it.

    The world isn’t always a happy, huggy place. You’re right – people will take advantage of people who don’t stick up for themselves.

    And not just scary, terrible ‘sales’ people … but all kinds of people.

    Trying to make this other than it is, really becomes a recipe for disaster. You can’t change the world – the only person you have control over is yourself.

    And if you have trouble politely telling people ‘No’ – if you either can’t say no or if you have to be aggressive about it – then salespeople are the LEAST of your problems.

    You can put the blame on everyone else, but the fact is you need to learn how to be comfortable saying ‘No’ to things you don’t want … otherwise, you’ll find yourself in all SORTS of trouble …

    #1005828
    Rachel Reeves
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    Just one other thing that may, or may not be helpful. I learned pretty quickly that you very rarely get something for nothing. Usually someone offering a sweet something by telephone or on a house call is expecting something in return. Sometimes the catch might be very basic in that a company can add you onto their newsletter list with the potential of making a sale in the future. To recognise what the ‘catch of the day’ is when taking sales calls can really help.

    I received a sales call one day and they were offering to us a Christmas gift to the value of $500 I think it was. Over the phone they said to me that there was no catch. I asked for them to fax me the details through then I will let them know. They did fax the details through and sure enough in the fine print there was the catch and it was a biggie – it would have cost our business about $2,000. Needless to say, we were a happy customer when that day began (yes we had been purchasing products through them) and by close of business they had actually lost our business altogether.

    But the thing is, I forgive these people straight away and I move on. As I said they most of the time are just doing their jobs, and these things are put in our way to build our knowledge base and our character.

    If we ourselves, in our businesses decide to make cold calls then I think that as long as we have considered exactly the thing that this thread has portrayed, that the outcome should be non-intrusive and should maintain the self-respect and dignity of both parties. The goal should be that all parties feel happiness in the outcome.

    #1005829
    MarkBubner
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    Not a nice experience, and one of the reasons we established our site.

    By setting up http://www.expertmagnet.com with a reverse auction format, it gives the buyer the control about who they speak to.

    It doesn’t stop cold calls, but if you truly are in the market for a consultant or professional service provider (what our site specialises in), you can direct them to our site & tell them to pitch for your business there.

    The best thing is you can review tailored responses at your leisure, and only invite the ones you like to call you.

    I’m expecting this type of site to become more & more popular.

    Regards,
    Mark
    http://www.expertmagnet.com

    #1005830
    linkartist
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    lol Mark, I went to sign up with my name (Téa) and because of the accented e, it said “invalid name”. Love it!!! :)

    Leela, agree to disagree. Nobody has a monopoly on stress and I wasn’t claiming any such thing. The stress of being the primary carer for young children, unsupported (ie husband with 14 hour days, no family etc) and trying to run a business, cannot be understood until it is experienced. It’s relentless, it’s constant interruptions, and its hard. But, it just is.

    Personally I think we were arguing about semantics. I figured that the context of “pushy salespeople” made it clear the kind of “sales” I was talking about.

    There are times when I feel pressured to learn how to “hard sell”. I guess that that was what I meant and probably articulated poorly… that I occasionally wonder if I need it, and then wonder (in this case out loud) if I should learn it. It really is something I consider. Same with the idea of outsourcing. I do it a fair bit, but there is a difference between outsourcing and then outsourcing to India, for example. This is where morality comes in… and that is where the difference of opinion and subjectivity comes in.

    So anyway, I apologise if things got “heated” – I simply do not have the time to continue to rebut and it’s really not my intention to do anything but have a discussion.

    I just want to emphasise that I am not saying sales and sales skills aren’t important. I make them every day…and frequently assess how to improve – but I do not cold call. And that is OK.

    Some people have different ideas about what is ethical, and that’s ok. I occasionally feel pressure to be more flexible on that, but ultimately, I need to be happy with how I conduct myself. And no amount of money matters to me if I don’t earn it in a way *I* am comfortable with.

    #1005831
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Personally I think we were arguing about semantics. I figured that the context of “pushy salespeople” made it clear the kind of “sales” I was talking about.

    And what I’ve been asking and no one has been answering, is where the line is between ‘hard’ sales and sales?

    It seems that some people (not you necessarily – just generally) think that talking to someone you don’t know and asking them to buy is hard sales.

    I see that as just being sales.

    I don’t really understand what people mean by the ‘hard sell’. From what I can see that appears to be any sale in which the sales process is used. If you:

    * Call someone
    * Ask them questions
    * Ask them to buy
    * Answer their objections
    * Ask them to buy again
    * Answer their objections and ask them to buy either until they say yes or until they convince you they’re not going to …

    That, to me, is not a ‘hard sell’. In fact, if you’re NOT doing those things, you’re not really selling …

    If this ISN’T a hard sell, then what is?? What’s the definition of a ‘hard sell’?

    #1005832
    Burgo
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    And what I’ve been asking and no one has been answering, is where the line is between ‘hard’ sales and sales?

    It is called ATTITUDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #1005833
    LeelaCosgrove
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    Interesting … now that makes sense to me … if it’s not about HOW people sell but WHO is selling … I can get my head around that idea …

    #1005834
    Burgo
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    Now I thought you may like that, when you come to think of all the reps that have been in to see you which ones impressed you.

    Was the ones that had a beaut attitude. You could see the passion, the sparkle in the eyes and the calmness in their presentation, almost laid back but not quite. You felt relaxed found them easy to talk with and you almost believed everything they said,

    The ‘hard sell’ salesperson is intent on getting a sale.

    The ‘true professional’ is interested in getting to know you, they dont worry about whether they close a sale or not they know they can whenever they want. They spend the most important part of the sale in getting to know you the customer, to understand your needs and wants rather than give you something you neither need or want. They know exactly when to terminate the conversation so they dont waste your time or theirs.

    There is a big difference in the ‘hard sell’ and the ‘the professional’

    and it is all to do with ATTITUDE.

    #1005835
    linkartist
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    Spot on Burgo.

    If you are only interested in me as a prospect, and not as a person, you won’t get my sales.

    Similarly, clients of mine get instantly brought into the fold, it’s almost like a club or family. It means sharing contacts & making connections, and maybe even concert tickets if I get them from other clients. I will help clients to build their business because I CARE about them, not because they represent $X. Some get that, some don’t. But if you just use me for my network… you lose me.

    I actually look quite unfavourably on “users”. It’s not all about individualism for me — I believe in being part of a community.

    To bring it to another example… those who use Social Media to merely try and get immediate sales, just don’t get it. I get more clients by wearing my heart on my sleeve and engaging and making friends, than I ever would by spamming them.

    Twitter has become very fashionable and hyped as a “sales tool”, but it leaves a very bad taste in people’s mouth if you autofollow, or auto DM etc. Its one thing to utilise your network, and its another to PRESUME that that network exists purely for your greed.

    It’s a subtle difference, and its a constant battle between snake-oil salesman and cynical marketers… and those that use it just cuz its FUN and they like meeting people, and sales happen organically as a result.

    It might not have the immediate results as spamming… for sure… but it certainly will not leave you loving what you do.

    btw, anyone who uses the words “social media marketing strategy” makes me want to vomit… because they miss the point ;)

    Same thing with sales.

    #1005836
    peppie
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    Now Burgo, you once said that you liked the way I had with words, but I do like the way you have put this, it really places the whole discussion (dare I say argument) into the correct context.

    I had tried to say much the same thing at at least one point, but didn’t manage it,, possibly due to other things happening here. So then, what it seems we are really talking about (and this, as the Goons would say, is where the story really starts) is attitude, professionalism, quality of presentation, integrity, honesty – shall I keep going?

    My training taught me, among other things, to look for a clients need and the way I can meet that need solving their problem in the process. All whilst developing a good friendly relationship with a client. Now I don’t see that as hard sell. What I see as Hard Sell is the bombastic and down right rude sort that is going to push no matter what I say. That is bad attitude and certainly not professional.

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