Salesperson is infamous for their jobs. Customers don’t like to interact with sales reps, especially with those who are annoying and try too hard to sell. It doesn’t take long for customers to walk away.
Having said this, it wouldn’t be really appropriate to blame the salesperson. It’s their job to sell. They are wired to sell. But, given that they are the face of the organization when it comes to lead generation, prospecting, conversions and relationship management, it becomes crucial for them to draw the line between a dynamic personality and a pushy personality.
It isn’t difficult to avoid being pushy. Rather, it is a conscious practice which requires a combination of the right sales communication skills and an effective sales pitch.
Here are 6 ways to do away with your pushy tag:
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Pre-qualify the prospect
Not all leads promise conversions. If you start trying to sell to everyone, you are actually wasting time and resources. You can avoid this by pre-qualifying the prospect and finding out if they are really interested. Whenever a prospective client requests a proposal, you can probe them on their problem areas, needs and budget. This will give you a fair idea whether it is worth pursuing the client and you will not push every single customer into buying.
Be an advisor, not a seller
The title ‘sales representative’ has a negative connotation. It conjures up an image of a person narrating a standard sales script like a parrot. No matter how good the sales speech is, it will fail to strike a chord with customers if the sales rep tries to be assertive. Remember that customers do not want to hear great sales pitches, they want advice. So, present yourself as an advisor or a consultant who can guide them in choosing the right and best solution. The best salesperson doesn’t sell, he helps customers buy.
Shift focus from your product features to a value proposition
Today, customers can source information about your company, product and services from the internet. But, what they want to know is how your product can address their pain points. All they care about is whether your product can fulfil their requirements. Instead of bragging about ‘why’ they should buy your product or from your company, you should invest more time on ‘how’ your product can create value for them. This value can be in terms of cost reduction, increase in revenue, superior customer service, improvement in employee productivity, etc. Don’t sell them features and specifications of the product, rather talk about its benefits.
Salesperson must listen to the prospect to keep them engaged
Whenever you are on a sales call, the foremost thought in the mind is on making a strong sales pitch and closing the deal as quickly as possible. You are so preoccupied or impatient with yourself that you fail to realize that customers need to be heard. A pushy salesman makes customer uncomfortable, so you need to show them that the meeting is about ‘him’ and not ‘you’. Give them your 100% attention.
According to statistics, 95% of buyers state that the typical salesperson talks too much, and 74% of buyers said they were much more likely to buy if that salesperson would simply listen to them. This clearly indicates that listening is one of the most essential components of sales communication skills. Your sole focus should be on understanding the prospect’s needs, concerns and expectations.
Ask your prospects the right type of ‘discovery’ questions during the meeting, but without interrupting what they have to say. This will show the customer that you are actually not just hearing, but also listening alertly. When the meeting flows more like an interactive conversation instead of one-sided sales speech, it is bound to make prospects feel engaged.
Apply take away closing technique, if necessary
The customer is interested, but may not be ready to buy the product even after all discussions. A pushy salesman can tend to overstep the boundaries by doing hard closing. You stand a higher risk of losing the customer this way. So, how about using a bit of reverse human psychology? In the sales language, it is called using a take away closing technique. You actually suggest the customer to cancel or postpone the deal if it doesn’t meet their expectations or the timing is not right. When customers realize that they will lose the deal if they don’t move forward right now, they may say yes to buying.
However, you should bear in mind that take away closing technique is usually appropriate for products which can be offered in more than one configuration feature-wise or price-wise. The customer may decide to buy the product with all or limited features. Also, do not use this technique if it makes your product appear less attractive, valuable or competitive according to the market standards.
Let them decide the next course of action
The difference between a sales rep and an advisor lies in their ability to steer the direction of the meeting. Don’t suggest your customers what you think should be the next step. Instead, ask them what they think should be the next logical course of action. The customers will feel important for having the last say in the matter.
Try implementing these tips in your next sales call, and you will notice the difference for yourself.