No doubt I have already offended someone. Perhaps you earn your living by such a title. For that general reference, I should apologize.
Let me rephrase.
I hate pushy salespeople.
No? Well, let me put it this way:
- I hate being told what I need
- I hate being shown things I don’t need
- I hate it when people talk to me as if they have no I idea what I need
- I hate it when I can tell they are more interested in the sale than in what I need
If you’re not the kind of salespeople who do that, then rest easy . . . you are not on my naughty list.
Now for the harsh reality for the rest of us: pushy salespeople make sales!
However, let me argue that none of us who are selling wares, promoting products, championing a cause, or marketing a message are really interested in just sales. Why? Because sales are typically impersonal transactions that happen only once and rarely excite the customer to talk about you.
You don’t want to be a salesman. Could we come up with a new term? I propose: “compelsman“!
Not as catchy, but let me explain what compelspeople do?
- Compelspeople listen to what I need
- Compelspeople demonstrate in their content that they understand my needs, pains, frustrations and fears
- Compelspeople provide me a compelling case of why their product or service can alleviate my pain, frustrate, or fear
- Compelspeople show me what they have that meets my need
- Compelspeople compel me by leading me to make the choice that I am well-informed to make (and would be foolish not to make)
When I am introduced to a product or service that solves my problem, meets my need, alleviates a fear or frustration, they I’d say you got me. And very likely I become repeat business and a great referral source because my motivation to tell a friend is based on my story, not on your product. My success story with your product is much more compelling to the next guy than is the picture of your stale product in an advertisement. If I’m a transaction, I do not hing for you long-term. But if you’re a good compelsman, I become one of your loyal ambassadors (repeating and referring)!
In the spirit of compromise, here’s my acronym for those who just can’t go with my new word and insist that SALES is part of every marketing plan:
S – Stop pushing / Start compelling
A – Actively listen / Engage with the consumer to know their needs, pains, frustrations and fears
L – Learn to pay attention to what the consumer needs / Create products and services that meet those needs
E – Educate / Provide the consumer with content (articles, blogs, videos, seminars) that demonstrate why the consumer can’t do without your stuff
S – Seal the deal / Give the consumer the urgent deadline or consequence of inaction – lead them to make the obvious choice!
Everything else you say is fine. But, seal the deal returns you back to pushy status and you’d find yourself shut out at that point. I hate pushy sales people.
Hopefully the compelling steps lead up to a non-pushy closing. But you can be as compelling as you want, but sometimes it’s the urgency or deadline that makes the fence sitters commit. I don’t think that part has to be pushy; but more like a clear understanding of what happens if they wait. Pushy starts when people are selling what THEY want and not listening to what I want.
Thanks Dave for your comment!