The best way to sell your products is by not having to sell them in the first place.
As customers, we love to buy. But, on the other hand, we hate being sold to. If you think about that for a second, it’s a pretty strange crossroad to be at. As marketers, we often think that even though people may like our products, we can’t push that sale because we could possibly scare off that potential customer as he or she doesn’t want our intervention.
In the desperate times we’ve found ourselves in (mainly down to the global economic downturn), we’ve been sold and pitched to too many times. Now, we’re sick of it.
Okay, it may come over that I’m not a fan of selling with aggressive pitches here. Don’t get me wrong as this simply isn’t true. What I’m saying is, that constantly trying to sell day-in day-out to the same customers isn’t going to work unless you alter the way that you’re selling in the first place.
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
For me as a teenager, it was a case of trying to get a girlfriend by any means possible. Hell, I’d ask the entire bar out if I had to. What happened? I kept getting turned down. I wasn’t going out picking girls and throwing a chat-up line at every one of them (which is the wrong way about it too by the way). I was just asking them – yes, pretty much any one of them – for a date kind of thing. But, I was too pushy. I was too stupid and I was getting nowhere. So, I gave up and decided to relax and chill out with my friends, toning everything down whilst I spoke to girls. And guess what?! They started coming to me! I couldn’t believe it. They were pursuing a relationship with me.
It’s exactly the same whilst selling; we have to stop thinking about the quick sale.
And it all comes down to one single element: TRUST. People are not buying with the businesses that offer the best products anymore. They’re buying with the businesses they feel they can have a successful long-term relationship with. So, as marketers and salespeople, we now have to share more of the things we’re doing, and simply just be ourselves. Be human! Because here you’ll be showing the potential customer what they’ll be getting before they get it, without directly selling anything.
This is a kind of trust that takes time to build, and sadly, it can take just seconds to diminish. But that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done. There are a few simple ‘tweaks’ that you can add to your day-to-day communications to help get a successful and trusting relationship going. Here are seven:
- Find things in common to talk about and engage.
- Listen to the other person – this is a two-way street.
- Always tell the truth (even if it’s bad).
- Be sincere and show respect.
- Demonstrate your exceptional knowledge.
- Be consistently reliable.
- If you break trust, always put your hand up and seek to recover.
When those girls back then started talking to me – much like when a potential customer starts to engage with a business – that’s when I would put my salesman hat on. Simply because they’ve given me ‘permission’ to do so. The difference was that I would be much less ‘salesy’, and more subtle. I wanted the sale/relationship eventually though I knew it would take more time, so I had to stand back and offer a little bit more room to breathe.
Sure, you can use the classic sales techniques that are still ever so effective in selling situations, but these take a little longer to build trust in order to have that platform to implement these techniques – to be able to get the pitch in.
So, how about letting natural human psychology take over for a bit, and see where you get when it comes to selling?