Richard Libin, President at Automotive Profit Builders and author of just released book“Who Knew?”
We’ve all experienced the high-pressure sale — the push to “buy now” before it’s too late. While many salespeople believe this approach works, stories abound of customers who simply walked away because they didn’t like the pressure.
When will salespeople learn? There is only one time: the customer’s time.
Does it really make a difference whether customers buy now, or if they come back when they are ready? If you keep pushing customers to buy now, you may simply run them off. The question becomes, “Is your business or store seeking to do business or simply to do business now?” What is the goal? The answer should be, “To build clientele that will return and shop repeatedly, not simply to close a quick sale now, today, right this moment.”
A serious misconception in the sales world is that business must be transacted immediately — now. As a result, sales professionals — many of whom really know better — repel customers or end up persuading customers to purchase something that doesn’t meet their needs, that they can’t afford, that they really don’t want or that leaves them dissatisfied. While this seems to indicate that high-pressure selling works, in reality, customers feel they were coerced; they avoid the business in the future and tell everyone they know about their bad experience.
No matter how hard the push is to buy now, the result is usually the same: If it is not the right product for the customer, nothing will make them buy, not even price. If customers are planning to buy, they will, when they are ready, with or without you. They’ll make a purchase when they’ve been given enough time to consider their options and enough information to determine the best choice.
Keep in mind that if a client doesn’t do business with you now, it doesn’t mean he won’t do business with you later, if you respect their need to make a decision on their timeline, not yours. In the sales world, there is only one true definition of now. It’s when the customer is ready to buy and take the product home. Salespeople who understand this steer away from the hard-sell approach and embrace a low-pressure consultative process that results in a more positive experience for the customer and longer-term gains for the business. Salespeople who adopt this approach don’t sell customers on a product or service. They help them buy the right product or service. They work with customers to learn about their needs.
It’s your job to be sure customers have enough information to make intelligent decisions. Doing this requires a game plan that should be followed each and every time with each and every customer.
1. Listen to customers’ needs, wants and desires.
2. Help them select the product or service that meets their criteria.
3. Let them experience the product or service; let them try it or see a demonstration.
4. Give them a reason to buy. Help them understand why they need it or would want to have it.
5. Only at the end, talk about price.
NOTE: This article is excerpted from Mr. Libin’s new book, “Who Knew?” (www.who-knew.com), which was published in January 2017.