Our B2B and B2C sales training partners in Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto always ask this question. Is there a way to close sales without being the strong-armed, high-pressure pushy Salesperson that buyers hate? The answer is “Yes, most definitely!” Here’s a great example of a Salesperson we’re working with who became his company’s top monthly biller in two short months. Here’s what you can learn from his techniques.
That’s the first stigmatized word that comes to mind when people think of Salespeople. Ask anyone and they will tell you that they hate Salespeople who try to sell you something that you don’t want. Yappy, aggressive, fast-talking, self-centered. The list of words is endless in describing the Salesperson who feels that pushing people into saying YES is the way to succeed in sales. I’ve never met a buyer or seller who disagrees with me.
So Why Do Pushy Salespeople Exist?
No training, poor or non-existent coaching, and the lack of a better way to sell tend to be the reasons. Can pushy Salespeople make sales? Possibly for a short amount of time, however, if you want to get repeat business, referrals, and consistent selling success, you must find an approach with customers that makes them want to buy your product or service. The experience they have with you tends to be what they tell other people, so which side of that fence would you rather be on?
The Trademark of a Pushy Salesperson
Here’s one of their leading characteristics. Working with hundreds of Salespeople over the past 30 years has led me to one of the most common traits of pushy salespeople. They ask too many closed-ended questions at the start of developing a new relationship with a buyer. Here are a few classics…
- “Are you looking to buy today?”
- “Are you interested in saving money/getting a good deal today?”
- “If this was a good decision, you would want to take action today, wouldn’t you?”
No matter the question, the buyer’s perception tends to be the same. “This Salesperson is more focused on making a sale than helping me buy the right product.” We have all walked away from a Salesperson who was selling a great product due to their high-pressure approach and seemingly lack of caring about our best interests.
Let’s be direct and straightforward. Every Professional Salesperson wants to close sales. The ability to do that on a consistent basis is the best definition of sales success. More sales equals more commission, employment security, and a better standard of living along with respect from your boss and co-workers. Smart Salespeople don’t want to be perceived as attempting to close a sale against their buyer’s best interests.
Ask yourself this question. Who makes the decision to buy? Obviously, the customer. The real skill is being in touch with the buyer’s feelings while creating a sense of urgency for them to say YES. That’s the stuff that great Salespeople are made of.
Here’s How to Close Without Being a Pushy Salesperson
The best way to illustrate this is to give you an example. FYI – this is a great sales technique when attempting to prove a point. One of our sales training clients in Vancouver started a new Salesperson two months ago. Let’s call him Mark.
In 90 days, Mark managed to be the company’s top performer despite having a lack of product knowledge and industry expertise. He’s fortunate and grateful that the rest of his sales team has been extremely helpful in answering his questions and fast-tracking his development.
When I notified him in our Monthly Sales Meeting that he was the top Salesperson for the previous month he was shocked. He was so busy closing sales and helping his customers buy the right product that he didn’t have the time to look at his numbers. There’s a real lesson in that philosophy.
Here Are The Three Things Mark Did Right
#1 – He was proactive.
When a customer walked into the store, he gave them a minute or two to walk the aisles and then approached them with a very friendly welcome. I know this personally because he did this to me when I was in my client’s office for Group Sales Training a few months ago. I hadn’t personally met Mark prior. His greeting put a smile on my face and was a great way to start my relationship with him. Mark was also proactive in following up with quotes and estimates all within 24 hours after emailing them to customers. Whether you are in B2B and B2C sales, interpret proactivity for what it is – a deliberate action to engage with a potential buyer.
In my book, SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money, I reference Eight Most Common Mistakes Made by Salespeople. The top two are talking too much and not following up, which are sales sins that you can’t afford to make if you want to be successful.
#2 – Mark asked his customers a lot of open-ended questions.
He wanted to find out far more than just what they were looking for. He needed to know as much detail as possible to be able to answer their questions and be as resourceful as possible. I later asked Mark what personal branding he wanted with his customers, he answered immediately with the word integrity. He feels he’s not displaying integrity by being a pushy Salesperson.
Mark was 100% honest with his customers. He told them he just started and was still learning about all the products and would be asking the experts in the office with over 30 years of experience. He had the integrity to use the resources at his disposal to best help his clients. A Salesperson who guesses at the right answers for fear of looking uneducated is not representing their clients’ best interests.
Here’s another great questioning technique that Mark uses extensively. After giving his clients the information they needed to make a decision, he asked these questions:
- “Is there anything else I can answer for you?”
- “What else can I do to help you make the right decision?”
- “Do you have any more questions?”
- “Have I explained everything properly to you?”
The customer perception is that Mark wants to please his customers, educate them fully, and exceed their expectations. He asks these closed-ended questions after investing time in understanding his customers’ needs. It’s as if he already knows the answer will be a positive one. These questions are trial closes without sounding deliberate and pushy.
That leads the customer to the next possible decision – which is to purchase or voice an objection that can be dealt with. Mark’s sales technique can be summed up in one sentence. He helps people understand their situation, select the right product, and then close themselves.
#3 – Mark is gracious and a team player.
Whenever we talk about his early success he points to his fellow Salespeople in the room. He says he’s constantly asking the experts around him questions to build up his product knowledge and expertise and without their help he would never be able to assist his customers. Mark is a class act and a nice guy.
In my experience, this is the #1 rule of sales success. Don’t be a jerk! Be a nice person before being a great Salesperson. If Mark is so easy to like, he makes it easy to want to buy his products. Before you sell a customer on your product, they must buy you first.
What can you learn from Mark’s technique? Please let me know in the comments section below.
Group, Individual and Online Sales Training in Canada
Do you want to learn more about not being a pushy salesperson and asking great questions? If so, consider our online course The Sales Skills Incubator for $199 CAD. We’re also in the final stages of producing our latest online sales training course, Negotiating 2 Party Payoffs. Every great Salesperson wants to learn the skills of being a great negotiator. If you wish to be notified when the course is available, subscribe to the PROSALESGUY BLOG. If you prefer reading, check out our book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money available on Amazon.
If you’re interested in Sales Training in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, or Toronto please give us a call or send us an email. We offer both online and in-person training. We’d love to speak with you.
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY