Am I the only one who hates the pop up ‘live chat’ boxes that appear when browsing some websites? For me they are the equivalent of the annoying shop assistant that pounces on you the moment you step through the door. I admit both are easy to dismiss but I tend to spend far less time in the shops where I know I am being stalked by an assistant and it is the same when I’m browsing on websites.
I’ve noticed a similar annoying trend on social media where businesses and sales people ‘pounce’ on me the moment I make any form of interaction with their account or one of their messages. I may have followed your account for many reasons, I may be interested in your product or service but not right now! If you immediately bombard me with your heavy sales messages that tells me a lot about YOUR organisation.
We are all different and the time we take to make our decisions to purchase is a personal choice. I have witnessed many a tense conversation between couples in car showrooms and furniture stores. One is ready to buy now but the other wants to look at other options first. Sellers have developed the ‘deadline sales approach’ as a reason why we must buy today but these reasons are usually gimmicks or blatant lies!
One of the keys to successful selling is to give each buyer the time they need to make THEIR decision. Sometimes the buyer is ready to buy but the seller fails to recognise they are ready. I’ve walked out of stores when I’ve wanted to buy because I couldn’t get the attention of any staff, or there weren’t any staff available to talk with. This is far less rare though than the seller asking for the deal way before the buyer is ready.
My top tips:
- Be visible and available for when the buyer needs you.
- Respect THEIR time and their right to take whatever time they need to decide.
- Never use gimmicks to hurry the process up as you are more likely to lose the sale completely.
- Behave as a ‘product specialist’ not a salesperson.
- Shut up and really listen.
- If you want to get to a yes, make it clear that a NO is okay.
These tips are just as applicable for retail as they are for business to business sales. Some sales training books will tell you to do the opposite of the above BUT you are all buyers, what do you think?
Thank you for reading!
Stuart Allen ~ MD of The Sales Performance Company Ltd
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