THE HARD SELL IS DEAD
The Power of PR with Danae Jones
I don’t know about you, but when someone tries to do the hard sell on me in business these days I try to find the closest rug to crawl under. I’m polite while they give me their sales pitch, but more often than not if they keep rambling on and failing to notice my uninterested body language I have to speak up and nicely tell them that I’m either not interested, or if I do actually want to buy what their selling, I ask them to cut to the chase and just give the price and the specs and be done with it so I can make a quick decision and get the hell out of there.
The truth is, I’m not alone – the majority of customers feel this way as years of oversell from so many sources has worn us all down. It seems you can’t turn a corner without someone trying to sell you something these days. And my message to those people in business that believe giving the hard sell to customers is the way to generate the most revenue … I’m sorry, but the hard sell is well and truly dead.
People want more than this from their buying experience today. We want information, not sell.
We want you to describe why one product is better than another and impress us with your product knowledge and passion for your products and genuinely care about us in the process. Not chew our ear off about all the irrelevant information that mindlessly flows into your head as if your reciting it from a script.
I was in a retail outlet the other day, that shall remain nameless, and I was confronted with the hard sell by a salesperson and I could see this guy was very nice and was just trying his best to do his job, but while he was waffling on I found my mind wandering and I thought – “surely this person can’t honestly think in this day and age that these sales tactics work?”
You see I am one of the majority. I like to shop, but I don’t like to be “sold to”, or not mindlessly sold to anyway. I want you to build a connection with me and tell me what I don’t know and make me think you care.
The reality is we are in the information age and chances are people have already arrived into your store knowing what they’re coming in to buy from you. They’ve researched the specs, weighed up the pricing options around town and by the time they get to you, they are ready to buy. So it’s not about the sell, it’s more about the customer relationship you are able to build at this point.
So instead of coming up to shoppers with a mouthful of words and very few moments to take a breathe in between them, why not just ask us some key questions and get us talking so you know how best to solve our problems and how best to make recommendations that suit our needs.
You see a good sales person doesn’t need to sell, they need to solve problems and build relationships with their customers. That is the true art of selling.
Danae Jones is Principal of PR & Marketing firm Danae Jones Consulting