Tug of War Selling

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Are you in a “tug of war” with your customers?

You keep selling - they aren’t buying.

Customers resist being sold - but love to buy.

Try letting customers buy your product or service rather than selling it to them.

Here’s how:

Before attempting to sell any product or service it’s important to establish a need or want. Why? Your product or service means nothing until the customer understands what it will do for them. Consider this phrase:


Help the customer understand “what’s in it for them" and you’ll have a better chance of “closing the sale. ” How? Ask Questions!

Assume you’re a wholesale rep for cellular phones. Your market is retail outlets. Would it make sense to market your cellular products to a convention for the deaf? Why? The answer is obvious – “limited to no interest. ” With that in mind, wouldn’t it be important to identify a profile of your best targets to maximize time and increase results? How would you gather the info about this perfect client? Research? Benchmarking? How is all this information gathered to provide data? Someone or something was asking a lot of questions to establish probability.

Stop playing “tug of war” with your customers. Find out what they want and why it’s important to them. This approach allows them to buy instead of being sold.

Example/Ineffective Approach:

You’re selling the newest, latest, greatest cell phones at the mall. I walk past and you get my attention. You immediately start pitching me on all the great “bells and whistles” attached to this newest technology. You invest a few high powered minutes trying to convince me to buy. I look at you with that “glazed over” look wondering what the h- you’re talking about. At the same time your next victim is approaching. You quickly leave me standing there “dazed and confused” and start the same pitch over again with this scenario repeating itself throughout the day. My best guess tells me that you made some sales, but how many walked away because you never took the time to ask a few simple questions to identify a need or want.


Simple, yet effective question asking provides monumental results, not to mention the customer feels like they are buying instead of being sold.

Example/Effective Approach:

You’re selling the newest, latest, greatest cell phones at the mall. I walk past and you get my attention by asking me if I currently have cellular service.

My response: “Yes. ”

Your response: “With who?”

My response: “Sprint. ”

Your response: “Great, how long have you had your sprint service?”

My response: “About six months. ”

Your response: “Do you have your phone with you?”

My response: “Yes, I do. ”

Your response: “Would you mind if I take a quick look at it?”

My response: “No. ”

Your response: “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name. ”

My response: “Teri. ”

Your response: “Ok Teri, is your phone for personal or business use?”

My response: “Personal. ”

Your response: “Do you store a lot of data in your phone?”

My response: “Mostly phone numbers, etc. ”

Your response: “Do you have internet service on your phone?”

My response: “Yes. ”

Your response: “Have you had the opportunity to look at Sprint’s newest technology?”

My response: “No. ”

Your response: “I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to show you how advanced Sprint has become in the latest and greatest cellular technology; and how I can help you acquire one of these phones at no additional cost. ”

My response: “Why not?”

Based on the “effective example” above, your chances of closing are going to be much greater because you took the time to do some simple, basicqualifying; and more importantly, you helped me feel important rather than milled.

Stop playing “tug of war” with your customers. Engage them in a few minutes of conversation to establish their wants/needs. Help your customer buy instead of being sold and watch your closing averages soar.

Teri Samuels, CEO - United Sales Training (http://www.unitedsalestraining.com), 20 years as a Professional Sales and Marketing Troubleshooter, Trainer, Recruiter, Upper Level Manager, and Consulting Professional. Dedicated to the “keep it simple" approach.

To receive 1 free mini-consultation via email: tsamuels@unitedsalestraining.com


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