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I've been hearing this phrase in way too many places ...

"People don't like to be sold too ..."

What a crock of you know what.

People LOVE to be sold to. People hate NOT to be sold to.

Ever asked for an opinion?

You're asking someone to sell to you.

Each and every question that starts with

How does ...
How do ...
What do you ...
I'd like your opinion on ...

is someone asking (nay, begging) to be sold.

And, if you can't relate to what I'm saying, then let's take a real example.

I'm in the market for a new laptop and I have the money to spend on it and I WANT TO SPEND IT AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

I walk into a store like Best Buy and go look at the systems on display. I am frustrated because nobody comes and tries and sell a system to me. I do have something in mind, but I WANT VALIDATION of my opinion and I WANT TO SPEND MONEY.

When you walk into a car-dealer, you WANT a CAR (Unless you are just planning on going for a joyride by test-driving a car).

Your sales and marketing material and all your copy should be focused on selling and getting money in exchange for delivering "perceived value". This can vary for different people. For some a newsletter is only worth the paper and ink it's printed on (not an ideal customer) and for some it's worth many times the price of it.

The freebie foot-in-the-door strategy does work, but it NEVER converts as well as starting to sell to qualified prospects to begin with (with some exceptions of course).

So, how does this relate to in your copy.

You are selling value in exchange for money (even if you're giving it away free). And if it's so bloody good, why not just charge for it. You'll be doing yourself and your customer a favour and you'll be transparent from the first transaction.

So, people loved to be sold to. They just hate to admit it.

If you disagree, ask them about the most pleasant sales experience they've had and you'll notice some real high-class and high-quality selling in action.
#bull #call #dodo #selling
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
    As Harry Browne and Frank Bettger both put it, find out what a man wants, and help him get it. Sales will be almost effortless. The man buys for his own reasons.

    On the other hand, trying to sell a Hyundai to an executive looking for a Mercedes will almost certainly be an exercise in futility.

    Your Best Buy analogy is a good example. You have something in mind, but the salesman is trying his hardest to sell you something else. You'd love to be sold, but only on what you want to buy.

    The salesman that takes the time to find out what that is will be successful. Pretty simple.
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    • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
      Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

      On the other hand, trying to sell a Hyundai to an executive looking for a Mercedes will almost certainly be an exercise in futility.
      True. However, if you go to a dealership AND all the sales people are busy with customers and nobody pays attention to you, you're going to be miserable. You want to be sold to.

      (Assuming you go to a Mercedes dealership if you're looking at something like that ... of course).

      Originally Posted by Steve Hill View Post

      Your Best Buy analogy is a good example. You have something in mind, but the salesman is trying his hardest to sell you something else. You'd love to be sold, but only on what you want to buy.
      I haven't made up my mind. I just have an idea of what I want and I have money. They're not trying to sell me ANYTHING. They don't even come till you find someone and call them to help you (ahem ... sell).

      I only see them put on their selling hat AFTER you've bought when they're trying to sell you an extended warranty etc.

      Before that ... nothing.

      And ... I'm impatiently waiting for someone to sell me something.

      We as humans are fairly self-absorbed. Enough that even the irritation of a loudmouth slick and over-bearing used car salesperson with unethical tactics is preferred to not getting anyone selling to you.

      Walk into any large department store these days. If you are planning on picking up something even as trivial as a blender, and there's no salesperson in sight ... you'll really be wanting to be sold.
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by sanjaypande View Post

        True. However, if you go to a dealership AND all the sales people are busy with customers and nobody pays attention to you, you're going to be miserable. You want to be sold to.
        ...

        Walk into any large department store these days. If you are planning on picking up something even as trivial as a blender, and there's no salesperson in sight ... you'll really be wanting to be sold.
        I think this is a sweeping statement that's not necessarily true. What's Best Buy suffering from right now? People coming in to try before they buy, and then going somewhere cheaper. I don't necessarily want to be sold if I'm coming into a place to look at something that happens to be for sale. Sometimes I'm just doing research. Yes, sometimes it's research for something I do eventually plan on buying.

        Still, I'm more irritated by someone not being available to answer my questions than not having someone to "sell" me. Believe me, if they sell to me and don't actually answer my questions, they've effectively sold me nothing.
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        • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
          Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

          I think this is a sweeping statement that's not necessarily true. What's Best Buy suffering from right now? People coming in to try before they buy, and then going somewhere cheaper. I don't necessarily want to be sold if I'm coming into a place to look at something that happens to be for sale. Sometimes I'm just doing research. Yes, sometimes it's research for something I do eventually plan on buying.

          Still, I'm more irritated by someone not being available to answer my questions than not having someone to "sell" me. Believe me, if they sell to me and don't actually answer my questions, they've effectively sold me nothing.
          So, answering questions is not "selling" in your opinion?

          I believe it's part of the sales process. It would be rather difficult to sell without answering questions (and countering objections).
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          • Profile picture of the author aandersen
            In his book (okay, ebook) The Forbidden Keys of Persusasion, Blair warrent talks of 3 common Tendencies of human nature. While all 3 tie loosly into this subject, his first tendancy strikes it directly.

            Here is an excerpt from the book:


            Originally Posted by Blair Warren

            The fact is each of us faces a barrage of various pitches every day. So while we alread feel pinched for time, we have to fend off dozens of unwelcome attmpts to sell us someting ... Except in those rare cases when people actively seek out what we're proposing, they will resist. It's human nature. Once others begin to resist us, it is infinitly more difficult to persuade them ...

            In 1937, Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, in his book Mental Poisoning, wrote:

            "Psychology teaches us that the only successful way by which to make another mind or strange mind obey a wish of our own mind is to present that command or desire in such a suble manner that it will be either unconsciously or willingly accepted by the other mind and acted upon with cooperation before it has had time to analyze it and resent it...."

            The key here is the phrase "before it has tme to analyze it and resent it." ...

            Try this sometime. Ask someone to stand and face you, about three feet away. Hold your hands up, palms toward them at about shoulder width. Ask your partner to do the same. Now, place your hands against theirs and hold them there. After a momnet, begin to push back. And the harder you push, the harder they will push. Once this cycle begins a mutually satisfying result is almost impossible. When you're playing with someone, this type of game is usually fun. When you're trying to persuade someone, it's usually a distaster. The trick is to prevent resistance from even becoming an issue. The first step in doing this is to never forget the first tendancy of homan nature:

            People resist unwelcome attempts to persuade them.

            He goes on to discuss Tendancy #2: People can't resist what they can't detect, Tendancy #3: People sometimes believe what they are told, but never dout what they conclude, and whole bunch of other persuasion awesomeness.

            Anyway, I tend to agree with his take on this subject.

            If you've never read it, you should go pick it up... it's an awesome read.

            Forbidden Keys To Persuasion
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          • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
            Originally Posted by sanjaypande View Post

            So, answering questions is not "selling" in your opinion?

            I believe it's part of the sales process. It would be rather difficult to sell without answering questions (and countering objections).
            It's definitely part of selling, even if it won't directly lead to a sale. As I mentioned above, I agree to you to a point. I just tend to side with most people about selling in general having a negative connotation.

            Persuading? I'm down with that. Informing? Certainly. Selling? I'd rather set myself on fire than deal with someone trying to feed me the more selfish side of selling.

            Scratch that. I'd rather set them on fire.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve Hill
        Originally Posted by sanjaypande View Post

        However, if you go to a dealership AND all the sales people are busy with customers and nobody pays attention to you, you're going to be miserable. You want to be sold to.

        ...

        I haven't made up my mind. I just have an idea of what I want and I have money. They're not trying to sell me ANYTHING. They don't even come till you find someone and call them to help you (ahem ... sell).

        I only see them put on their selling hat AFTER you've bought when they're trying to sell you an extended warranty etc.

        Before that ... nothing.

        And ... I'm impatiently waiting for someone to sell me something.
        Ok, I see your point - there's never a salesperson around when you want one, and when you do find one, sometimes they make little effort to sell.

        But that's a completely different argument than whether or not people in general want to be sold to.

        Let's say at that particular time and place, you're ready to buy. Every question you have is related to your interest in buying. You WANT to be sold to.

        But that's just you.

        The customer next to you may be comparison shopping, or researching for some other reason. They don't want to be sold to. They may ask the same questions that you did, but if a pushy salesperson persistently tries to sell them something, they'll probably just leave.

        Again, that's where a good salesperson excels - by finding out what the customer wants, and helping them get it.

        "Research? No problem. Here are some helpful feature guides, and please let me know if you have further questions."

        "You need a printer today? No problem. What kind of printing do you mostly do, what are your requirements, and what is your budget? This way, please. Let me show you some models that may be exactly what you need."

        The best stores know this, and train their salespeople accordingly. You're right, some salespeople don't even try to sell until you get to the extra warranty stage - but that's the store's fault. It's a training issue.

        As for stores with no salesperson coming around at all, sometimes that's a good thing. It's better to ask for the most knowledgeable salesperson for a particular item than to be stuck with a salesperson that knows nothing more than what's on the outside of the box.
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        • Profile picture of the author Hugh Thyer
          People don't like being sold to.

          They like making their own decisions.

          So the best salesperson sells the product, but makes the consumer think it's THEIR CHOICE.

          They don't ram the new car down the buyer's throat.

          They explain why the new car is such a good option, what benefits it has that helps solve their problems and fill their needs.

          But the buyer must walk away thinking "I made a great decision."

          Not "Wow, that person did a great sales job on me".
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    This could be an argument of semantics. Most people associate the term "selling" with some bullish used-car salesman type who ignores what the customer wants and pushes what's in his best interest down the customer's throat.

    That's definitely an unpleasant experience.

    Asking for someone's opinion on something doesn't necessarily sell me, or mean I'm looking to be sold. However, that's a shade of grey that doesn't really need to be argued. I tend to think of this as shopping around rather than being directly sold to.

    Most copywriters and talented salespeople realize that selling doesn't have to be that way if you know what the customer wants and can provide it for him or her.
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