I don’t like aggressive sales. It is unnecessary and it erodes the trust between client and supplier. Yet I am bombarded by aggressive salespeople who think that I must buy their product.
So, I’m working on a client project when I receive a phone call from an online directory. The first thing they do is lie about the reason for their call – as many do. They stated they wanted to confirm the details I had submitted in January (the call was in November).
However, soon afterwards they seamlessly went into talking about their premium package. While everything they stated sounded good, I just wasn’t interested in the product at the time. I’ve had premium packages with other directories before, and they’ve never returned their cost. If I want to go with another directory, it will be based on their performance while being a free member.
Simply, send me free traffic, and I will then look at my marketing budget.
Aggressive Sales Tone
From there on the conversation went from pleasant to disaster within moments. The salesperson insisted I made a purchase that day and stated that if I didn’t, I wasn’t serious about my business. Insulting me and my business is certainly no way to earn my trust or my custom.
So, what mistakes were made during the sales call?
1. Urgency For Non-Relevant Products
Their primary product attribute was giving me the URL marketing-frinton-on-sea.co.uk. However, this isn’t such a great deal. First, I doubt that many people would be searching for a marketing company in Frinton-on-Sea. They are much more likely to search for URLs in Tendring, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester or Essex.
Therefore, there is limited value to that domain name.
Also, being a premium listing on their directory was useless. I was the only marketing company registered for the area. Being premium would not give me any benefits.
2. Not Listening To My Observations
Okay, so I understand there are targets and these have to be met. However, salespeople need to understand the long-term prospects of a quick sale. Only a small percentage of sales can be completed on the first interaction. We keep on stating that 80% of all sales will happen between the fifth and twelve interactions – so why not nurture those leads and make them positive interactions?
That requires salespeople to take the higher ground and listen to their prospects. Find out what challenges they are currently suffering from and whether they need your services at that moment. If they don’t – keep calm and pleasant and maintain contact. Ask them if it is alright to place them on a marketing list and contact you in the future – very few will say no.
3. Telling Me My Prices
Another error was telling me how quickly I could recoup my losses – without knowing my prices. They clearly stated that within one customer I could see a profit. This is not good business. The cost of the product *might* cover the costs (though some products wouldn’t); but they wouldn’t cover other costs.
Businesses have many costs, and these should be considered before you can determine the breakeven point of any new investment. As a salesperson, you certainly can’t assess the breakeven point without knowing business costs and product prices.
4. Insulting The Prospect
The one thing that really put me off buying were the insults. There were just too many. Firstly, after establishing that I was an online marketing company, they insisted on telling me about the current internet trends – I do extensive research on that.
They then proceeded to tell me that Bing was the larger search engine. The latest information states that Bing has a market share of about 9.15% compared to Google’s 86.94% (information correct in October 2016).
When you include Yahoo!’s contribution; Bing’s share is as high as 20%. Whichever statistic you read; Google is still larger.
Another insult was added at the end.
When I firmly said no and that there would be no money made today, the salesperson clearly said ‘well when you get serious about business’…then contact us.
I’m always serious about my business and just because I don’t make a purchase doesn’t mean that I don’t care about it. Would you say that a mum doesn’t care about her child because she doesn’t buy them the latest DVD or clothes?
5. The Opposite Spectrum
About half an hour after this phone call, I got another. This time from a food supplier we have used in the past. The previous night we were going to make another order, but missed the deadline, or so we thought.
Their call was to ask whether we had intended to make an order or had we intentionally abandoned the cart. Great – perfect sales technique. Then when we said we had been busy and hadn’t had chance to complete the transaction, that was it – they just reminded us to be more timely next time.
What – just – happened?! They had a customer on the phone, who was interested in buying products from them and they didn’t confirm any orders. Why not? Even if we missed one deadline, there was another in just a week’s time – why not confirm our order for that deadline? At least suggest making a commitment to an order/sale on the phone.
It might take a small discount code, free gift or something to entice a prospect to make an order; but leaving customers to their own devices in these circumstances will increase the chances that they won’t make another purchase.
Are You Using Aggressive Sales Tactics?
Don’t be too aggressive with your sales but don’t be too passive either. Either tactic can make you lose sales, and this can damage your business’ growth. Instead, listen to your prospect, assess their readiness to make a purchase and then determine your strategy from there.
You might want to read our previous article about sales tactics or call us for advice.