A sales secret you need to start using?
Sales is the lifeblood of small business success. You can have the best product, the best service in the world, but without closing a sale, it doesn’t mean anything. Unfortunately it can be difficult to get that sale closed, people may like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold.
With that in mind, there is one thing that you can do that will greatly increase your chances for selling success. It’s counterintuitive and it can be really difficult to pull off, especially if you have a lot riding on closing the deal. But it will work for any industry and any selling situation and it doesn’t really matter what your sales technique might be.
What’s the one thing that can make such a big difference?
It’s simple – You have believe and act like you don’t actually need the sale!
This came up the other day when I was talking to a friend of mine who had recently been referred for some work. Unfortunately it really wasn’t the right kind of work and it was pretty clear that the potential buyer was going to be high maintenance. Since it was a referral from a friend, he agreed to at least meet with the buyer for an initial discussion.
Knowing up front that he didn’t really want the work, he purposely tried to discourage the buyer from moving forward, letting them know he was kind of expensive – there were other, cheaper opportunities out there or that they might want to consider going a completely different direction.
Then a funny thing happened – he discovered that every time he tried to discourage the sale, the buyer became more energized and convinced that he was the help they needed! In the end, my friend agreed to do the work and even charged a slight premium over normal rates (he could have charged more, but didn’t since it was a friend of a friend).
He didn’t need the sale and actually didn’t even want the sale – and yet the customer ended up closing themselves despite his pushback. Why would that happen?
There are actually a couple of key reasons why this works:
1. You are in a position of power….
Think about the situation – you don’t need to make the sale, you don’t really care if it happens or not and that gives you a lot of control over the situation. Additionally it gives you a lot of confidence – which makes you very attractive. Everyone wants to hang out with the confident person who has it all going on! Because you don’t need anything, you get to dictate the terms!
2. You using the Reverse Selling technique…
Whether you realize it or not, you are using a technique that David Sandler called Reverse Selling. This Sandler technique is all about purposely pushing your prospective buyer away from the sale – here’s a good example from SitePoint on Reverse Selling.
This process actually does a couple of things for you – it makes you drastically different than most sales people who are anxiously trying to close the sale and the psychology of the approach allows the customer to sell themselves – here’s some more detail from an article by Andrew Wall: You Can’t Sell Anybody Anything.
Of course this can work really well if you don’t actually need or want the work. The trick is can you get into that kind of mindset when you DO really want the work? It’s not easy and it takes some practice, but it can be done.
What do you think? Have you ever used a reverse sell? On purpose or accidently? You probably don’t want to share your thoughts on this – but if you do, leave a comment below…or not…it doesn’t matter to me.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach