Blog post 031-You-can't-sell-anybody-anything

That's right, it can't be done. No one can sell you or me anything we don't want. And if they do, we will more than likely send it back or resent the fact that they persuaded us to buy it in the first place.

No, you can't sell anybody anything, but here's what you CAN do. And with this concept your life is about to get a whole lot easier. All you have to do is help people make good decisions. And the good decision will be to buy from YOU.

Ask yourself this question: Why would someone want to buy products and services from me? Once you have your complete list of "reasons why" you are ready to help a prospect make the decision to buy from you.

The next step is to approach your customer with a negative comment. For example, "This product may not be for you."

I know, I know, that is the exact opposite of how you have been taught to sell.  But consider this...

Regardless of what a sales person says, a customer or prospect has a natural tendency to disagree.  By making a negative statement we can actually get a positive response. On the other hand, if we make a positive statement they will respond with a negative statement.

Let me give you an example and you be the judge.

The normal approach for Army recruiting has been to try and convince someone to join by presenting all the benefits, which is the most logical approach. Here is the negative approach I am talking about:

The Army may not be for you!  Why not get the facts, see if you qualify, and then make a good sound decision as to whether this would be a good career choice?

Do you see the psychology behind this approach?

The Army may not be for you.  What does that statement provoke? It makes you ask the question: Why not? Why wouldn't it be for me? It makes the prospect wonder what the facts are, what information do they have that will help me make a good decision. It doesn't insult my intelligence by assuming that they know what I want. It lowers the resistance that comes natural when someone is being presented with a sales pitch.

Why not get the facts?  This implies a "no obligation" investigation into what they have that I might be interested in. It peaks my interest without undue pressure. And it takes much of the pressure off the seller as well. Instead of having the image of a high pressure sales person, the recruiter becomes a career consultant by presenting their facts and using their comparison grid to help the prospect make a good decision.

See if you qualify.  This provokes a challenge. No one likes to be in a position of not being qualified.

Like a good lawyer, you always want to ask questions that you know how people will answer.  Here are a few more examples you can use to test the concept.  How would you answer these negative questions?

I have a new, high quality product, but you probably don’t want to look at it?

I have three consulting packages, but you probably don’t want to look at the most expensive one?

Hiring Bob Oros to do a training program for your sales team might not be the best solution to increase your market share, but why not get the facts and make an educated decision?