When most people hear the word “salesperson,” they picture a sleazy, smarmy man who won’t take no for an answer and pushes for a sale to the point that he makes his potential customers feel viscerally uncomfortable. Ultimately, the leads in scenarios like these often end up making a purchase simply to make the salesman go away, a fact that many companies point to as a sign that the “sell, sell, sell” mentality is an asset rather than a vice. However, while persistence can certainly pay off in getting sales, they aren’t necessarily the greatest ways to build a long-term business relationship that pays dividends for years to come. So tell your sales reps to stop selling, build relationships instead.
That’s not to say that salespeople shouldn’t be persistent. Without the ability to try several different sales angles despite hearing the word “no,” a salesman or woman would have difficulty closing deals and making money. However, there is a point where good, old-fashioned persistence can devolve into irritating pushiness, and eventually, into aggressive harassment. A talented salesperson needs to know when to cut his or her losses and move onto the next lead.
The “sell, sell, sell” mentality is flawed for several reasons. First of all, if you push a person to the point where they buy something just to get rid of you, you aren’t doing your company any favors: that “customer” will likely vow never to do business with your brand again, and might even warn others against your company if they were made especially uncomfortable or angry by your endless sales pitch.
Secondly, many businesses operate on the ideal that every sale needs to be as big as possible. It’s not enough for a client to buy one product from your business: they have to buy bundles or packages of goods. Often, this idea is practiced because salespeople want to pad their commissions and make more money, which is a totally understandable motivation. However in pushing your valued customers and clients into buying things they don’t need, you are creating a harmful mindset that your business does not have the best interests of its customers in mind.
Ultimately, that mindset is the heart of the matter, and is the reason why you might consider phasing out the “sell, sell, sell” mentality altogether at your business. Under no circumstances do you want your customers to think that you don’t care about what is best for them. Ultimately, your business has a bottom line to which every paying customer contributes, but while you are working with your customers and clients, you want to subconsciously convince them that their bottom line matters more to you than yours.
If you can do that, you will build long-term relationships with your customers that are based on trust and friendship, and such business relationships will always be more valuable than big, one-time commissions. So next time you want to “sell, sell, sell”, consider befriending your customers and building a personal relationship with them instead. As that account continues to pay dividends 10 years from now, you’ll be happy you did.