- Content Marketing
When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets TraditionalGoogle Is Changing the Close Variant Matching Option in AdWordsBefore You Invest in Online Advertising, Do This!Native Advertising: The New New Thing or a Race to the Bottom? [VIDEO]
Technology & Data
Data and Creativity at the Social Shake Up: Defining Your Data-Driven Social CampaignTalking Strategy and Data with Shannon Lee of Precision StrategiesNew IBM Study Reveals 3 Key Characteristics of the Most Successful CompaniesMinority Report: Confronting Privacy Issues in Big Data Gathering
- Tech & Innovation
- marketing automation
Social Startups: Moment.me Captures a 360-Degree View of The Social Shake-Up 2014Hootsuite Partners With Syracuse University to Bring Social Media Savvy to College StudentsThe Best Hyperlapse VideosThe Best Content Moderation Tools for Busy People Who Don't Have Time for That
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthThe Social Shake-Up Attracts Wide Breadth of Brands and IndustriesThe Social Shake-Up: How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue GrowthThe Social Shake-Up: The Future of Social Business
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Recap from the First-Ever Employee Advocacy SummitFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
You Give Sales a Bad Name
Posted on November 19th 2013
Talk about sales, and immediately the image of the slick used car salesman comes to mind – with his heavily gelled hair, quick-fire sales pitch, and the musky smell of cologne hanging around him. Or maybe you would think of the numerous times you’ve been called by a random telemarketer (how on earth did he get my number, anyway?). Or what about that guy who goes door-to-door pressurizing your neighbors to buy his newfangled vacuum cleaner?
Unfortunately, it seems that most of the images we have of salespeople lands dead center of the negative zone. It seems like all they want to do is sell us their ware, regardless of what they talk to us about. They might be asking us how our day was, but in our minds it sounds more like, “Give me an opportunity to sell my product NOW”. It’s hard to win as a salesperson.
You Give Sales A Bad Name
To be sure, many sales professionals tend to give the sales industry a bad name. Too many times, salespeople are only concerned with the bottomline, that is, to sell their ware, rather than genuinely communicating real value.
A call from a telemarketer always begins with “How are you?” and then swiftly launches into a tirade of one-way monologue (which is the sales pitch). No wonder people on the receiving end immediately get turned off once a phone call is revealed to be from a telemarketer. After all, how can you trust someone who you don’t know at all, or even know where he/she got your number from (which is really creepy)? Worst still, even if you were willing to give this salesperson a chance, you’d hardly be able to get a word in between his well-polished sales pitch. Salespeople simply aren’t creating any real value for the listener.
It gets worse – many companies have sales departments that still subscribe to traditional high-pressure sales tactics. A salesman from British Columbia claims that his sales manager instructed him to run through a canned presentation with potential clients, and if the client doesn’t get hooked, to call the manager down to browbeat the prospect. This might have worked in a pre-Internet world. However, with so much information at our fingertips nowadays, the prospect is well-equipped to fend off such heavy-handed blows.
Let The Seller Beware
High-pressure tactics can never work in today’s world. It may indeed contribute to an anti-sale, whereby prospects get so turned-off by such sales tactics that they end up posting negative reviews of the company in various social media channels or forums.
Daniel Pink, author of the bestseller To Sell Is Human, notes that the principle of the marketplace has transitioned from caveat emptor to caveat venditor – that is, from “Let the buyer beware” to “Let the seller beware”. Historically, buyers have always been on the losing end due to a lack of information or expertise on products or services. With reviews, ratings and online portals readily available on the Internet today, sellers are now the ones who have to be careful, lest they be marked as untrustworthy or dishonest – or just plain annoying.
Listen, And Be Honest
At the end of the day, one thing is for sure – salespeople need to learn how to listen to, and be transparent, with the customer. To know what the customer wants, salespeople need to listen; to sell to the customer, salespeople need to assure the customer of their honesty.