Nobody likes high pressure sales people. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Gee, I feel like going out to the local car lot and trying to match wits with the sales force?” To quote Dennis Miller, “I think I would rather have Edward Scissorhands perform my tonsillectomy,” than to subject myself to such a process.
My point is, regardless of how you think the ‘high pressure sale’ works for you, it doesn’t have long-term benefits. You may be able to brow beat someone into submission, but do you believe that person is going to feel good about their decision? For one thing, you and I both know it wasn’t really their decision, but what occurred was orchestrated by you.
What I find ironic, is that those of us who’ve made sales our careers, are probably the harshest critics of those who use pressure tactics on us! It’s probably because of our heightened awareness that we know when those types of techniques are being applied. I know, that I will ‘shut down’ during the buying process if I feel as though I am being placed in a corner. Because of my own stubbornness, I will walk away from a purchase that I truly wanted to make, simply because I feel I am being pressured to make that decision.
You may wonder what I am leading up to, specifically. First of all, I want us to consider avoiding those pressure situations. Don’t you believe that the customer who’s lost the use of their heating system when the temperature is 10 degrees outside is under enough pressure already? At this point there is nothing to be gained by ‘piling on’ to what is already a bad situation.
The second point is making a conscious effort NOT to pressure the customer into a decision. How many times have you seen the words “limited time only” or “this offer expires on such and such date?” That is not what I am referring to. A promotion should have an initiation date and an ending date. If you are at the end of that promotion period that is easy enough to justify the explanation to the customer. What I'm talking about specifically is telling the customer “In order for me to do this, I need your decision, NOW!” Or, “I can only hold this price until 5:00 this afternoon.” I can tell you that if I were given these ultimatums, I would intentionally not sign on the dotted line.
These types of tactics are of no long-term value. The relationships we build should be on trust, integrity and friendship; not arm-twisting. Say what you want, it is arm-twisting; you know it and I know it.
Do what’s right. You may catch someone off guard and get the sale. Using this type of approach will become your calling card.
John L. Lloyd has been involved with HVAC for the past 30 years in a variety of positions, has presented programs and seminars for groups both in and out of this industry, and has an honest passion for our industry to become the best it can possibly be. John can be reached at [email protected]