Anyone in sales would be best off recognizing the undeniable shift in the art of persuading people
There was a time when the extra aggressive, all-out pushy type of salesperson was practically a pre-requisite for successful salesmanship. Not so anymore. Our ever-evolving society has become more demanding, more informed, and less tolerant. People no longer will accept simply “being sold.” They want to be served. In fact, they demand it. Now it can be argued that there are still those people who demand a discount. If that wasn’t true, Wall Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s wouldn’t be billion dollar businesses. However, there is a big difference in trading in good customer service for a cheaper price on a vacuum, and say, a house.
Buying and selling property is a big ticket item and the American consumer demands more than she would when buying a household appliance. People do not want to be sold; they want to be served. Served and educated so that they can make an informed, intelligent choice based on the ethical counseling of a qualified professional.
As a whole, we live in a somewhat aggressive society. People speak their minds, hang up on telemarketers, slam doors in solicitor’s faces, and want to make sure they’re getting the best possible deal. Take a look at lawsuits that revolve around people demanding they receive restitution for something they feel they are owed. There are many. People will seriously put on the boxing gloves if they feel they’ve been done wrong.
Today’s consumer is no longer afraid to ask for more, compare or challenge your final answer. So how does an old school, overly aggressive salesperson fit into the mix? Not very well. In fact, if you think about it, the entire mode of operation of the overly aggressive salesperson is in itself demanding. In this case, hard-core sales tactics are sure to create a combative environment in even the best-case scenarios.
People demand stellar service, honest answers, and good deals.
People are Smarter
Even if an individual doesn’t have his own computer, he’ll ask a friend or neighbor or off-spring to look things up. And let’s face facts. Anybody can find anything out on the Internet. At one time, you had to drive from store to store to compare prices and get the best deal. Nowadays, you do a Google search and find out just what you want to know at the click of your mouse. Back in the days of buying a car the “old way,” you’d practically have to peel the salespeople off your back–which was somewhat akin to wrestling hungry alligators–and then you’d try to make your escape, checkbook in tow.
Today, savvy shoppers will show up with computer print-outs from carmax.com, and other dealerships, in hand. They’ll ask you, “How much above invoice will you go?” And they’ll expect a straight answer. In fact, you can just see the look on their faces telling you, I’ve done my homework, I know what I want, know what I can get, and if you toy with my, I’m outta here! Still, a pushy-type of sales person will still attempt the “Let’s chat about it” dance and the prospect will take his print-outs and be off to the next dealership before you can say, “Down payment.”
People are Less Tolerant
In our ‘instant society’ of drive-thru dry cleaning, take-out dining, while-you-wait-oil-changes, people have lost their patience. They do not want to stand in lines, take a number, or be called during dinner about switching car insurances. In fact, those times they do decide to wait in line, it had better be worth it or someone is sure to receive a complaint.
This shift of less tolerance is a result of so many salespeople polluting the airways, freeways, and phone lines. In fact, this shift in consumers tolerance is clearly evident with the Do Not Call Registry that is now in place. Many Americans finally stood up and said, “Don’t call me at dinnertime!” With less tolerance, it’s easy to surmise that cold-calling needs a special touch and that most homeowners aren’t likely to tolerate the traditional strategies. That doesnt mean you should canvass, but it does mean you should push.
So, if consumers are more demanding, more informed, and less tolerant, how in the heck are we supposed to sell them anything?!
New Millennium Marketing isn’t about selling, it’s about service. It’s not about cold calling strangers, it’s about making friends, and it’s not about closing the deal, it’s about opening the dialogue.
With buying and selling anything, American consumers are demanding the best deal and the most ethical, effective agent money can buy. Starting now, decide to be a top producer who recognizes the value of providing service instead of sales.