I went to get my car washed the other day after a long holiday trip. Pulling up to this large full service auto wash center I was presented with some options on a billboard overhead. As I was looking at the choices offered, a young man walked up and asked what could he do for me. I said I needed a car wash which he then did an assumptive close of the highest priced choice. Ok a little irritating but I get asking for the gold. After explaining that the lowest priced option would be fine he became noticeably irritated. Then the battle began.
An arsenal of upsell “value” add options were shot at me in rapid fire procession. I literally turned down 5 different options each one with a comeback to my objection from this aggressive employee. Just wanted a “basic wash please”, which was still 17 bucks, was now my final stance no matter what he was going to offer. I had won the battle… so I thought.
Another young man presents himself and asks about my rock chips in my windshield. I said I had already repaired a couple and will replace the windshield when I get a couple more. I should have just said not interested. Now I am in a new battle with him trying to overcome my objections on a windshield replacement. Again a noticeable irritation and intimidating stare. He finally caves and says “drive up please” cold and uncaring.
I pull up and get out of the car and am on my way to pay the bill. A third employee solicits me one more time with an offer of a free car wash if I buy so many. Probably was a good deal but I simply had no more patience and passed.
My guess is these folks were on commission or a bonus program of some kind. The auto center wasn’t as busy as usual and most likely goals weren’t being met. I have used them many times before but never experienced a negative sales process like this before.
Even though I am a big proponent of asking for the sale… it needs to be done professionally and tactfully. It was obvious they were desperate for a sale. They involved me, the consumer, in their sales pressure world. A big turnoff to me and any potential customer.
Over the years I have experienced, and managed, over-the-top sales behavior with new and experienced salespeople alike. They are truly desperate to get the sale. The customer feels they’re after their pocket book and not their best interests. Which to be honest is probably correct. The salesperson gets too aggressive maybe even saying something personal and rude. Now the potential customer won’t call back and worse buys elsewhere even though the solution was a great fit. Credibility is forever gone.
How Did They Get to This Over-Aggressive Sales State? Sales Process Gone Wrong.
Well… there are a couple of reasons typically.
Pipeline: Their pipeline is thin and anemic with them relying on only one or two deals to either keep their jobs or keep the manager off their behinds. Daily activity needs to be conducive to building a pipeline that does not put a salesperson in a desperate position.
Sales Process: Skipping sales process steps to close deals that aren’t really “fully baked” so to speak. This goes back to pipeline again. Trying to find and sell in the same month makes for a very stressful sales environment. Customers feel this. Of course transactional sales could be different here but the owner benefits still need to be presented in a less aggressive posture typically.
“The world is so competitive, aggressive, consumive, selfish and during the time we spend here we must be all but that.” -Jose Mourinho
Personal Life: Salespeople are letting their personal life influence their sales techniques. Being overly aggressive really never plays well because they’re frustrated with something personal. Personal issues need to stay personal.
Outdated Sales Techniques: Some salespeople, and managers, are simply using outdated sales techniques. Bullying a customer might have worked in sales years ago but it no longer has a place in today’s consumer market. Probably one of the biggest reasons consumers are going to the internet to buy their products and get pricing. There are managers that would disagree with me of course. And you know what… it probably can work, for a while. Long term, however, it will hurt the organization, its reputation and sales in general.
Don’t get me wrong there is almost always a certain amount of “push” needed to get a sale closed. Consumers, by nature, just have a hard time letting go of their hard earned money. I know I do. Just don’t go too far.
Be a credible consultant presenting your product non-aggressively. Excite your potential customer, not hammer them, and let them up-sell themselves. Maintain a pipeline that keeps you even in your sales processes and not in a panic mode every month. Your bank account and stress level will thank you.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF