5 Reasons Why Persuading Prevents Sales

by Tessa Stowe

Do you think selling is all about persuading and convincing? Are you trying hard to get people to agree with what you tell them? If that is the essence of your sales approach, it will lose you sales. Here are five reasons why.

Reason #1: You will resist selling.

If you think selling is all about persuading and convincing, you will resist doing selling as you probably don't enjoy the experience of having to get people to agree with you. Doing that is difficult and can feel like fighting. You may also be concerned about what people will think of you. As a result, selling will be something you do rather reluctantly, and really wish you didn't have to do at all. If you resist selling, you are not going to be selling as often as you need to. Consequently, the less time you spend selling, the less sales you will make - plain and simple.

Reason #2: You will experience sales resistance from your prospects.

The moment you start trying to persuade or convince is the moment your prospect identifies you as a "typical salesperson." As soon as they reach that conclusion, they go into protection mode to prevent themselves from being sold to. They put their sales resistance barrier up. When a sales resistance barrier is present, the chance of getting a sale goes down.

Reason #3: You will miss out on the larger sales.

If your prospect trusts you, it is fairly straightforward to make a much larger initial sale. You can do this by giving them an option which assumes they will be with you for the long term. If they trust you, they will give serious consideration to this longer term, higher priced option. However, if you are persuading or convincing your prospect, it is unlikely they will trust you. They'll think that you care more about making a sale than you do about helping them. When there is little or no trust present, your prospect will be very cautious about making a long term commitment to you. Hence, they will probably not be interested in your higher priced option.

Reason #4: You will miss out on the easiest sales of all.

The easiest sales of all should be from your current customers. However, and this is very important, if you acquired a customer through persuading and convincing, it will affect the trust between you and your prospect. He or she will probably not be too keen on repeating the last sales experience with you. So next time they need something that you can offer, they may go look to someone else who cares more about them than about themselves.

Reason #5: You will have few referrals.

If your prospects and customers did not enjoy the persuading and convincing sales experience with you, they are definitely not going to give you referrals. They will want to protect their own reputation within their network of friends and associates.

So what is the solution?

Instead of thinking that selling is about persuading and convincing, approach selling as helping people to get what they want. If you approach selling in this way - and use a sales process that matches it - then there will be little sales resistance on your side and from your prospects. As you successfully build rapport and trust, your prospects will be more open to higher priced initial options. Finally, you will get more repeat sales and referrals from your customers.

Starting today, stop persuading and convincing, and intently focus on helping people to get what they want. Both you and your prospects and existing customers will feel the difference. This simple change in your sales approach will result in more sales and customer loyalty.

©Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2010
Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.

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