The SALES Snow Job…

“Git yer shovel and hipboots, Mollie.  That slick sales guy’s back agin.”

When did you last encounter a slick, fast-talking sales-person who answered your questions like he was snapping a towel? A car dealership? Discount furniture store? Are these stereotypes? Sure, but the examples serve a purpose because they bring the worst images of sales to the surface. If we can know the worst case scenario, it’s easier to strive for the best.

The problem is, it seems to me, that many salespeople who appear to be best case scenario salespeople on the surface are actually worse than the worst underneath. They are the ones who are smart enough to recognize that nobody likes or buys a “sales hustle” anymore, that today’s consumers are more enlightened shoppers, so they blanket the truth with a snow job and hope no one notices the slippery ice below until the check clears the bank.

These are the same hot-shots who ignore or trivialize prospects’ concerns and create diversions by instead emphasizing the strengths of the product or service being shopped, to the exclusion of the weaknesses. It’s a throwback sales attitude that no longer tweaks the twitter, if you know what I mean.

But, hey, doesn’t every one in sales do that? No. True sales professionals treat prospects like family (well, maybe not including the dysfunctional cousins!). True sales professionals don’t dwell on weak sales points, but they won’t smoke-and-mirror the negatives into some dark corner either.

Professional salespeople build high-trust reputations at every opportunity. They are invested in selling as a career. They get the big picture of life. They seek to build a reputation for honesty, not deal-making. They want to be able to establish long-term repeat-sale relationships once the sale is made.

If you’re serious about sales and you should be if you’re a rep or business owner or manager … because your very existence depends on how effectively and genuinely you listen to customers and respond to their needs and concerns.

This includes being as open and honest about your product and service weaknesses as you are about the strengths. Leave the one-sided boasting to the advertising and PR people. YOU are the company in the customer’s eyes! Customers and prospects expect and deserve truth as well as benefits.

When a salesperson tries to give someone a snow job, he or she is starting out with the assumption that the customer or prospect is stupid. Beware: ANY assumption is dumb. (A good reminder:Expectations Breed Disappointment.”) By starting out with a snow-making machine and not giving the prospect a shovel and hip-boots, self-destruction looms on the horizon.

It doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes with Bing or Google to learn as much if not more than any sales rep, about a particular brand or product or service … and whether snow is in the forecast!


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