Feb 03 2010

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 salesperson who answered your questions like he was snapping a towel? A car dealership? Discount furniture store? 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, not including the dysfunctional cousins). True sales professionals may not 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 (of ANY part of ANY business), or an entrepreneur… because your very existence depends on how effectively 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! 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. Frankly, ANY assumption is dumb (We can all stand to be reminded that expectations breed disappointment), but starting out with a snow-making machine — and not first handing the prospect a shovel and hip-boots — is particularly self-destruct-targeted.

     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! 

Comment below or reply direct to Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US  Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!  Blog FREE via list-protected RSS feed OR $1 mo Amazon KindleGreat VALENTINE for GRANDPARENTS: http://bit.ly/3nDlGF

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May 07 2009


You’re partly pregnant? Uhuh… 


     Two months ago, I took my car to an independent service center for a quick oil change, and was told I needed a new air filter. The mechanic showed me a thin layer of gray that had settled on a few of the white edges. I was quoted some ridiculous rate for the new filter and labor. I said I’d wait ’til next time and got back a couple of tsk-tsk’s and an undertaker’s smile. 

     A few weeks ago, I took my car to the dealership it came from to have the oil changed and asked them to check the air filter. It’s fine, I was told, a little dirty but nothing to worry about…but the tires! You need four new tires and soon! We can do it now if you can wait. Only six hundred and change. Er, I think I’ll wait. Well, don’t wait too long! Right.

     Today, I got a flat tire (first one in 20-something years, so now I know I’m doomed to have to pop for the six hundred and change). But God Bless Ernie. Ernie is my neighbor who is a walking Google of auto/truck/Harley mechanic info.

     Ernie inflates my tire with his portable compressor and says that for $10 the guy up the street will plug the nailhole that caused the flat, and that if I’m getting new tires, can he have mine for driving to California and back because they’ve still got another 20,000-30,000 miles on them!

     I get the tire plugged for $10 and the tire guy says these are nice tires you have; would you consider selling them? Now I’m laughing and buying the tire guy coffee.

     What’s the point? What does “PARTLY PREGNANT” have to do with plugging tires? (Nevermind. Bad metaphor!)

Here’s the bottom line:



     Why? Because businesses like the service center and the dealership are ripping people off. Because these–and many other– businesses are basically greedy and have now become panic-stricken by economic impact. Because no one has ever told people like this that:


     Integrity is not something to be toyed with, turned on and off like a faucet, or underestimated. INTEGRITY IS DOING THE RIGHT THING ALL THE TIME REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SOMEONE ELSE IS WATCHING OR NOT! There’s no such thing as “partly pregnant” and there’s no “partial integrity” either!

When you exercise integrity, you must exercise it 100% of the time regardless of what the economy does or doesn’t do.

     The US Postal Service, airlines, ferry services, banks, and even hospitals are all adding insult to injury and they don’t even realize it (let’s at least hope they don’t). My message to all of them is that when the going gets tough financially: THE SOLUTION is NOT to raise your prices and lower your service.

     THAT is exactly the kind of thinking that has been leading us into economic spirals to begin with. THE SOLUTION is to make sales by exercising integrity…in-person, in writing, via Internet, and on the phone…consistently!    



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