6 Silly Myths About Selling
There's a lot of bullsh*t about selling floating around the business world. Here are some popular examples of what passes for "wisdom"--and why each is awful advice.
Myth 1. Friendliness counts!
Customers deeply resent it when a seller is too friendly too quickly. Customers don't really want to be friends; they want you to help them solve a problem or create an opportunity. If you work together for a while, friendship might develop, but until then, customers want professionalism, not friendliness.
Myth 2. Fake it till you make it
Customers, like all normal human beings, immediately sense it when another person is not being genuine. More than anything else, customers want honesty from their vendors and suppliers. If you're pretending to be something or somebody you're not, you're raising all sorts of red flags.
Myth 3. Always be closing (ABC)
Customers hate being pushed and really hate pushy sellers. Customers want you to have their best interests at heart and to help them make the best decision, even if that decision is to buy elsewhere or not to buy at all. That's impossible when you're concentrating on closing the sale.
Myth 4. Never take no for an answer
Customers do sometimes say no when they actually mean maybe and want you to help them understand why they might reconsider. However, if you ignore that no as if it didn't exist and keep on pushing and selling, you'll turn it the maybe into a NO!
Myth 5. Sell the sizzle, not the steak
What's meant by this maxim is that you should direct the customer's attention to the sexy features (sizzle) rather than product itself (steak). In fact, though, customers want neither sizzle nor steak; they want the benefits (taste and nourishment) of eating the steak.
Myth 6. The customer is always right
Though some customers may enjoy being patronized, most want you to help them make the best decision, not tell them that they're "right." Sellers who always agree with customers are seen by customers as "yes men" and therefore a bit creepy.
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Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.