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ditch the pitch

As a person who’s made a living selling his entire (albeit short) career, I’ve grown a bit sensitive to the sales process when I’m on the other side of the table.  I’m not a big shopper.  When I do head out to make a purchase, most times I’ve done my research in advance and want nothing more than to snag the product that I’m looking for and immediately head to the register with it so that I can get out the door and return to more important matters.  But there are times when I simply cannot avoid speaking to a sales representative in a retail environment.  And many times it’s just a painful experience having to endure the rehearsed pitches of workers who have been trained to lack confidence in their own abilities and trust a “proven system” to sell the product for them.  There have been moments when I’ve wanted to interrupt their canned proposals midway through and just say “stop” and turn and walk out the door.  Because I enjoy dealing with people who are authentic, so the system doesn’t serve me well as a buyer – I’m not a robot.

Remember when I said earlier that I’ve generally done some research before entering the store so that I am able to locate the item that I am seeking quickly and head to the check out?  Well I believe that to be a common characteristic of most buyers today.  This is a very tech savvy generation.  Most of us have all of the resources that we need handy to allow us to build a case for or against the items on our shopping lists, and generally we utilize them well in advance of our trips to the retail stores.  We’re a generation that is experiencing unprecedented demands on our time, so we desire to make fast decisions in order that we can check the items off of our to-do lists and get back to living.  There is little to no value in offering us a canned pitch to entice us into purchasing your product.  Nine times out of ten, it’s falling on deaf ears.  If you want to win our business and ensure that we return again, listen to us, and respond with confidence so that you may leave an impression on us that will be memorable.  Be you.  Inspire us to go home and tell our friends and family about the great guy or gal that we met so that we might be motivated to send more business your way.

We are simply not going to remember a rehearsed sales pitch.  There are far too many other reps out in the marketplace offering the exact same type of presentation.  And it’s just not likeable.  So at best, your proposal is going to get tossed out of our memories quickly.  At worst, it’s going to deter our return because we’re going to want to avoid involving ourselves in it a second time.  Buyers enjoy vulnerability.  That doesn’t mean that you are weak as a salesperson, it means that you are real and authentic.  It means that you are strong and confident enough in yourself and in the product or service that you have to offer to say “the heck with the pitch…I believe in this product and my customers will sense that and feel compelled to be a part of it.”  Ultimately, consumers are purchasing an experience, no matter the item or service on their shopping list.  If you can add value to that process by making it unforgettable, you’ve done your job as a salesperson and you’ve attached to their minds a memory that they will be able to recount with others so that your business and personal footprint will grow exponentially over time.

Ditch the pitch.  Sell from your heart and lead with a candid approach towards your clientele and you will be sure to fill your funnel with more referrals and repeat business than you can imagine.  Sales is not rocket science.  Most people make it far more complex than it needs to be.  It’s about relating to people, and you can’t begin to do that when you’ve allowed yourself to get all wrapped up in a mundane, rehearsed script that we as buyers don’t have the time or willing ears to hear.  Listen to us.  Be confident and memorable as person – we enjoy that.  Make us feel good about your product through your unique, personal representation of it so that we attach more value to it than what’s listed on the label.  Be authentic and genuine.  Trust me, those qualities alone will set you apart from the competition in this profession.

May God Bless!

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