Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackmail Selling

Blackmail is not a good sales technique

You’re great. Who says?

You think that you are great – prove it.

Yes – you should believe in your product, service and company. Yes you should make bold statements about that belief.

Most importantly you should be prepared and willing to back up those claims of superiority.

You should not be surprised when your prospects ask you to prove yourself. And you should not make your prospect feel uncomfortable or guilty by asking you to prove what you claim.

Recently I was approached by a company offering an intriguing web video service. I was impressed by the technology and toying with some possibilities. However I had never heard of this company nor did I recognize the names of any of their clients. And the investment was significant so I was thinking about ways that I might get a good return on my investment.

So I asked for some references that I could call. I wanted to talk to other people like me and learn about how they were using this tool and learn about their level of satisfaction.

Sounds like a reasonable request. But I was surprised and disturbed by the response of the sales rep.

His response to my request was something like this, “If I give you some references I need a commitment from you that I can ask you to close this deal.” He said the word, “commitment” as if only I should make a commitment – as if he was doing me a favor. He wasn't committing to anything.

I responded, “Yes you can ask.” But I felt awkward about his tactic. I'm sure my voice conveyed my unease - yet he didn't seem to pick up on that. Why was I being polite to this person who just was impolite to me?

If you are in sales – you always have the right to ask for the sale. However this exchange felt like blackmail to me. I had simply asked for some references. I was not shopping for this service. I wasn't sure how I might use it. But this sales rep made me feel both trapped and angry by his tactic.

I simply asked for references. The best response would have been, “I’m happy to provide some references for you. How many would you like? When can I follow up with you?

You must demonstrate over whelming value first - then you ask for the sale.

He did not give me any references and we are supposed to talk in two weeks. The chance of him making a sale? You guessed it – zero to none.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Motivational Business Speaker

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