Hard selling: do you need it to be successful with sales?
The short answer is no. Hard selling is not at all necessary. There’s no need to pressure your customers to buy from you and it’s not necessary if you want to have great success with your sales.
What is it that makes people buy?
The answer is that people buy for emotional reasons. Most people tend to explain the features or the facts to make a sale. This is the worst way to attempt to get a sale. According to research, the majority of people buy for emotional reasons. They use the facts afterward to justify the purchase.
Have you ever bought something you know you weren’t supposed to?
Maybe it was too expensive for your budget or you didn’t talk to your spouse about it beforehand. But in your mind, you just had to have it!
Now you have to present the purchase to your spouse in a way that makes it look like a good idea. Naturally, you’re going to use the facts to justify the purchase.
Selling more with emotions
For example, let’s say you’re looking at a customer’s battery that’s five or six years old. It’s at the end of its life cycle. It could probably last another year or six months, but you don’t know for sure. You think that it’s in the customer’s best interests to replace it now before it dies and leaves them stranded. This is how I would present it.
“Mrs. Smith, I see that this battery’s five years old now. It’s past it’s life span. It could last six or eight more months—we honestly don’t know. I think you’d much rather have it replaced now instead of having it die on the way to a soccer tournament with your kids. Now you’re stuck on the side of the road in an unfamiliar neighborhood, the kids are screaming in the backseat because it’s hot out (but you can’t turn on the air conditioning because the battery’s dead), waiting for an expensive tow truck to pick you up to take you to a shop you don’t trust.”
Compare this to saying
“Your battery is five or six years old, it’s going to die soon.”
Pull your customers into their stories based on the fact that you know Mrs. Smith has 2.5 kids who go to soccer tournaments. Show that the pain of not buying the service is greater than the pain of buying it.
The bottom line: people buy to remove pain, always explain how your service will cause them to have less pain and finally, always ask for the sale.
Sell more by knowing your customer’s story
Customers buy from people they know, like and trust.
The next question is: How do I learn that Mrs. Smith has 2.5 kids? How do I get to know my customers and form a personal connection? This is when to take advantage of Facebook and other social media platforms.
Social media has made connecting with other people so much easier.
If you friend your customers on Facebook and maintain a relationship with them through it, you will be able to form that personal connection. Spend twenty minutes a day and quickly throw a like, heart, or comment on your Facebook customer’s posts. If you engage with your customers’ lives, they will remember it. You are building know, like, and trust. Remember what they’re posting and take note of it, whether it’s their kids’ soccer tournament or their report cards. That way when your customer comes into your shop you can ask “how did Johnny’s soccer tournament go?” first thing.
Think about the impact it has when you get into personal stuff before the sale.
Joe Girard is the record holder for selling the most cars in North America. From 1963 to 1968 he sold over 13,000 vehicles for Chevrolet. In 1973 he sold 1,425 vehicles. What car salesmen do you know who’s selling like this?
Car salesmen today should be able to leave him in the dust with our technology and sales automation tools, but no one has beaten his record yet. The reason why is that nobody is building know, like, and trust the way he did.
Girard focused on the relationship. Too many service advisers are hiding behind the shop counter and logo instead of connecting with the customer. They leave it to the shop marketers to maintain the relationship beyond the front counter for them. It doesn’t work.
Most shops are not trying to connect to the customer. What Girard did differently was writing a newsletter for his customers and he signed each one. At the peak of his career, you’d have to book an appointment on his calendar to buy a car.
Let that sink in for a minute.
You want to buy a car, and the sole man you trust to buy from tells you that you have to wait until next week to do so. Then you’re happy to wait because he’s the man you want to deal with.
This is the kind of personal brand you want to make in your shop. And not only will this benefit you now, but it will also benefit you in the future. People remember you if your shop closes or if you move to a different industry. Build your following!