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Quick Sales Techniques: Do the Opposite

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 1/28/13 10:40 AM

Unconventional Sales Strategies

One of my contacts recently asked their network of sales experts to offer their top traits of a sales rockstar (apparently this is what the kids are calling the best sales people these days).

Although I don't consider myself an expert in anything, I always have 2 cents to add somewhere.

Here were my top 3:

  1. Disqualify, look for the no. If you are more concerned about the needs and success of your prospect then you are your sale. Why might this not work for them? 
  2. Always be selling and learning. Sales is not just a job, rock stars see, apply and learn from it in everyday life.  
  3. Be who you are. "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."  ~Mark Twain 

I was going to stop at the first one, but one led to the other. Here's why:

A Sales Technique Reminder from Life

Don't worry, my oldest son won't be embarrassed that I write about him on my blog. (He would have to admit reading it.) I'll probably tell him anyway, after my little experiment.

Like a salesperson with an objective, my objective is to motivate him to get better grades (so that he has more and better options in life), get a job (so that he can learn about the value of time and money), get a license (so he can feel less like a caged animal and understand the responsibility of freedom), and push him out of the nest (so he can start his own life and I can get a walk in closet and spa bathroom).

Like a prospect, he seems to only want to do the opposite of what I want. Even though my motivation is in his best interest, human nature dictates that when someone pushed us one way, we pull the other way.

I said to my husband, "I simply can't understand WHY he doesn't want this?! When I was his age, I couldn't wait to get a job, a car, and my freedom!"

I was banging my head against the wall. Then it dawned on me this morning.

I couldn't wait to get out on my own, out of my parents house because they wanted me to stay. Everything they did and said was to encourage me to stay. I did the opposite. Hmmm, so the hypothesis is....

Sales Tactic: Seek to Disqualify by Bringing Up Objections Early

What does my teenager have to do with sales (or marketing)? How does doing the opposite actually help sales people with their prospects? By pointing out reasons why a sale might not be a good fit, you are doing a couple of things all at once:

  • Establishing trust. If you are truly looking out for your prospect's best interest, you will want to warn them of anything that might stand in their way so they are prepared. It also tells your prospect that you actually do understand their challenges and goals.
  • Differentiating. Most everyone else is telling them why their solution is the best one for them and how it will change their lives. When you offer valuable inside information, you will stand out.
  • Push vs pull dynamic. Playing hard to get makes you more desirable. It also makes you look less desperate. Reverse psychology. The more you say no to your prospect, the more they want to say yes.

Do you have an example of when this has worked for you? Or do you think it's crazy to bring up objections before your prospect does? Comment below, share to see what your network thinks.

Topics: sales techniques, sales tactics, sales strategy