High pressure, in your face and aggressive sales tactics are often linked with deceptive selling techniques. They confuse a buyer and intimidate them into buying which is dishonest and lacks professionalism. This often recognized as a trait of bad sales people.
- It's my feeling that for the majority of consumers and also buyers in the corporate world, the issues that cause the most negative reaction of salespeople is when deceptive or high-pressure selling techniques are used. In fact, the overwhelming majority of ugly stereotypes that salespeople are linked to come from those two characteristics. For most of us who are honest, hard-working, and ethical salespeople, the practice of deceptive selling, or in-your-face tactics, bothers us very much since it tarnishes our entire profession.
To be a respectful and successful salesperson, you must avoid these tactics entirely. BusinessDictionary.com defines deceptive selling as a practice designed to influence with false or misleading claims. They defined high-pressure, or hard selling, as appealing to potential fears, greed, or vanity to persuade a prospect to make a quick purchase decision. My view is that deceptive selling is basically lying. High-pressure tactics preys on someone's weaknesses to take advantage of them, and neither is acceptable.
We could illustrate these selling techniques further with some examples that, unfortunately, we've all probably come across. Bait and Switch: When a salesman entices, baits, a prospect with an offer of a low price or product or service, then as the process moves along, the person is encouraged or switched into something more expensive. Fake Credentials: This is the salesperson who says they have a degree or expertise in a certain specialty, such as financial planning, home repair, or whatever to gain your trust and make it seem like they are an expert when they're not.
Credit Cards: Banks issuing credit cards, when not requested, came up in the news not too long ago, but I'm referring to the sales offers that get you to sign up for a card at a very low interest rate, but then it increases to 18%, 20%, or much higher percent after just a few months. The Smooth Talker: You know the look. The smile like you're old friends. You're immediately on a first-name basis, or maybe you're even called buddy or honey.
Then comes the slap on the back. It's so phony, you know what I'm talking about, right? Hard Sell: Sadly, this technique has hurt many good salespeople's reputation in the auto and furniture businesses. For years it seemed to be a practice of basically pouncing on people as soon as you walked into the showroom. The in-your-face approach turns off almost everyone, yet you'll still see some people using it. Withholding Information: It's not only deceptful, but it's deceitful to sell a product or service and not disclose all of the facts, pro and con, to a prospective buyer.
I'm not saying that salespeople need to be timid and never aggressive. In fact, I do believe salespeople need to be tenacious, not accept no the many times we may hear it from a prospect, and make sure that we always ask for the business to close a sale. However, there's a difference between tenacity and unprofessionalism. Don't let anyone tell you differently. A true sales professional doesn't use deceptive sales practices or high-pressure tactics. I've said this phrase many times to salespeople: You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and if you don't like what you see, or hear what you're saying, you need to change your ways.
It all ties back to the basics of being authentic, being credible, and having personal integrity that the best and most successful salespeople never lose sight of.
- Establishing credibility and a good reputation
- Behaving ethically in your work
- Avoiding deceptive selling tactics
- Using expense accounts for travel and entertainment
- Hiring and firing
- Ethics in the marketplace
- Delivering on your promise
- Dealing with cultural differences