Why It’s Okay to Lie to Salespeople
The reason most prospects lie to you is that they have multiple layers of sales resistance.
Traditionally the sale model has always been about advancing the sale. Well, the people in your market place are fed up with the traditional sales model.
People are tired of being manipulated.
Inwardly, the prospect you’re dealing with simply wants to be treated like a person. And all too often the sales dialogs or scripts you’re using are structured with the sales process in mind first—and not the person on the other end.
Think about it from your own experiences.
How many times have you been approached and you knew the top priority of the salesperson was to advance the sale? The car salesmen. The insurance agent. They cared more about their agenda than they did about you.
As Greg Swan said, Life stinks when your heads up your….
Death to the Traditional Sales Model
Well the person you’re attempting to serve is no different. People have become extremely sensitive to the slightest hint of anything to do with the sales process.
Yes. I’m an advocate of becoming highly skilled with questions so you can diagnose your client’s needs [critical if you want to earn a paycheck in this soft market].
BUT…you’ve got to be very careful. You have to be very delicate and super-sensitive to the person you’re talking to…and their needs.
And the best thing I’ve found to help remove sales resistance is to completely let go of your sales agenda. I mean throw it out the window. Focus totally and completely on their needs—not your goals.
The real goal should be to get to a genuine, authentic dialog with that person.
By getting to what sales trainer Ari Galper refers to as the real truth, you’re positioning yourself to be a true problem solver.
But until you get to the real truth you’re actually stuck in somewhat of a guessing game.
See oddly enough, over time, it has become completely socially acceptable to lie to salespeople.
Why? Because the overriding opinion about salespeople is they’re only interested in getting the sale.
The worst part is all the sales models, all the sales training, all the traditional tools have been teaching us to advance the sales process. Well guess what? People have figured the process out.
They can smell it from a mile away. And if they catch even the slightest trace that you’re attempting to advance the sale…you’ve lost the game.
Once they sense that you’re in any way attempting to advance your agenda…you’ll never get to the real truth.
And unconsciously they will feel completely justified in lying to you.
4 Hidden Pressure Points
Whenever potential clients feel sales pressure, they almost always respond with defense and resistance and lying. Hidden sales pressure takes many forms. If we can avoid the ways we bring sales pressure into our cold calling, then we can stop triggering this response.
Here are four hidden sales pressures that we bring to our cold calling:
1. Focusing On the Sales Agenda
If you’re like most people who make cold calls, you’re hoping to make a sale — or at least an appointment — before you even pick up the phone. The problem is the people you call somehow almost immediately notice your mindset.
They sense that you are only focused on your goals and interests, rather than on finding out what they might need or want. This short-circuits the whole process of communication and trust building.
So try this. Practice shifting your mental focus into thinking, “When I make this call, first I’m going to build a conversation. From this, a level of trust can emerge which allows us to exchange information back and forth. And then we can both determine if there’s a fit or not.”
When your focus shifts from making a sale into making a conversation, there’s no sales pressure. Many people enjoy conversations. Moreover, as long as you’re sincere, this will be one of them.
2. Talking About Ourselves First
When we start our cold calls with a mini-pitch about who we are and what we have to offer, we’ve introduced sales pressure right away. The other person knows we want to make a sale, and they have to respond to that pressure. Most will respond with defense or rejection or lying.
So instead, start your conversation by focusing on a need or issue you know the other person is likely facing. Step into their world and invite them to share whether they’re open to exploring possible solutions with you.
3. Forcing the Conversation into a Pre-Planned Strategy or Script
Here’s a hard one to avoid if we’re using scripts or carefully planned cold calling strategies.
When we rely on these methods, it’s usually because we just don’t know how else to “do” cold calling. However, when we take charge of a conversation in this way, the other person almost always feels like they are being maneuvered. That’s pressure.
I’m not suggesting that we don’t prepare and plan for our cold calls. There are some really good ways to begin cold calls that we’ll want to use over and over. Additionally, there are special phrases we can use that convey well the fact that we’re interested in solving a problem for the other person.
What we want to avoid, however, is trying to control a cold calling conversation. This almost always happens with scripts and old-style sales strategies. Potential clients feel this pressure and respond negatively.
4. Bubbling with Over-Enthusiasm
The problem with over-enthusiasm in our conversations is that the other person has to make a decision whether to buy into our perspective, or reject it. They feel the hidden sales pressure that wants them to be carried along with our enthusiasm. This usually means braking, whether gently or abruptly.
With over-enthusiasm (which is often just an offshoot of our tension), potential clients feel somewhat boxed in. They feel the pressure of our expectations so they feel compelled to respond either positively or negatively. Most will almost always respond negatively.
So chill out.
Eliminating all sales pressure from your conversations will invite the other person to respond much more warmly and positively.
And the best way to do that is to completely throw out your sales agenda. Focus on diffusing pressure. This is a gentle process where you carefully use language that demonstrates you’re only interested in serving them.
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