Some sales tactics just aren’t worth the potential damage they could cause to your business.

Reputation plays a significant role in building a sustainable business. If you aren’t treating your customers right, your competitors will.

How your business goes about its sales process has a significant effect on your reputation. If the sales techniques you employ are not tasteful, your business reputation suffers. It is only a matter of time before your business starts to experience a drop in sales soon right after.

Even if your sales are low, attempting to use these methods will only further hurt your business. The price you pay for the temporary spike in sales will be the future of your business.

Word will get around about your tactics and with the prominence of social media in today’s day and age? This is only amplified.  

So what are a few sales tactics your Singaporean business should never employ?

 

1. Assuming the Sale

Never assume the sale before its actually been made.

 

This is when you assume the prospect has agreed to the sale.

Your conversation with the prospect is running on a premise which assumes the prospect has agreed to the sale. You drop phrases like “So where should we send the invoice to?”.

You drop phrases which assume they have already agreed to a purchase. The prospect will immediately feel it and will feel like you are insulting his intelligence.

Even if they buy from you, they will not forget the sour feeling you left them with. A stinging review usually follows when they drop off. And it only takes a few reviews like that to impact your entire company’s bottom line.

Make sure to avoid the “alternative close” as well. This is a broader application of the assumptive close. What happens here is you respond to the prospects genuine question or objection with a question that assumes he has already picked a product. And you ask them to choose between 1 of 2 choices as if they had already selected a product.

E.g., So would you like the Blue or Silver Toyota?

It forces the prospect into a tight corner. Not answering the question automatically places the prospect in a socially compromising position. The prospect will feel patronized despite any efforts you make to fix the relationship. They will continually start to actively associate your brand with a bad taste. And you can be sure that their friends and family hear about this too.

 

2. “The best time is now.”

Don't try and pressure the customer in a sale by making them feel a time constraint.

The prospect has a legitimate reason not to buy immediately. However, you still push that there is ‘no better time to buy than now’.

Handling objections might be a significant element when closing sales. However, real objections exist like financial constraints. When you attempt to push through for the close, you aren’t respecting the prospect. And they will not appreciate it even if they may not say it up front. The prospect loses their trust in you as you are not taking their actual circumstances into account.

If you do not treat your prospect as an equal, the situation usually will not swing in your favour.

 

3. Unsolicited Quotations

It’s normal to have a quotation be sent to your prospect upon request.

However, it is wrong to assume that they are very warm to buying your product just because they requested for a quotation. Some businesses even go as far as to send a selling email with their request for a quotation as a reason. If the prospect has requested it only once, sending an email every 2-3 days with a blatant pitch is very dismissive of the prospect’s genuine interest.

When prospects are closed through aggressive tactics, they are not your ideal customers. As a result, the will cause a great deal of tension due to their anxiety. This is because they feel like they may not have been the right purchase.

This especially rings true if the prospect has paid a lot of money for it.

 

4. Going Behind Your Prospect’s Back

Never contact your prospects superiors behind his back.

 

There is never a justified reason to go behind the back of your prospect and contact their superiors.

This is an immediate deal breaker. Whatever rapport and connection that you previously built with the prospect will instantly be lost.

If your prospect goes silent or politely rejects your offer, it doesn’t mean that you should go behind their back for the sale. You approached them in the beginning because they had a key role in the decision-making process. Approaching somebody else to close the sale is a blatant sign of disrespect towards your prospect.

When you contact their superiors for the final decision, it may come off as an attempt to embarrass your prospect. Even in the superiors perspective, the prospect will seem like they were incapable of making the decision. Despite your intention, this only damages the relationship you have with your prospect as there will be a high chance you won’t be dealing with the superior post-sales.

 

5. The Sympathy Sale

This is where the salesperson uses his situation to arouse sympathy from the prospect and uses that to close the sale. The story usually goes along the lines of needing to meet his sales KPIs or he’ll get fired. It is also not surprising to hear the salesperson bring up their family as a supporting story.

The prospect is being asked to make a purchase that has nothing to do with his pain point. When playing up on the prospects soft side to obtain the sale, you are on-boarding a burden. When the product is not right for them, and they have to pay money for it, they are going to give your fulfillment department a hard time. And after which, it will be a matter of time before they drop off.

Taking on multiple clients like this will take a toll on the rest of the company. The hours lost in frustration from various departments can cost your company thousands in opportunity cost.

Instead of satisfying the ideal clients by going above and beyond, they are dealing with the numerous problems that arise from the client that’s been hard sold. Closing a sale may seem like the ultimate end for you. However, one should consider the long-term consequences on the rest of your company.

Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service. – Brian Tracy

 

6. “Too Good to be True” Bonuses

Dont try to play up unlikely bonuses simply to close a sale.

This is where salespeople offer unusually steep discounts and extraordinary freebies out of sheer desperation. Prospects can sense that this is a red flag but usually take the deal because of what’s in it for them.

Salespeople do have some room to negotiate with when it comes to discounts. However, the salesperson who employs this technique frequently offer discounts that go over these limits. This brings about multiple problems due to a long list of promises made by sales. These promises usually are not verified but places exhaustive responsibility onto the respective departments to deliver on.

Furthermore, the on-boarded prospects come in with inflated expectations that can never be met. These are clients that can’t be satisfied and end up being the dead-weights of the company.

 

Conclusion

Great salespeople usually have a never-ending stream of referrals. This is a result of long-term accumulation of goodwill and not through an arsenal of sleazy sales tactics.

Showing real concern and empathy for the client can bring you a long way. Clients being on-boarded this way have a genuine problem that your company is a perfect fit for. As a result, these clients become pleasant clients for your company in the long term.

Once you place a company-wide emphasis on using effective sales tactics that are grounded in solving a real problem for the clients, your business will start attracting the right kind of clients. And the departments responsible for delivering on the product will grow organically due to ongoing feedback which naturally occurs from a perfect product-market fit.

Looking out for a star sales team or contracting a third party sales consulting company to help your business?

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Sources

-https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/terrible-closing-techniques

-https://www.nasp.com/article/439E9EE7-5AFC/bad-sales-techniques-and-how-they-are-costing-you-sales.html

-https://corporatevisions.com/selling-techniques/

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