As a sales professional, you likely have a deep understanding of how challenging it can be to land a successful deal. Between overcoming competition, keeping up with demands and staying relevant to your client’s wants and needs, it can be easy to come off as too pushy or salesy.
A study from HubSpot found that salespeople are often still considered too aggressive or pushy, both qualities that buyers today try hard to avoid. Thankfully, with these following five tips, you can learn expert ways to avoid being too self-assertive.
Know What You’re Talking About
Pitching the sale without being too over-the-top is all about being prepared. Before you go pursuing clients, make a plan. What do you know about the business? Who are their competitors? What are their core values? Use all of these answers to come up with exactly what you’re going to say when you make your pitch.
“If you don’t learn your business, you’ll be out of business,” says James Adlam, a Circle of Champions Member at ACN, a telecommunications network marketing company. By having key points memorized, you’ll be more confident going into the meeting and words will flow out in a natural, organic way. Keep in mind that sounding too rehearsed or sticking to the script too well can sound fake and pushy.
Being prepared will help you be more calm and collected during the meeting. The more calm you are, the better you’ll be in making conversation with your clients rather than lecturing them. During your preparation time, consider coming up with key questions that you want to ask. Think about what questions they might ask and have an idea of how you’re going to respond.
Share Negatives and Positives
Be sure to include both positives and negatives when talking to prospective clients. Including opposing views can often be more persuasive than sticking to your argument alone. Both you and your potential clients probably know that very few pitches are perfect, but by discussing possible negatives and resolving them a positive, you will be able to tell your audience how your company can overcome these problems or concerns. Constant positivity can easily come off as too self-centered and pushy.
Be Brief and Honest
Honesty is one of the best ways to land a successful deal. While giving your pitch, be sure to highlight the ways your product or service meets the business’s need, but don’t go out of your way to review every single commodity or detail. You’ll have more success by making a brief pitch and sticking to key points rather than jumping into a long-winded speech about every feature.
By keeping it short you’ll give your clients the chance to ask questions, get answers, and make important decisions. Remember that the people you’re pitching to are busy and probably have important things to do, so the quicker you can make your point, the less-salesly and more respectful you’ll sound.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
Be Helpful and Inquisitive
Understanding your client’s wants is perhaps the best way to avoid being too pushy and rather than just assuming what these wants might be, don’t be afraid to ask “What do you need?” Be inquisitive and listen attentively to the answer. Ask more questions and make sure you fully understand what problems and challenges your clients are facing before you start your pitch. With this information, you can offer the most helpful solution possible. Offering an honest, helping hand will show your clients that they mean more to your business than just another sales number. By being helpful and inquisitive, you can build a valuable level of trust that will help your prospective clients gain more confidence in both you and your products or services. More than anything, though, this approach will help you avoid sounding too pushy or salesy.
Don’t Be Desperate
Coming off as desperate is one of the quickest ways to ruin a sale. By taking yourself out of the equation, and removing your personal gains from the situation, you’ll be able to approach the sale in an organic, natural way. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How and why is your product beneficial to your clients?
- How can your client’s team members, family, customers, etc. benefit from your product or service?
This will help you develop a sales pitch that is better than all other options your client has available. Be sure you don’t over exaggerate the value, focus too deeply on specifics, or make unrealistic promises. Not only will this make you appear desperate, but it could also damage the reputation of both you and your company.