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Memorable Sales Techniques

Sales Techniques - Your experiences needed!

Didn't find your answer?

Cheeky request for help coming up..... :-)

For work reasons, I am on the hunt for tales of when you've encountered people who were either brilliant at selling or the times when the experience made you cringe, cry or even get VERY mad indeed!

Garnering as many stories as possible will make me a very happy bunny indeed. Either post here or send them to [email protected]

Looking forward to hearing your tales :-)

Thank you

Replies (12)

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By clive boorman
18th Jul 2016 08:40

about 6 years back, I was looking for a new car and I went into the first dealership and right from the start I thought the approach was really old school. The guy was full of 'patter', leaning back, feet on the desk, chewing gum and he was asking me about my financial situation way beyond what would be usual for buying a car and it made me really uncomfortable. He was saying that the way I was managing my finances was 'wrong' and when I told him we were leaving; he did the old, let me just have a word with my boss to see what we can do for you. We left with a bad feeling and he never got back to us as he promised he would with further details.
The next garage; the guy never talked about finances or selling a car or what he could do for us; he talked about us as a family and what we liked to do and what we were looking for and how we might use the car. He never once tried to push a car onto us. He let us walk round the showroom at our leisure; he didn't shadow us or give us any spiel . It was only once we had said that we wanted to buy that he talked finances etc. My conclusions are that a) people by from people and if your sales process feels like a process it isn't gonna happen.
BTW, just two points on cold callers; both of these approaches don't work as opening statements 'how are you today'? and 'Don't worry we're not trying to sell you anything'?

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Replying to clive boorman:
Jamie Lawrence, TrainingZone
By Jamie Lawrence
22nd Jul 2016 09:14

Also the 'monotone list of benefits' which is clearly a script - nothing makes you feel more like a cookie cutter customer on a production line!

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By Robin Hoyle
19th Jul 2016 14:26

Cringeworthy sales techniques - telling me all about their products before they've even found out what I might want or even why I'm there. This extends to leaping in with a feature dump as soon as I say I'm looking for something which....

Good - people who ask questions, understand my requirements and are prepared to say when their product or service is not an exact match for my requirements but will deliver other benefits which I hadn't considered. I work with Huthwaite International who have decades of research about how good sellers help people to buy by asking questions and understanding their needs in detail: www.huthwaite.co.uk

I've had both feature dumping and solution jumping when considering computer equipment at reputable retailers. When faced with the feature dump attempt or the attempt to blind me with technology (is this just a male thing - do they do this to women too?) I've invariably bought on line at a lower cost rather than reward poor sales skills.

Exhibitions: please, please ban mobile phones. I know how much it costs to be on a stand. as a customer I want someone to speak to me not to feel I'm interrupting them while they update facebook.

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By suebeatt
19th Jul 2016 16:30

Many years ago I was shopping for a very specific type of outfit. I was working in London that week and walked into an independent clothes shop. I asked if they had what I was looking for. The saleswoman looked me up and down, said yes they did have it but it was very expensive. I walked out. I ended up spending three times more on my outfit than what she was talking about. Would love to have gone back and done the 'Pretty Woman' moment.

Another time, I was searching for an outfit for a wedding. I was dressed very casually and was being ignored by the salespeople. I picked out an outfit to try on and when they realised I had money to spend, they couldn't do enough for me.

You can't make assumptions based on what people look like.

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Replying to suebeatt:
By clive boorman
20th Jul 2016 08:42

Great story Sue; it reminds me of a time I went shopping for a new suit in a Dept store. This was the 80's and I worked for a large insurance company so suit and tie was standard office dress. However, I was a 'rocker' and dressed accordingly when I wasn't at work. I asked to try the suit on and the male assistant said 'oh for a wedding is it?' Just that assumption that I could only possibly need a suit for that reason. It's a wonder he didn't say up in court are we? I just found it funny but is is those kind of assumptions rather than asking questions, to establish the need, that can make or break a sale (I did go elsewhere in that case).

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By Rus Slater
20th Jul 2016 17:06

I worked for a small HR consultancy. We had a good track record in the Oil and Gas industry and Law but outside those two niches we were unknown.
I went to be wingman with a colleague to a sales meeting with an upmarket cosmetics brand. My colleague plunged straight into identifying the client's problem, investigating the actions they had taken to date to overcome them and assessing the culture of the organisational management. On completion of this fact- find he suggested that he would submit a written proposal with costings within 48 hours.
He asked the HR Director if she had any questions.
She pinned him with a steely gaze and simply asked, "Why should we use you for this project?"
My colleague requested a moment to think.
For what seemed like an hour but was actually about a minute, he simply closed his eyes.
Then, "To answer that question, we ......"
She never took her eyes off him, or smiled, or made a note.
When he finished we left.
We got the job and later I asked her why.
She replied that my colleague was the only person who had pitched who seemed to think rather than have a glib answer.

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Replying to russlater:
Jamie Lawrence, TrainingZone
By Jamie Lawrence
22nd Jul 2016 09:39

This is the 'human' in sales I think. Also, trying to appear polished and like everything's too easy feels so old school now. People realise that business is generally difficult and when sales people try to make out something will be easy or results will be unbelievable, alarm bells ring.

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By Rus Slater
20th Jul 2016 17:20

Working with a small training provider we were attending the final selection meeting of a long tender process for a QANGO.
My colleague and I had completed the obligatory presentation to a board of about ten execs and had handled a dozen questions when the most senior of the buying team asked his "killer question",
"You are a small consultancy and we are a large organisation- we want 5,000 people to go through an intensive two-day course in cohorts of 12 in under 8 weeks. This must start in ten days time. What confidence do you have in your ability to resource this?"
My colleague simply looked at the chap and said,
"We are more than confident that we can provide one expert facilitator for every 12 delegates. Can I ask around the room amongst your colleagues how confident they are that your organisation will be able to sustain the reduced numbers of people at the coal face to have 22, 36, 48 managers away from their desks over this short period?"
There was total silence for about a minute. Then the senior guy asked of his colleagues, "Well, are we?"
There were lots of very worried faces around the table.
We were asked to leave the room for ten minutes.
When we went back in we were told that the project would slip by 20 days and the delivery period would increase by 50%.

We got the job.

(I don't think we ever ran a course with 12 delegates and on a couple of memorable occasions I had 2 delegates turn up out of 10 booked!)

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By Jenny James
20th Jul 2016 19:09

Two years ago we visited a funeral director's office to ask for a quote for mum in law's funeral. She had specifically requested a wicker/bamboo coffin and we explained this to the chap manning the desk. He then went into a long explanation as to why they weren't as "green" as people thought, they had to be shipped in from Vietnam, weren't really any cheaper etc etc. Did he really think that we would not do what the dearly departed had specifically requested?? Needless to say we walked out and went to one along the road who met our needs and, naturally, were able to source a suitable coffin in this country.

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By Rus Slater
21st Jul 2016 09:41

Monday July 18th
UK
32 Degrees- sultry- humid- sweaty
My office is in my home- the phone rings
I answer
Click- recording of exited female voice-
"Hi, now that winter is here it is the right time to think about cavity wall insulation......"
I hang up in disgust
nuff said

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Replying to russlater:
By clive boorman
22nd Jul 2016 08:27

great story but I had a real telemarketer on the phone the other day; I was working at home and answered the phone, (I have a pretty deep voice) and the first thing they said was; 'Is that Mrs Boorman?' listening skills not big in that company then.

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By Rus Slater
22nd Jul 2016 09:22

I'll see your 'telesales not listening' and raise you....
A few years back I was visisting my mother in law. The phone rang, I answered.
'G'Mornin', G'Mornin' Am oi speakin' to Mr George Thompson?' Sang the charming Irish salesman.
'No,' I replied 'Mr Thompson died last year'
'Áh, fan-tas-tic, fan-tas-tic, and when will he be back in then?
.......

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