Do You Practice Persuasive Selling? Or are You Just Pushy?

BY Rachel Cagle
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How’s your persuasive selling technique? If the hair on your arms just rose, you’re likely in the same mindset as most people when they hear that word in a sales context. The line between persuasive and pushy seems more smudged every day, and no sales rep wants to be described as pushy. But the fact of the matter is, you need to be persuasive to succeed in a sales career. The good news is, according to Brian Ahearn, writing for SellingPower, persuasive sales people simply need to exude these desirable traits.


Think of the person (or maybe it’s your pet) that you have the hardest time saying no to. Is it because they ask you over and over again for something until you give in? No. It’s because you like them so much. Without even being in a sales career, they’re practicing persuasive selling tactics by simply being someone that you enjoy and that it would make you happy to satisfy. No matter how good of a match your product or service is for a prospect, if they don’t like you, they won’t do business with you. Likeability can also be the tipping point between you and a competitor who has a similar offering. So, engage in conversation with your prospects. Develop a relationship with them, and maybe even a bit of a friendship, and they’ll be more likely to make a purchase from you.


People like to return favors done for them. We’ve all learned about fairness since we were young and know it’s impolite to do nothing but take from others. Unfortunately, that’s how many salespeople are seen by their prospects. However, if you do your prospects a favor, such as give them insider information about your product or service or offer them a special discount or free trial, they may be more inclined to view you as generous. Who wouldn’t want to make a purchase from someone who they view as generous? Generosity is also a form of persuasive selling because prospects will be more inclined to pay your kindness forward to you.


Remember the bit about offering your prospects something special as part of your persuasive selling tactic? What if you were the only one who could do that for them? Showing authority in your field doesn’t just mean being able to educate your buyer on how exactly your product or service could benefit them the most. It also means that you know all the ins and outs of your organization and what you’re selling as well. Based on your experience, when is the best time to buy? Are there strings you can pull that only someone of your level could do for them? Leverage that.

Persuasive Selling isn’t Pushiness

Being a persuasive salesperson does not mean hounding your prospects until you convince them to get something they’re unsure that they need or even want. Persuasive selling means that you leverage what you have to make your product or service seem as irresistible as you know it is. You just need to make sure that your actions make that clear to your prospects.