Sales Pitches Should Be Personalized. Are Yours?
In sales, especially when commission is involved, there’s a focus on the number of sales made rather than the quality of a sale. Because of this, customer loyalty can be low and valuable components of a sale, such as customer service, are lost. Patrick Meitin recently wrote an article about this issue, looking back on his own experience at a sporting goods store. “Due to its competitive nature, I witnessed too many impatient sales pitches, particularly from inexperienced salespeople, and even more troubling, pushing product on customers that obviously wasn’t a good fit in the pursuit of paycheck bonuses or top-salesman status.”
Two of the biggest issues with this style of selling, he points out, are:
If a salesperson hastily pitches a product to a customer, just to make a sale, they’ve likely not taken the time to really get to know the customer’s wants and needs. This, in turn, presents issues. “The customer, perhaps a reluctant buyer to begin with, takes that product into the field and soon discovers it is not living up to expectations or just isn’t what they had in mind,” Metin writes. “They bring it back, looking for a refund.”
Loss of Trust
Just as important, salespeople risk losing a customer’s trust; trust in both the salesperson and the business. Customers look to you for knowledge, insight, guidance, and honesty. “You push something on them just to make a sale, and they then find it lacking or ill-suited to their needs, and that trust is eroded,” he explains. And, not only will the customer not shop with you again, they’re likely to tell others about their bad experience. As Metin adds, “This just isn’t worth the risk, even on a slow day or desperate month of slow sales, or to make a few extra commission dollars.”
Want to avoid these, as well as other, issues? Focus more on building rapport than sales numbers. Don't just throw out hurried sales pitches to get another sale under your belt. Metin explains various ways that salespeople can invest time into a relationship that will result in much more value to you and your store. His thorough explanation lays out various sales scenarios and how you can respond with personalized pitches. As he writes, “The patient approach to sales definitely requires more effort, and is generally more time consuming, but rest assured that customer will remember that extra effort and time the next time they contemplate a major purchase, or a friend asks them for a sporting goods recommendation.”