When the regular sales techniques aren’t cutting it, should you resort to high pressure sales tactics? Some people resort to high pressure sales because they believe it’s the only thing that really works.
A relationship may seem professional and relaxed until a salesman decides to use a high pressure sales technique. It changes the tone of the meeting for both parties.
Sales professionals feel the pressure to close the deal, knowing that it could mean their commission is guaranteed, their sales numbers will be met, and their boss will be pleased. The client feels the resulting pressure of making the purchase and satisfying the salesman, being put on the spot, and making the right decision.
Instead of thinking like a person trying to connect with another person, a sales person who uses high pressure tactics will start to think like a closer that is forcing the other person to do what is being asked. This leads many clients to push back, losing sales you might have otherwise closed, and will hurt your professional reputation.
Take a look at why high pressure sales are not the key to winning clients over and closing sales.
High pressure sales vs. soft selling
When you’re not using high pressure techniques, you are likely soft selling, which is the act of selling through subtle language and non-aggressive methods.
soft selling (v.) – The act of selling through subtle language and non-aggressive methods. Considered the opposite of high pressure sales techniques
Soft selling is a great way to sell to customers without being pushy, angering the client, or pressuring the sale. It allows the product to sell itself by being informative, exciting, or encouraging rather than forceful.
A hard sell or high pressure sale is one that will use forceful and aggressive language to get someone to purchase your product or service, regardless of their real interest or need for the purchase.
People love a soft sale because it gives them all of the information they need and time to allow them to make the decision. Hard sales, on the other hand, are focused on the pressure of fears, vanity, or greed in order to convince someone they need what you’re selling.
Why it’s time to ditch high pressure sales
While high pressure sales can be successful short term, it’s smart to consider selling in a low-pressure manner in order to win over your clientele.
A lifelong, loyal customer is one that feels safety, trust, and a desire to continue buying from a company. This is in stark contrast to a customer who felt pressured to buy something only to find out later that the company didn’t really have his or her best interest in mind.
High pressure sales go hand in hand with negative emotions because the tactics used are usually to make you feel stressed, anxious, rushed, and impulsive. Many people already struggle with resisting things, so having high pressure sales pushed onto them only encourages impulsive shopping which results in buyer’s remorse.
Poor purchases are made in high pressure situations, leaving customers with negative feelings during and after the transaction.
Common methods and how customers say “No”
High pressure sales are typical tactics for certain products and industries that rely on negative or fearful reactions from customers to close the sale, like anti-aging products, as-seen-on-TV products, disaster preparedness, weight loss, or self-help products.
These types of industries are ready to play on someone’s fear of aging, fear of emergencies, fear of not being good enough, or the need to fit in and keep up with the Jones.
But customers are starting to learn to fight the knee-jerk urge to buy by learning to say no, keeping their emotions in check, looking at the big picture, and learning from others.
Customers realize that when someone buys a product from high pressure sales, the quality is typically low and buyer’s remorse is usually present.
With easy accessibility to the internet, an increase in online shopping, and customer service reviews at their fingertips, many consumers have realized the importance of research before making purchases. They are getting smarter about assessing purchases more carefully and asking themselves if a product will actually make them happy, if it will get used daily, and if it makes sense in the big picture.
Customers also realize the importance of being able to say “no.”
They can recognize when a sales professional is too forceful, if an advertisement seems blunt or fast-talking, and when their emotions are being manipulated.
When they feel confused, blindsided, or flushed about sales tactics, they see the signs of a high-pressure situation that should not be continued.
While high pressure sales can work because people may respond without thinking critically, it’s not a great way to keep your customers satisfied and likely to come back to do business in the future.
Consider refusing high pressure sales and instead, show your customers why your product or service is worth their hard-earned money. When your customer comes back, you’ll know that your product or service must be top notch!