Just remember: pushing a sale does not make you “pushy!”
We’ve all been there: in the middle of a sale, and our salon guest is iffy about her purchase. We feel that if we “sell” a little harder, she will buy. Often, a less-experienced sales team member will give up, and not go for that additional push in order to avoid the expected backlash that comes with being too pushy. The problem is, salespeople have always gotten the notion that pushing is wrong. That’s because it has always been focused on the wrong thing: “What’s our pitch? Let’s go pitch our product! I need to make this sale!” It’s been almost exclusively focused on the salesperson and the salesperson’s goals. It should be clear why customers react so poorly to this; the sale should be about the customer, not the salesperson.
Top salespeople bring new ideas and opportunities to their customers. They create a vision and engage their customers in owning the vision. They don’t just sell consumers on a product or service; they help guide them into products or services that will aid in achieving their ultimate goals. “Push” is important, it’s a salesperson’s obligation – but it must be correctly focused. The sale has to be all about the customer and what suits her needs best. When done correctly, you will not come off as pushy at all!
Pushing doesn’t stop at the initial introduction; it continues through the buying process, helping the customer engage with the appropriate products, structure their process, and make a decision. Great salespeople help the customer keep focused on the goals they are trying to achieve – they don’t just push products and services for their own personal gain.
“Pull” plays an important role in supporting push – it’s a measure of customer ownership and engagement in the opportunity of the sale. If the salesperson has done the right job in pushing, the customer will start to pull. They embrace the idea; they get actively engaged in the opportunity and in owning the results. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Most commonly, these push/pull conversations happen with what I like to call “pushback.” Pushback happens when as a salesperson, you offer a product or service and your customer turns it down for any number of reasons. I have gathered the most common pushbacks and listed them below. My suggestion is to role-play them with your staff and practice how to appropriately guide these types of customers into a sale.
Being a great salesperson isn’t about being pushy – it’s a combination of confidence, knowledge and customer engagement. My suggestion is to work with your staff on these key elements of becoming a strong salesperson, and you will see not only your sales numbers go up, but your consumer satisfaction, as well.
As Director of Brand Development for Devoted Creations’ family of brands, Lisa brings 17 years of industry experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to all aspects of the business, including social media, product development, training, customer relations, public speaking and marketing strategies. Lisa worked at the salon level managing a large chain of salons, which infuses her sales training and brand concepts with real world experience. Lisa has been chosen IST Magazine’s “Person of the Year” four times.
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