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Marketing Me: Sales Myths Destroyed

Talk to most people and they say they hate sales people. Why? Then you get the story about how all sales people are "plaid jacket, crooked, fast talking, con men".

Most people say they hate sales people because of their experience buying cars or appliances.

When I talk to buyers about sales people, I usually hear the same myths about "how they deal with sales people".

As someone in sales for nearly 20 years I can debunk most of these myths.

Put a sign which says "No Soliciting" on the front door. It will stop sales people cold in their tracks.

To a professional sales person, a "No Soliciting" sign is the same as a Kick Me sign. Sales people know that people who put these signs up are easy to sell to. That is why they put the sign up in the first place. People who are easy marks put that sign up because they don't know how to say no in the first place.

If you don't want to buy anything, tell the salesperson to their face.

Before going to buy a car, read about all the tricks and small print the car dealers use. Tell them up front you are on to their ways and you won't fall for any of their tricks.

I have a friend who has sold cars for 17 years. All makes and models, makes no difference to him. Each car is a unit and his salary depends upon the number of units he can move a month.

My friend knows every trick in the book as this is all he has done for years. Do you really think a buyer can learn all there is to know before walking into a dealership? Hardly. No more than I can read about heart surgery on the Internet and tell a doctor how to perform an operation.

There is only one tactic that works with a car dealer - be ready to walk away from a deal at any time. No explanations, no conditions. Just "No thank you", get up and leave. To do that, never walk into a dealership with a "I have to have the car today" attitude. A buyer can never play games with a professional sales person and think they can win.

"I am an old horse trader"

I have heard this line a hundred times. You know horses? Great. I won't try and sell you a filly, mare or gelding. But I know software, electronics, warranties, transmissions, whatever that I am selling far better than you will ever know it. What's more, whether or not my family eats or I keep my house depends upon ME getting YOU to buy the product, sign the contract or issue the PO.

Keep your old folk wisdom and sayings. If you need what I am selling, I will figure out a way to get you to buy it.

Sales people in almost every industry are worried about moving old inventory or lose their jobs. You can always get a good deal if you agree to take something off their hands even if they lose money in the deal.

Sales people only worry about making a commission. Nothing else. If you think you got a good deal on last year's model, don't worry, the salesperson got a nice bonus for moving a dog.

Sales people don't sweat inventory or full floor space. That is the owner's problem. The sales person only worries about how much he is making on a deal and how soon he will get his check.

If you can't get a good deal from a salesman, ask to speak to his manager, the director even the president of the company. Sooner or later the real decision maker will take your offer.

Got news for you. Nearly every manager, director or CEO was once in sales. The manager was the sales person the director liked better than the other sales people. The Director is the sales manager who made his numbers two quarters in a row. The CEO was the sales director who made VP and vowed to turn the company's fortunes around.

In any organization trying to make money, "everyone is a sales person and nothing happens until something is sold". There is no way around that fact no matter who you talk to.

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