Some salespeople in our industry are very good at what they do, but they don’t get to do enough of it, so they don’t get to sell as much as they could, because they’re afraid of coming across as pushy. And that fear can slow them down or even stop them dead in their tracks.
I think we can all agree that no one likes a pushy salesperson. But if you’re really good at what you do, shouldn’t you do everything possible to convince worthy prospects to do business with you?
You know there’s a big difference between being persistent and being pushy, between being helpful and being overbearing, between being confident and being cocky.
For the most part, people like those who are confident, helpful and persistent. But they don’t like those who are cocky, overbearing and pushy.
But if you look at it carefully, the negative traits we’re describing are essentially nothing more than extreme versions of the positive traits.
Those who are too persistent come across as pushy. Those who try to be too helpful can come across as smarmy or overbearing, and those who appear too confident are often described as cocky.
So Where Do You Draw the Line?
It’s interesting to me that some of the best salespeople fail to get orders because they retreat for fear of being seen as pushy.
So they back off. But instead of backing off just a bit, to a place of positive persistence, they back way off to a place of inconsistent follow up.
They don’t want to be seen as overbearing, so they back off. Not to a place of helpfulness, but to a place of not un-helpfulness, but non-helpfulness. They’re essentially missing in action. And it’s hard to be helpful if you’re not around.
They don’t want to be seen as cocky, so they back off on that, too. Not just to the point of confidence, which would be a great place to land, but to a place of timidity. Too afraid to have the conversations that need to be had in order to generate business.
The irony here is that as a result, some very pushy, overbearing and cocky salespeople often end up getting orders, because those who are actually confident, helpful and persistent are too afraid to let their light shine. So they slip into the background.
It’s almost like politeness carried to an extreme. Remember the two chipmunks from the old Warner Bros. cartoon. “After you,” “No, after you!” They’re so busy insisting the other one lead, that they don’t get anywhere.
In our industry, this means not being in contact as often as we should. Not being present with ideas and recommendations at the right time, or simply failing to ask the client to make a decision and get us the artwork in time to be able to place the order.
The late Zig Ziglar used to say, “Timid salespeople have skinny kids.”
Find your balance
If you know you’re not in front of your prospects as often as you should be…
If you know you’re not promoting yourself as aggressively as you could…
If you know you’re losing business to salespeople who aren’t as professional, skilled or caring as you are, it’s time to step up!
Let the unskilled be timid, inconsistent and missing in action.
Let the beligerent be cocky, overbearing and pushy.
And be the person you were meant to be… a confident, helpful, persistent professional.
If you’re new to the industry and need to get grounded in the essentials of promotional products sales, visit us online at topsecrets.com/gettingstarted. If you need to get clients now with no distractions and no excuses, visit topsecrets.com/tsca. Or, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales, join the AIM SmartEQP community today at SmartEQP.com that’s SmartEQP.com.