The Best Sales Technique You’ve Stopped Using

As Tradies, we all have to be salesman too. But sometimes, focusing on being a ‘salesman’ and trying to implement some “advanced” sales strategies we’ve learnt, can actually do more harm than good.

Especially if the techniques you’re using, actually take you away from what works best for you. Here’s an example:

My wife wanted a new car. So, we went to a dealer to check one out. The salespeople were loitering in the lot as car salespeople without customers do. They saw us drive up, cruise through a couple rows of cars, and park in front of the one we were interested in.

A young guy headed over – evidently it was his turn. After a quick hello he clearly started to follow a mental sales technique checklist.

“qualify your lead” was first on his list. That didn’t go well for him so he moved on to “determine customer needs” and started asking about what we were looking for in a car. Without being rude (she has a knack for courteous deflection) my wife asked a few questions he struggled to answer, probably because he kept focusing on re-engaging his training and reclaiming the sales high ground.

Then he surprised us. He stopped talking, took a deep breath, and said, “I’m sorry. I really suck at this. Wait here and I’ll go get someone who can actually help you.”

My wife melted, as wives who are businesslike but also caring do. “No, we don’t need anyone else. You’re doing fine,” she said. “Hey, tell me, have you driven one of these?”

“Oh yeah,” he said, his face now relaxed and brighter. “They’re really fast… and I probably shouldn’t say it but they handle much better than that one”. Then he glanced around to make sure no one was nearby and said, “Even if you don’t plan to buy it you should at least drive one. They’re a blast.”

We did drive it, and we bought one.

Where did he initially go wrong? He let his training turn him into the salesman he’s not. He tried to become a qualifying, relationship building, features and specifications spewing, commitment gaining ‘closer’.

In the process he gave up his biggest strength. He stopped being himself, a young enthusiastic guy who loves cars.

Consider the sales strategies you currently employ. Do they take you away from your strengths?

  • Say you’re naturally introverted; don’t try to become the ‘sales guy’. Where sales are concerned, listening can be even more effective than speaking. (that’s why we have two ears and one mouth)
  • If you’re perceptive and have good instincts, don’t get locked in to the qualification process. In our example, we parked a relatively expensive vehicle in front of a row of expensive cars, so any salesperson could safely assume we had the means and the interest. After “Hello,” the best thing the salesman could have said was, “Tell me which one you want to drive and I’ll grab the keys.”
  • If you’re naturally casual and chatty, don’t try to be professorial or authoritative. Speak the way you speak to friends (within reason, of course). Be genuine and prospects will respond.

Sound simple? It is… but many people lose sight of the fact that the sales techniques they use, should play to their strengths.

Don’t try to be something you’re not. Focus on being a better, more effective version of you. That’s the best sales strategy of all.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.