Don’t Forget To Ask For No Sale

    by Dave Hughes
    The car salesman sits behind his desk, fresh from yet another meeting with the sales manager. As he slides the "four-square" worksheet across his desk toward you, you have no interest in what's written there, and tell him...for the twelfth time this hour. "Okay, what would it take to get you to buy today? Right now?" he asks. "Nothing. I told you I was just looking; I'll be in the market in a few months, but there's nothing you can do or say to get me to buy today." "I'll be right back," he replies, standing up and starting for the door, "Let me see what I can do for you." "I'm just looking!" you shout at his retreating back to no avail, knowing he's not going to stop trying to force you into a decision you're not going to make. Have you ever been in that situation?  Something similar, I'm sure, but not that exact situation. When you're "tire-kicking", you don't wind up in a price-battle with the sales manager. And if you did, you would not leave with a good impression of the dealership, and wouldn't be likely to bring your business there when you are ready to buy. Of course, a high-pressure sales pitch has its place and can be very successful. But long-term potential lies in fostering a relationship with your customers. Now, if the salesman had been helpful after establishing that you're truly not going to buy today, giving you information you want, showing you what you're interested in, and finishing up by saying "We run some special deals from time to time; can I call you the next time we're in a tight spot? At that point, I can get the sales manager to cut you one heck of a deal." This isn't a perfect analogy...few (if any) are. But here's my question for your marketing plan, are you trying to force your website visitors to make a purchase now, or trying to make sure that you sell to the people that are ready to buy, and position yourself to sell to the people that are going to buy later? "Used car salesman" has become a clichéd personality type, and not in a good way. Don't spend your marketing efforts trying to "slick" someone into making a purchase they don't want to them realize that you have a product or service they need. With your online business website, provide useful information to visitors, make the experience enjoyable for them, and don't forget to offer easy, highly-visible ways to collect their information so you can stay in touch with them. Don't continually pressure them to make a purchase now now NOW. Or the next time you come back from the sales manager's office, the customer will be long gone.
    Written by:
    Dave Hughes
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