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Make sure it’s a Good Fit…A “Hard Sell” is a hard sale.
There is a reason that certain kinds of salespeople have a bad reputation. Do you cringe when you hear “used-car salesperson” or “door-to door sales person”? Let’s be honest, there are some good ones out there.  What is the difference between a good sales person and a sales person that has that pushy bad reputation?  In many cases those with the bad reputation are really good sales people.  They use all their good sales skills to sell something that is not a good fit. When you are sitting quietly in the comfort of your own home, are you looking for a new vacuum cleaner? Or new siding for your house?  When you have your heart set on a Ford and all they have today are Fiats, are you in the market for a Fiat? Of course not!  But they will try to sell it to you anyway.

These salespeople have a difficult job -- They must use good characteristics of a sales person (like product knowledge, persistence, enthusiasm, & assertiveness) on a product that, in most cases, the customer does not need or want.  Their enthusiastic, assertive and persistent sales pitch becomes a “hard sell” and a “Hard Sell” is a hard sale to make.  Sadly, they fall short on the basic philosophy of a sale and the recipe for loyal satisfied customers – Identify their problem, Fill their need.

If you have a store or internet site, you have already overcome part of identifying their problem.  After all, they have entered your business looking for something and somehow feel that you have it.  The next part is as easy as 1,2,3!
1.    Listen to the customer’s problem (need a gift?, a replacement part? I am trying to accomplish a task…)
2.    Identify their needs & wants (cost, color, style, size)
3.    Fit the right item to fill their need.  

Never sell something that doesn’t “fit the need”.  The item will be returned and the customer will not return.  

Identifying the problem and filling the need is the high road in sales and assures happy customers who will return the next time they have a need. In today’s social world it is better to have a “friend” than a bad reputation. It is simple, easy and a win-win.  

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By Jamie McNaughton
Vice President,McNaughton Incorporated
copyright 2011