Sales is a science, albeit an often botched science, but a science nonetheless.
When a sales person is perceived as ‘honest’, customers tend to systematically lower their defenses. Lowered defenses lead to a more satisfactory buying experience.
Can you be strategic in establishing your ‘honesty’? Absolutely! Blocking or evading questions are two easy ways to start off on the wrong foot. Ok, how then do you positively impact being perceived as honest?
Being able to bring up something negative about a product or service creates an excellent launching site from which to work. You then counter the negative aspects of the product or service with at least 2 positive aspects that can be used to differentiate your product or service from the competition. What can ensue now is a very productive back-and-forth dialogue with the customer, all the time building your credibility and therefore: your honesty. Remember, you were the one who brought up the first negative, not the customer. We call that ‘Preemptive Negative Selling‘
Always save a few positives to sprinkle into the conversation as you go forward with the sale, but always save at least one additional negative to reinforce the credibility of your discourse. This way you are strategically achieving your number one goal of establishing yourself as ‘honest’ and credible in the eyes of the customer.
Example: You sell Fords, you mention that the gas mileage for a Honda Accord (or similar car) is better than the Ford Fusion, however, handling and acceleration are superior in the Fusion. Some of the positives that you hold back for using later are, perhaps the room in the back seat or the comfort of the driver’s seat as an example.
This selling technique requires your people to have product knowledge. So at your next sales meeting, go over positive and negative aspects of your brand as well as the competition to start training salespeople to use this strategy.