So there you are enjoying the day and taking a moment to relax and watching the people walk by when one of them decides to sit near you. “Hi there!” he says with a friendly tone. You exchange the gesture in appreciation of his friendliness.
He mentions what a nice day it is and you agree. A moment passes and he makes a humorous witticism about a couple passing by having a little spat. With a chuckle, you chime in with your own humorous comment. Then he starts telling you about something that he’s been doing and the next thing you know, you’re being pitched!
The whole encounter seems harmless enough, but for some reason, you notice that you are suddenly on edge. Your trying to be polite and look interested, but the product he’s talking about has absolutely no appeal to you whatsoever and you feel yourself become increasingly uncomfortable.
Then it’s time for you to respond and you’re wondering how it will go when you say you’re not interested. Fortunately, he hears you politely tell him you’re not interested and says “Ok- no problem” and seems to leave it at that. You’re feeling a bit awkward, but mostly relieved when suddenly he starts talking about it again.
Now you’re really annoyed and would like to walk off, but you’re trying to be as gracious as possible; You start to wonder if you’re just an impatient person as you just can’t quite put your finger on why this guy has irked you so much.
Funny thing is, you’re own profession requires you to be persuasive too and you realize we all have something to promote, but there’s just something about this guy’s approach that just doesn’t sit right with you…
So What Is It About The Sales Pitch?
First of all, we need to distinguish the difference between the entrepreneur who delivers real value- and the hustler throwing a sales pitch:
A real entrepreneur operates on the premise of having genuine respect for people and takes an interest in getting to know people to see what unique needs and desires they have. Time and interaction is given to establish a relationship with trust and rapport. There is no hard-sale, ulterior motives or manipulating tactics, rather, a good entrepreneur will inform and educate in order to show why they may need or want a certain product, service or opportunity.
If a transaction takes place, then it will be more of an organic process where each party has made a sensible determination based on what they know of eachother. There is an exchange of value without any lines being crossed.
Then there is the hustler who isn’t concerned with getting to know anyone because this kind of person doesn’t really respect anyone. This kind of person is totally egocentric who’s only concern is self-gain. The hustler objectifies people and is not interested in whether or not their product is the right fit for someone; Their only interest is making another sale.
This is why most of us are uneasy with getting pitched, because, essentially, we are being disrespected.
Does it hurt to ask?
This really depends on the context of the question as well as the approach, which range in a multitude of variables.
– Here is an example of an approach that I have trouble with:
“Hey there buddy, I have this breakthrough product that you need to jump-on right now because this is the last day of the killer price-break!”
“No thanks, I don’t even use that kind of product”
“But surely you know someone who does! They make great gifts!”
“I can’t think of anyone off hand and I really need to make an appointment right now”
“But let me show you how amazing this product is… blah, blah, blah…”
You see, maybe it actually was an amazing product, but it was bad timming and there was no relationship established. The guy didn’t care to know me, nor was he concerned that I made my appointment on time; He just wanted to ‘nail-the-sale’ in one swift stroke by assuming I “needed” his product. And at the core of his sales pitch was a lack of respect for me as he utterly dismissed my valid reason why I was not the right candidate for his product. No wonder I was perturbed!
– Now here is an example I don’t have a problem with:
“I know you’ve always been health conscience, Scott, so I wondered if you would be willing to take some time at your convenience to consider this health product I’ve been using for the past six months, that I’ve experienced exceptional results with?”
There are elements in the above approach that indicate that this person has established some measure of a relationship with me, respects me and is not pushing, but inviting with the space to say “Yes” , “No” or “Maybe so” . Also, this person has been using the product for a substantial amount of time rather than something they just came across the other day.
You see, a good entrepreneur will allow a natural process of time for trust and rapport to develop. A good entrepreneur will acquire good human relation skills as well as effective marketing strategy so they may do business with those who are actually prime candidates- without bothering those who are not.
Many people have a negative view of “sales” because of hustling tactics of selfish people with little regard for others, which has left a stigma in the market place. Ironically, everyone buys things and need people in this world who sell things! What a real entrepreneur does, is find those who already need or want what they have to offer.
The hustler is not concerned what anyone needs or wants, only to ‘slam-dunk’ another sale.
Differentiating a Sales Pitch from Real Value
When someone offers something to you- ask yourself a few questions:
–Is this person actually listening to me?
–Is this person actually understanding and respecting me?
-Has this person demonstrated that they are interested in who I am and what my best interest is?
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of theses questions, then it’s nothing but a worthless sales pitch.
But, if you can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions and you believe this person is actually helping you with your best interest in mind, then you likely have someone trustworthy enough to do business with.
An entrepreneur needs to ask them self these questions:
–Am I really listening to this person?
–Am I really understanding and respecting this person?
-Am I demonstrating a genuine interest in this person and caring for their best interest?
The Common Marketplace of Life
Funny thing is- we are all buyers and sellers in our own way, as marketing is a natural process of life. Everyone has something to promote in which we are all marketing on some level or another whether we realize it or not.
See- So You Think You Know What Marketing Is
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