Sales sans the glitter

If you’ve ever been approached by a financial services sales professional, please take a while and reflect on the experience.Invariably you would have found him/her to be a glib talker, perfect and polished in approach.

But don’t we often fear the slippery tongue of the salesman. The smart ones who will painlessly make us part with our money; and the pain will be felt later. Hence, most of us put up a guard against a smart and strident salesman and become extra alert. No wonder, a recent survey stated that more than 85% of all customers have a negative view of all salespeople

But, I have often realized that the most effective sales professionals are often unassuming; completely lacking the classical smoothness and polish. They don’t activate the ‘amygdala’ part of our brain, thus escaping our walls of defense. They are not in suspect. They are not dangerous. They don’t threaten the ego of the buyer. These are the salespersons who go into the bloodstream of the buyer and call the shot for him because the buyer lets them do so. The buyer never puts up the guard. The buyer meets such salespersons unarmed.

If you are in HR and especially into recruitment, you often have to sell roles. Day in and day out, you have to sell JDs as dream roles to potential hires. The challenge is to make the candidate sign on the dotted lines and then actually join.

As the whatsapp forward that goes around, the HR communicates that company has offices in New York, London, Chicago and Brussels and then tells the candidate that his office is in Noida Sector 62.

Imagine what would be the candidate’s response if you are simple and honest and show genuine concern for his/her well-being.

Of course truth is subjective and thus different when often viewed from different angles. But if you could make it a point to present the truth from a desired angle, but always the truth; wouldn’t it be so beautiful.

If instead of selling across your EVP as ‘Picture Perfect’, wouldn’t it be better if you also showcase the potholes along the path as well. Could you be more candid about staple questions like career progression etc.

If you could avoid getting into that “sales mode” with ham-handed persuasion clichés and tag lines, I am sure you will hit the right chords, not need any closing techniques and yet have the best talent hire hit rates.