Those that have been following me for awhile know that I am an avid reader. I love all types of books, but do tend to read books to do with business the majority of time.
I am currently reading a book I can only call a nostalgic read in the arena of sales. This is because the techniques and behaviors in this particular publication are so outdated that it makes me laugh and shake my head. However, it is great for a laugh or six. In checking the copyright date after reading a chapter or two thinking they can’t be serious, I noticed that is was first published in 1989.
Then reality hit, my God I was in the sales profession back then. Did I really do any of these things. This made me read it with greater interest. Yes, I am that old.
This book is all about ‘closing’ and goes into quite a few different examples on how to close the sale. The major takeaway was, if you did any of these today, you would in all likelihood be laughed out of an office.
You may be wondering why I would continue to read it if it was so outdated? You would be justified in asking the question. The major reason was to find how much change has happened in this particular arena and to see if I actually did any of these things.
The sad reality it that many in business today are still using these tactics and it really makes me laugh when I encounter them when I am the prospect.
The hard truth is that it is no longer a seller’s market but rather a buyer. The main reason for this dramatic change is, the internet. Buyers are a lot more educated about the product, especially if it is a major purchase such as an appliance, a car or even a vacation. Sellers can no longer manipulate or in some cases, trick the buyer.
The book I am reading is all about those tricks, manipulations and hard selling techniques of long ago. An example is this passage: “I really enjoy talking to a person like you. It’s a pleasure to see somebody come in here with an ability to make a decision. You would not believe all the weak and meek guys that can’t make a decision on their own.”
They have just trapped the poor person in that if does not agree to buy he is looked as a loser and has to buy as a result in order to protect his reputation and ego. Suppose it was for a major purchase and they need to talk to their partner? Certainly, the partner should have been there if he wanted a decision to be made and if any decision makers are missing, why would you do a presentation?
With true transparency, I did use closes in the past described in this book. Such as the impeding doom close such as: “We only have two of these left before the new pricing takes effect.” However, unlike some, I have kept up with the times and do not use the aforementioned close or all those other ones that have had their run.
It was hilarious when I accompanied my wife when she was shopping for a new car and a salesman used the above close and I just stared at him, and even though my wife wanted to handle it all by herself, I blustered out: “I can’t believe you still think that the impeding doom close still works.” Needless to say we moved on to another dealer.
Nostalgia is nice, however, it belongs in the past and looked back on with the way things were and not how they are today. That is why it’s called nostalgia.