Hard-Selling Your Business To Customers Can Backfire

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When you're a small business owner, it's easy to get excited when a big opportunity comes your way. It could be a lucrative deal with a prospective client that you desperately want to close. But getting overexcited and overselling yourself may jeopardise these kinds of opportunities.

Over at small business blog Flying Solo, Natasha Hawker, a HR consultant, talked about the time she stuffed up a $200,000 deal because she was too eager to impress. The potential client had no HR structure in place and she saw it as a golden opportunity to prove that she was worth the money by proposing a number of solutions for the customer. But in the end, she ended up losing the deal. Why?

"Simple -- I got overexcited about what we could do for the client and ‘over-baked it’. I did not have their trust yet. They didn’t know me and I had not communicated the vision effectively enough. My proposal was too detailed with too many attachments and I didn’t get the opportunity to walk them through the detail. This was me trying too hard to justify our value and the cost. In their eyes, it was ‘too good to be true’."

Hawker outlined a number of ways you can adopt to appear less eager and gain the trust of the client first. These include starting with small promises, spending additional time meeting with the customer and asking about deal breakers in advance. You can find more tips over at Flying Solo.

[Via Flying Solo]


    That also applies to large companies who have their call centre folk try to turn any enquiry into a hard-sell opportunity. I hung up on a poor unfortunate from Medibank Private yesterday whose script obviously didn't allow them to deviate into actually answering my simple questions.

    In the past, I've switched businesses for precisely such tactics. Unfortunately there's pretty much no one you can complain to, because you can be sure that whoever is taking such feedback is goaled to monetise every customer interaction.

    Last edited 21/07/16 3:59 pm

      It goes beyond that, and in a way is simpler than the article too: Don't make your customer feel uncomfortable.
      I don't shop at Coles because of the moronic "down down" campaign, which also gets shoved down your throat (ears) over the in-store PA. There is absolutely no need to continue to advertise at the customer once they are inside (like running qantas ads on the in flight entertainment). It's a corporate overly attached girlfriend... Sure announce specials, but don't run the external campaign stuff internally.
      Red cross doesn't get my money because of agressive shopping centre muggers and doorknockers. The greenpeace guy was more respectful but became pushy on the second time.

      and Ugh, the script people, I make a point of derailing it, unless it's a cold call marketer and I have time, in which case I follow it like a good little sheep with some tangents thrown in as I feel it head toward a conclusion, then avoid commitment with more and more outlandish questions about the finer points. My record is keeping one on the phone for 45 minutes before he caught on and hung up on me.

      But basically I refuse to reward bad, irritating marketing with my business.

        At least with Telstra, you have a healthy outlier where every person there makes a huge effort to make sure you take your business elsewhere.

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