Avoid being pushy with customers

October 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

Imagine you're with two potential customers. You paste on your best smile, offer your help and information, ask a multitude of questions to gain rapport and then close the sale. But somehow, the customers escape without giving you any kind of commitment. What went wrong?

Imagine you're with two potential customers. You paste on your best smile, offer your help and information, ask a multitude of questions to gain rapport and then close the sale. But somehow, the customers escape without giving you any kind of commitment. What went wrong?

The answer may be that you treated them like sales, not people. You failed to demonstrate that you care. You were pushy. There's a fine line between scaring customers away and not being aggressive enough, according to the "Sales Success Profile," a sales aptitude test. You need to be a "balanced" closer.

Balanced closers are not exceptionally polite, but have approachable good natures. On the test, their warm and friendly traits score almost exactly between their closing skills and how polite or courteous they are.

Extremely aggressive closers, on the other hand, score high on closing skills but very low in both politeness and friendliness. They care only about closing sales and will do almost anything to reach that goal. They may not do well in careers that require long-term, repeat visits.

At the other end of the spectrum, some salespeople are poor closers, extremely polite or courteous and very friendly. They are reluctant to ask for sales and won't attempt to close a second time if they fail on the first attempt. But they can become good salespeople if they learn closing techniques.

The easiest way to avoid being pushy is to care about your customers. Listen, discover their wants and needs in a non-threatening manner and show them how your product can answer their needs. Don't, however, lose focus of why you're there.