Sleazy Salesman“They could sell hay to a farmer!”

“They could sell underwear to a nudist!”

A sleazy salesman is a persistent and divisive character. We hate him, yet we secretly want to be him. Imagine what it would do for your business if you could sell anything to anyone!

Well, actually… you can.

Of course, whatever your sales pitch is, has to be a good fit for that person (no “selling hay to farmers,” sorry), but you can always pull it off without being pushy or sleazy.

It boils down to a simple 3-step process. You can use it in your whiteboard videos, over email, on the phone, or in person. Let’s go over it in detail:

Step 1. Ask

The stereotypical sleazy salesman never stops to consider, “Hey, does this person actually need what I’m selling? Or am I wasting my breath here?”

No, he charges blindly, peddling his goods, and beating down any feeble resistance from a customer with words-words-words. Not the best way to start a relationship.

To be honest and authentic, any attempt at selling should start with questions. Ask your potential customer about their challenges and goals.

For example:

  • “Where would you like to be with X? If everything went perfectly, what’s the ideal outcome?”
  • “What are you struggling with the most? If you could fix one thing, what would it be?”

Step 2. Relate

Sleazy salesman never considers the feelings and priorities of others. To him, the difference between deal or no deal is the amount of badgering the prospect is ready to endure.

We don’t want to be that guy. So instead, when you’ve determined that your potential customer’s problems and goals are compatible with your product or service, it’s time to move on to Step 2.

Show them that you understand and care. Of course, this won’t work if you only care about a sale – but surely you want to help your customer, not just get their money.

For example:

  • “I see your problem – it must be tough. What have you tried to get you the results you want?”
  • “It’s hard to try and figure this out on your own. Have you ever asked someone to help you with this?”

Step 3. Help

By now, you will have determined 2 things:

  1. If your product or service is the right fit for your potential customer;
  2. If they are open to trying a solution (because they’ve tried other products and services).

Now it’s time for you to ask yourself, “Can I help? Can I get them the results they want?”

If the answer is “no”, don’t push your solution on them: that would be just evil.

But if the answer is “yes”, then it’s your duty to be assertive and make them an open and honest offer. You’re not selling so much as extending them a helping hand.

For example:

  • “Hey, I can solve this for you. I’m sure that together we can get you to X in a month. Do you want to try?”
  • “I’ll take care of it for you. If I could solve your problem in one month, would you be interested?”

Naturally, you can’t use these scripts verbatim, especially for whiteboard videos (where you have to fill in the gaps about what your prospects want).

But you can follow this process to make meaningful connections with potential customers, communicate in an honest and low-pressure way, and close iron-clad deals that are based on trust and understanding.

When you can do all that, who needs to be a pushy salesman?