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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Selling or Customer Manipulation

Salesmen are known to be quota driven.

They have revenue targets to meet to get their commission. This compulsion of salesmen can lead to customer manipulation.

The one philosophy that guides salesmen is to sell for as high as possible and still make the customers believe that they have got it for dirt cheap.

The typical tactics used by salesmen to strike and close a deal are as follows:
  • Close the deal come what may and close it as soon as it can be done. This means the salesmen may have to use all means including contacts, personal relations, time-bound discounts and even kickbacks or bribes.
  • Quote a price that is within the range of the competition's quotes. In case the price differential is too high the salesmen may have to convince the customers about the additional items which are part of the package or the key differentiation in the offered products/services or the reason for premium pricing, if any even where none may exist.
  • Make the customer think that the best deal has been offered at each stage of negotiation. The salesmen will always know the margin and may have already done calculations with all permutation and combination.
  • Make the customer look nice and knowledgeable in all the meetings. The salesmen may actually blast the customer (in curse words at times) while having a blast with other friends the very evening/night.
  • Sound and look very genuine and concerned about the customer and his needs while meeting them. The salesmen may have to put on a fake appearance to make the customer think that the salesmen is so genuine and good person. However, the salesmen will do it more for manipulating the customer to say yes.
  • Attend conferences and industry events to meet future customers. The salesmen is like a hunting wolf in such forums ready to "trap" an interested customer.
No doubt, any sales job is a tough one which needs not only a good thing to offer to a prospective customer but also sell it to the customer using manipulative tactics if needed.

While some of the tactics used may be based on scientific research into the sociological and psychological weakness and characteristics of the needy customers, looking at them from a pure and honest angle will make them look like manipulations.

It may appear that most of what happens in the name of selling is but another name of customer manipulation.

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