Clients and employers approach Sales and Marketing professionals wearily because we have a bad reputation. The reputation we’ve acquired has been reinforced by the media. We might remember the stereotypical Hot Shot salesman as the character Alex Baldwin plays in Glengarry Glen Ross, he’s a slick pro who can sell anything to anybody. However, what he does is manipulation not persuasion.
Manipulation - exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage
Persuasion - the act of influencing the mind by arguments or reasons offered, or by anything that moves the mind or passions, or inclines the will to a determination.
As professionals, we often deserve our reputation based on the assignments we take on. Not every product or service is fit to be sold. Not every person is the right person to buy a product or service. Most shocking, especially to Sales Trainers, is that not every objection is simply a question that requires a cunning response. Often, more often than we comfortably admit to, an objection is legitimate and the proper response is a respectful friendly acknowledgement followed by the word - goodbye.
Persuasion takes more work up-front but evolves into the path of least resistance once you’ve done your homework. Take a look at an example of this in this week’s ClickZ column written by Bryan.
If you’re a pro meeting a great deal of resistance with the product / service you offer then you can do your homework and figure out whether or not the service / product you are offering has true value. Then you ask yourself have you become a Marketing Professional or have you become a Professional Liar?