Trust – but Use Discrimination

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Apr 23

My friend, DeBorah Beatty,, just sent me a book she felt I would enjoy because she thought it sounded like me: Trust-based Selling: Using Customer Focus and Collaboration to Build Long Term Relationships by Charles H. Green. That’s what soft sell marketing and soft sell sales are all about. It’s wonderful having friends who care about you.

I decided to follow up on information she sent me with this book. This led me to an interesting blog post by Charles Green, “Is it Stupid to Be Trusting?” It’s common knowledge in sales and marketing circles that “people buy with their heart, and rationalize it with their brains.” Naturally, this can lead to problems when dealing with con artists and “slick” salespeople, which results in bitter customers who feel taken.

A couple years ago at the Los Angeles County Fair, Dorothy, my wife, and I watched a presentation on stainless steel cookware. I couldn’t wait to buy. Then I found out I’d just committed her credit cards to cookware I didn’t need when she’d been saving that money for a cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday. Talk about quick buyer’s remorse.  I canceled that order that night before I left the park.

I’ve been in sales for over 25 years so why did I fall for a slick presentation? Well, admittedly, I really liked the salesman. And what a demo he had. Nevertheless, other people resisted ordering. Why didn’t I? Contemplating on that question, I realized several things.

First off, his presentation and stories played into images I believed in and cared about concerning healthy cookware. The demonstrations satisfied my logical mind. However, his manipulations to create a sense of urgency tapped into my greed. I wanted all of those bonuses and special pricing that he wouldn’t be able to offer again because …. So, the upshot was that I was predisposed to want what he was selling, — and — my own greed reacted to his pitch. Trust, yes, but use discrimination. Check it out.

I still believe that establishing trust makes it possible to help customers buy. A soft sell sales person avoids using these types of manipulations because they violate the trust relationship. But when I’m the customer and it appears I was taken advantage of by a “slick” salesperson, I need to step back and look at what really happened. Yes, I may have been manipulated, but I allowed it to happen, typically out of greed, attachment, or fear.

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About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.