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Sales Mistake #1

MikeSales Mistake #1: Trying To Upsell

 by Mike Marchev

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The “gift of gab” has no place in business today. There is no need for memorizing and rehearsing “come-backs” and pro-active “sales pitches.” After taking the time to understand one’s particular buying motives, your one and only recourse is to simply recommend what you feel is best for the buyer.


All the sales books I have read include a lengthy chapter telling how it will be in the interest of you and your pocket book to sell people up. “If the prospect says this…you say that. If they do that…you do this”. When they finally do buy “this”, you slide in a few “that’s”. Sounds pretty manipulative if you ask me. I feel strongly that you should think less of yourself if you ever find yourself trying these tactics.


Selling  people up is not a good thing, unless, of course, it is in their best interest for you to do so. The moral of this story? Don’t sell up. Sell right.


  • You are (supposedly) the expert. You’re the specialist. Tell me what I need to know. Tell me what I need to hear. If I don’t ask the right questions, tell me what I should be asking. If need be, put the right words in my mouth. If it cost more, so be it. If it cost less, I can learn to live with that as well. On occasion, you will feel that the right thing to do is to “sell down”, or recommend a less costly item. Sometimes it will be correct to make no recommendation at all. Other times you may find yourself pointing your would-be clients toward the competition. If you need a slogan to live by, here is one you can take to the bank: DO WHAT’S RIGHT!


A sale for a sale’s sake is yesterday’s news. Your primary objective should be to strive to establish a relationship with your steadily growing customer base….based on trust. And this calls for honesty and straightforwardness, and time.  If you or your boss find it difficult to swallow this advice, you are probably running your sales program from a script hand written by monks on parchment. Unfortunately, you are still in good company. There remains in our country a plethora of clowns (educated and non) who still demand buying their expensive gold plated watches with the money they have fleeced from customers who have a difficult time saying “no.”


Your job is to look out for your customer’s best interest and recommend a workable and acceptable solution. At times, this may indeed result in a higher commission; at other times, you may forfeit your commission altogether.


What turns many people away from a career in sales is the misguided mind-set that they must learn how to present ideas and solutions that border on fiction or shear nonsense. Nothing is further from the truth. To become successful in sales you must speak the truth in a clear, slow and orderly fashion while encouraging the customer to candidly voice their concerns in like fashion.

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