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High vs. Low Pressure Sales

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When it comes to selling, we have not resorted to robots just yet. It still involves a face-to-face interaction between two human beings. Many of us probably have a stereotype that comes to mind when we think of the phrase “salesman.” He is (usually a he) a high-energy type of individual, someone very good at shooting the –stuff. A people person. A fast talker. A go-getter. A self-starter. The image also trails a certain level of sleaze behind it. The salesman type may have a lot of things—money, a nice car, a beautiful lady—but he does not possess the greatest of reputations. This may very well be due to the manner in which he sells. 

The style of selling has been divided into two categories: high pressure and low pressure sales. The pressure, in both instances, is time. Both types of sales people are running against the ticking clock as they try to persuade you to buy. The high pressure type typically preys on your emotions and the low pressure salesperson appeals to your rationality. But they both have the same goal in mind: getting you to part with something very dear to you, your money. 

High pressure sales are aggressive. Think used car salesman or the guy who knocks on your door with an industrial-sized vacuum cleaner. They are both so confident that their product can solve your life’s worries that you let them in a little, both literally and metaphorically speaking. They want you to act now and they usually offer a reward for buying or signing right away. A lot of people have been ripped off this way. The salesman comes in like a whirlwind pushing a shoddy product, disappears before you know it and is impossible to find the instant you decide you want your money back. 

But things have changed. A down economy means money is harder to come by and consumers are less easily convinced that they need to part with it. Today, the money spent on a product is a big factor in how they rate it in a review. Low pressure, or passive, selling has been more successful in this environment. The low pressure salesperson eases you into the sale and the transaction is smooth. They give you reasons why their product is great and they are more lenient with their time. They appeal to your rational side rather than your emotions.

High pressure sales once gave the salesman a bad reputation. Perhaps by switching strategies, he will be able to repair it.


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