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Hardball Selling

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Hardball Selling

How to Turn the Pressure On, Without Turning Your Customer Off


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Your goal is not to make friends, it`s to sell product. Turning up the pressure works, so go for it.

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Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


The mere mention of "high-pressure sales tactics" makes most sales managers cringe. But the problem, says veteran salesman and author Robert L. Shook, isn’t that salespeople are using such tactics, but that they are using them incorrectly. Legions of sales professionals have learned to back away from tough and aggressive techniques that work. In fact, if you use hardball techniques properly, your prospects will never know. Shook suggests that the "relationship selling" pendulum has now swung so far in one direction that it’s hurting sales. Unless you give your prospect the motivation to buy, you’ll leave the office with a smile but without a check. Shook believes in keeping the upper hand, guiding the client along and not backing down an inch when it comes to facing "not now" excuses. As his many colorful sales anecdotes suggest, you can’t deny the effectiveness of a strong approach when it comes to closing the deal. How much you like this book, however, will probably depend on how much you hate pushy salespeople. That said, finds that the book is full of good ideas. And if you don’t snap it up soon you may miss your only opportunity...well, you know the rest.


Selling Sales

Most customers hold salespeople in low esteem. Perhaps this attitude stems from the days of snake oil salesmen, who used deceptive practices to sell their wares. Whatever its origin, the effect of this stereotype is that many salespeople are far too courteous when their prospects interrogate, ridicule or even abuse them. Yet, "nothing happens until a sale is made:" factories, 18-wheelers and department stores would all be empty and silent if someone weren’t selling something - and a lot of it. Naturally, no one should treat a customer shabbily. But subtle forms of high-pressure selling can be effective. When prospects waver and can’t make decisions, high-pressure selling may help you put them in your win column.

Hardball Selling

Closing a sale does not depend on the quality of your sales presentation. That is a myth. Whether your client really needs your product is also irrelevant. You can make a great presentation of a fine product to a client who needs it, yet still not close the deal. Why? If you do not motivate your prospect to buy, everything else goes for naught. Four underlying principles define the professional salesperson/client relationship...

About the Author

Robert L. Shook bills himself as a master salesman, and he teaches high-pressure strategies. His sales career spans almost two decades. Shook has written more than 48 books, including It’s About Time, The Complete Professional Salesman and The Shaklee Story.

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