Today’s mail brought a message from Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling.” She wrote that many sales people tell her that they do not sell. They don’t want to be labeled as sales people.
Why? Because the connotation (to them) is negative. It speaks of manipulation, dishonesty, and lack of ethics.
She disagrees, and went on to say that she had looked up the word “sell” along with variations on the word “salesman.” All of the definitions she found spoke of persuasion. For instance, “Sales talk” was defined as “a line of reasoning or argument intended to persuade someone to buy something.”
The definition of the word “persuade” yielded: “1. To prevail on a person to do something. And 2. To induce to believe; convince.”
She contends that nowhere in the definition of sales or persuasion do you find any negative connotation. No definitions mention dishonesty or manipulation.
Of course we all know of at least one sales person who has used dishonesty and manipulation to make a sale. Think of the used car lot owner who turns odometers back. (Yes, I knew one of them.)
I just wonder …
You use persuasion when you advertise your listings. It’s the only way to get a buyer to say “I want to see THAT one.”
You probably use persuasion when you’re selling yourself and your services to either a buyer or a seller.
You may have to use a bit of persuasion with some sellers in order to get them to agree on the correct price, to de-clutter and clean their homes, to stage, to counter low offers, etc.
But… do you actually persuade a buyer to purchase a house? Do you “prevail on them to do something?” Do you “induce to believe; convince?”
Is the answer “never,” “all the time,” “sometimes,” or “only when it’s in their best interests?”
Or – does it really come down to our own inner definitions of the words “sell” and “persuade.”
Just a thought to ponder on a rainy Wednesday…
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net