Are You Too Salesy?
The Success Alliance


Are You Too Salesy?

Are you too salesy

By Karyn Greenstreet

One of my mastermind members expressed a concern last month that he would come across as “too salesy” when he spoke with prospective clients. And certainly, we’ve all had bad experiences with salespeople, right?


  • But if your product or service is something that can help them reach their goals and solve their problems, why wouldn’t they be interested?

I believe most people are on the alert for a sales pitch, as they get inundated with offers throughout their day. What catches their attention?

When you go into a car dealership, you are there to buy a car. You might cringe at the salesperson’s pitch because it’s pushy, slippery, and well-rehearsed. But you still want to buy a car. Perhaps not from him if he treats you with disrespect.


  • If his entire motivation is getting you to commit to purchasing a car, no matter what, then it’s a bad experience all around.

When you walk into a travel agent’s office, you are there to buy a cruise. She asks you about your likes and dislikes, your budget, and your schedule. Then she suggests three possible cruises that might work for you and answers your questions about each one. You either say “yes, thank you” or “no, thank you,” depending on whether one fits your needs. Either way, the salesperson smiles and wishes you a good day. A pleasant experience and an education in how to select the perfect cruise.


  • And now you trust this travel agent to be on the lookout for the best cruise for you. Perhaps you didn’t buy today, but you most certainly will buy from her tomorrow.

Two different scenarios and two different takeaways:

  • The first rule is to treat them with respect, and find out their needs and wants before you offer your product or service to them. Make the sales conversation about them, not you. Ask questions and listen carefully. Focus the conversation about finding a solution that fits them. That’s why some people call this a “discovery session.”
  • The second rule is that your prospective client will either pay attention or walk away, depending on if they’re interested. So, you can’t “control” them and you’d have to be a very smooth operator to mesmerize them with your sales pitch.

Yes, some sales training teaches you to push for the sale even when it’s not a good fit, but those are old-fashioned selling techniques. Today, we use a consultative sales approach, which is a productive two-way conversation where you match the benefits you offer with their needs.

Check-in with your own fears: If you fear coming across as “too salesy” perhaps you’re overthinking it or putting too much pressure on yourself. Are you really worried about how a prospect is perceiving the conversation? Or are you using the fear of being too salesy to avoid having any sales conversations at all? (That way, you don’t have to experience rejection.)


  • If you’re unsure how you come across, ask a colleague to role-play with you and give you honest feedback. If you come across as a smarmy, irritating, lying telemarketer, they’ll tell you!

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a sales pitch to someone who is interested. Your marketing materials help determine who is interested, and then approach those prospects in an honest, customer-centric way for the sales conversation.


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