High Pressure vs. Dignity Depends on
How You Use the Three Cons
by Trey Ryder
Prospects often ask me to explain how selling-based marketing differs from education-based
marketing. I point out the standard differences about giving prospects what
they want, information and advice -- and removing what they don’t want, a sales
But the fine points of education-based marketing go much deeper.
You and I, as consumers, want people to respect the fact that we have a
brain -- and that we can make our own decisions without someone else (the salesperson)
telling us what to do. This important point clearly defines how the respected
authority and consultant (you) differ from the pushy salesperson (nearly everyone
The difference is in the three cons: Convince. Conclude. Control.
The salesperson tries to “convince” you that you need what he’s
selling by controlling your decision. (We often refer to this as sales pressure.)
The authority offers facts and advice that allow you to “conclude”
that you need what he offers -- and that you need it right now. But he never
tries to control your decision.
Here are two typical examples:
Salesperson: “This service will save you time and money. Sign here
and I’ll finish the paperwork in two minutes.” (He tells you what will
happen and tells you what to do.)
Authority: “From the facts I have provided, I hope you agree that you’ll
save considerable time and money by choosing option A over option B.” (The
authority respects the person’s ability to listen to the information, draw his
own conclusions, and make his own decisions.)
Salesperson: “You must sign up for this service now. Otherwise, I can’t
be held responsible.”
Authority: “From the case history I’ve just presented, I hope you see
how important it is that you act now, without delay.”
ADVICE: When you talk with prospects, make sure you provide facts, case histories,
information and advice that allow prospects to conclude they need what you offer
-- and soon. The moment you turn the tables and tell them what they need, they
see you as a salesperson and you completely undermine your credibility.
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