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How to Sell Without Being Pushy

When I meet new salespeople, they want to know how to sell without being pushy.

Generally, in a nutshell, that’s it. Usually, because they have an image that selling is pushy, obnoxious, needy, and other things that selling isn’t.

They might be in a business which is helping people, nurturing them, they need a new house, essentials oils, a massage — it doesn’t matter what it is — you need to sell them something.

And, if you think that it’s all about how to sell without being “pushy”, then we need to have a little talk.

One of the things I teach is that everything is selling and everyone is selling to everyone. You may not agree, but it’s correct.

If you are trying to get your kids to go to sleep, you are “selling” the idea that they need rest.

If you want a discount to a piece of furniture, you are “selling” the person that they will benefit that you’ll buy it now, if they reduce the price.

You’ll “sell” to your friend that this or that movie is more fun than his choice.

And, if you’ve ever tried to get out of a ticket, well, you’re trying your case with the officer by “selling” your idea that maybe he can give you a warning instead.

Realize: Everything. Is. Selling. Something.

But, it doesn’t need to be pushy or sleazy; it can be like a conversation. Like this one!

In this video, I am “selling” the idea of how to sell without being pushy, right?

And, hopefully, it’ll help you out about that notion, you’ll improve your sales, and I’ll put a smile on your face, too. How’s that?

So, here are some reasons why people think selling is sleazy or pushy and how you can still sell, without hating it:

One, They Want Something FROM You

Okay, yes, they want you to buy from them, but like I already said, that’s the nature of it.

Let’s say that you are selling a potion of something that will help people to feel better. (Let’s assume it’s legal and not a narcotic, okay?)

We’ve all been at a “card exchange” where people are walking around looking for people to sell their stuff. They give them a card and tell them that this will fix their aches and pains and even reduce their taxes.

Okay, I’m kidding about that last one. Maybe.

But, if you’ve been on the receiving end of that conversation you couldn’t get away fast enough from that person, right?

The Problem: All they want is something from the other person. Don’t be that person.

The Solution: Talk to the other person. If you are selling a product that DOES help people with aches and pains, don’t even mention it.

Just talk to the other person. Even if they ask you what you do (the loaded question), if you start talking about your business, the products, the company’s CEO and all that, their eyes will glaze over quickly, and they’ll start looking for an exit.

What if, when they ask you, “So, what do YOU do..?!” with that bored look in their eyes, you then change the direction of the question!

Them: “So, what do YOU do..?!”

You: [You talk about something fascinating.] “I spent a lot of my time here just listening about other people’s business! Like your business, John, how did you get into it?” — And you’re off-and-running.

If you only tell them what you’re “supposed” to say like, “Oh… I help people lower their electric bills and…,” well, you lost them. Unless they were really thinking about their electric bill. But, they weren’t, were they?

Another example and I’ll talk about my business, okay?

Them: “So, what do YOU do..?!”

Me: “Right now, I am amazed watching everyone here trying to sell their stuff to each other. So far, I have 27 business cards in my left pocket, three key rings, and another pen.” And they know what you mean.

If they ask again, I might say, “I’ll tell you later because I’m not here to sell people anything.” 

[I suppose I’m “selling” my mission which is to be known to other people there.] Continuing, “I wonder, do they really like trying to sell at these meetings?”

And, that question usually starts another conversation about selling

Yes, I’ll finally tell them “what I do” but it’ll be:

1. If they absolutely do need it. I’m not just going to start down the road talking about something they don’t need.

2. After about 15 or 20 minutes of talking about them.

Of course, in the end, I’ll take their card, putting it in a separate pocket from the 27 other cards that were shoved into my hand, give them my card and infer that we’ll talk soon.

I’d add them to my LinkedIn connections and connect with a short “thank you” and see if we can help each other.

No selling. No pushing. Not being obnoxious. Just being a good connection.

Two, You Usually Don’t Know What to Say

Got your Elevator Pitch?

Can you explain what you do in a short, concise sentence?

Well, then just stop. If the first words you say are, “I help people who…” you will sound like everyone else in the room who are shoving their business cards at you.

Yes, you do need a short, concise sentence, but wouldn’t it be better if you find out what they need, first?

For instance, I meet a lot of women who hate selling, and I love asking questions like, “Hmmm. What happens when you need to sell your essential oils?” and I can actually see their physiology shift.

They’ll explain how they feel about selling, what “other people are thinking,” the failure and they may not know what to do.

The Problem: They usually feel defeated before they start.

The Solution: Help them out. For free. For nothing. With no agenda.

What I’d do is ask if I could suggest something and tell them a story about someone who is in the same situation. You can do that, too, because we all know someone who had a story that could be fit into their situation.

A great book about this is Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand, where you’ll learn about telling a good story about your brand and other people’s, too. It’s a handy skill to learn.

Anyhow, my object at that point is to give that person a tool or skill that she can learn quickly and get instant success!

A Story:

I was at a holistic expo where there were a bazillion potions, lotions, and notions about healthy living, life, and more.

At a booth, there was a woman with tables of essential oils, and the tables were full without people.

Noticing she was just sitting at a table looking at the people passing by, I asked her how’s business. She shrugged and said, “Well, a lot of people are looking, but maybe because there are so many booths here.”

I smiled and asked her if I can try something out by talking to some people walking by, and she shrugged and said, “Sure.”

The first person was walking by, and I said, “Hi.” and she stopped and said, “Hi.”

“What brings you to this expo today?” I asked, and she said, “Oh, I’m trying to look for something for my sleeping problems. There are SO many choices here, and I don’t even know where to start!”

I turned around to the woman in the booth, and I asked, “This woman has problems sleeping… can you show her what you have?”

Well, she was stunned, but when she was done, she made a sale of TWO products in about five minutes!

When she asked me how I did that I just explained that you need a quick-and-easy way to stop the people and then you’d need to know what to say (in this instance, a question).

I really wasn’t there to sell anything; I was just having fun, but the point is that once she was able to know what to say at the beginning, she started making sales.

She called me about a week later and told me that she made SO many sales and that it surprised her. I told her that’s what I do, and then I helped her out in her business.

But, I didn’t “sell”. I helped and it came back.

I’ll have another video about some more ideas about how to sell without being pushy.

For now, start working on the two above, and we’ll chat soon!