Wednesday, 20 February 2013

T-Rex, Sales and the Crying Game

Picture it, Mexico, 65 million years ago. T-rex looks up and says, "Crap." Then the 10 km wide asteroid smashes into the earth killing T-rex and all his pals instantly, creating the Yucatan Peninsula (thank you) and sending so much debris into the air it blocks out the Sun for years eventually bringing an end to the dinosaurs.

Is that an accurate account of the dinosaur extinction? I have no idea, but according to some random websites it is, and it works for the topic of this blog, so I'm going with it.

In the world of business and sales, the asteroid has already hit. Pressure sales is done, relationship marketing is king and the world is becoming a better place because of it. I'm doing my part in spreading the good news at so get out there with me!

The problem is, some of the dinosaurs are still out there trying to hunt down their last meals. Even though it has become cliche and the brunt of many jokes, you still hear lines like these "Cheesy Sales Lines Hall of Fame" worthy gems:

  • "What do I have to do to earn your business today?"
  • "Is price the only thing holding you back?"
  • "You don't actually have to consult with your husband do you?"
  • "Don't take too long. Someone else was in here thinking about buying it just before you arrived."
  • "A smart person like yourself can see the value here."

The dinosaurs believe things like:
  • If you create the pain within the customer, you can sell them anything.
  • If you get them to say "yes" to you 9 times (Did you watch the hockey game last night? Yes ...  That's 1!!!! Yessssss!), they will say "yes" when you ask for the sale. 
  • You can overcome "objections" by constantly pointing out the benefits.
Uuugh ... I can't do this anymore. I was going to give you more examples but I can't. I have to go sit in the shower while listening to The Crying Game. I'll be right back ...

I know all there is to know about the crying game,
I've had my share of the crying game.

Ok, I'm back.

Sales is no longer about trapping people, out maneuvering them and playing psychological games to get to the "yes". People don't want to be "sold" on things anymore. They want to make wise and informed  decisions.

People will buy from who they trust and trust is established through relationships. Generating sales and creating profit in a way that leads to long lasting business is done by giving people a reason to believe in you and your product as a genuine benefit to their life. This is done by building meaningful relationships with them. Here is how it works:

Instead of trapping people like a T-Rex looking for his last taste of meat, build relationships that make you into partners rather than hunter and prey. In the diagram above you can see two of the main things that must be overcome when you sell anything. People will be comparing your price to others and they will be looking at what your competition is doing. Simply put, the stronger your relationship, the less those two things will matter. 

If you are using lines like those I was typing before my shower (please don;t make me do it again) you will never establish a relationship with your clients. Those kinds of lines and strategies kill trust. Trust is the center of all healthy relationships so it just won't happen. You will always be under the scrutiny of your clients who will be constantly looking for the cheaper deal or the little extra offer from your competitor. "Well, T-Rex down the street is giving away chickens before he eats me, so I think I'll go with that."

If you get to the point where the customer feels a relationship with you beyond just being a transaction, they will pay less attention to what else is out there. They will appreciate that you treat them with respect. They will trust that you actually care about their well being and satisfaction and they will like that feeling. The more you bond with them as a human, the further you drive that wedge. Ultimately  they will end up dealing with you because of who you are and how they feel around you instead of how cheap you offer your service. 

So, dinosaurs ... accept your fate. The asteroid has hit. The sky is dark in your realm. Take your tricks and traps and go home. The sun is shinning on a new era. A peaceful time of mutually beneficial business transactions. 

Well, that is that. I'm off to listen to some Tragically Hip so I can get the Crying Game out of my head and you should visit for more of this kind of thing ... assuming you agree with this article. If you didn't, then I know some good dinosaur websites too. 

What are some of the worst sales lines you have ever heard? Feel free to vent in the comments below.


  1. Great article! When I first got into sales I kept trying to sell like the dinosaurs. That's what the successful sales people told me to do. But, it didn't feel right. Finally when I just relaxed and started to be myself and interact with people my own way, the sales started to come. I love meeting a potential client and they say "Sorry, I won't be dealing with you. I have a great relationship with someone else and there is nothing that can break it." That's what I hope my clients will be saying about me.

    1. That's great Sarah! To hear you say that you respect customer loyalty even when it isn't your customer is amazing. Enjoy all the success that comes your way!!!

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