Are you trying to sell something that’s too nice?

Posted 24 Oct 2018 by Louise Murphy

"That would be fantastic," they tell you. "I'd love to have something like that," they say, but a week later that sure fire sale has disappeared and you're left wondering where it all went wrong. 

In all likelihood, you and your customer both agree that what you sell is great. You talked at length about what sets you apart. Your customer applauds you for your expertise and ingenuity in serving up something that nobody else can.

But here's the lesson: 'nice' isn't the same as 'essential'.

Most business owners or salespeople can real off several ways in which their product is superior to the competition. Are they true? Probably. Does repeating them over and over again guarantee new business? Probably not.

Tell a friend about your three week tour around the vineyards of Europe and they'll tell you it sounds fantastic. They probably won't book it.

Arrive to your sales meeting and launch into a wonderful explanation of your all-singing, all-dancing, one stop solution to your customer's problem, and they may well go misty eyed at the pipe dream you've presented. Then they wave you off and chuckle to themselves at the idea of splashing out on such a luxury.

It all sounds nice, but there is no compelling reason to act.

Before you can close a sale, your customer needs to seriously consider what will happen if they don't make a change.

Most of us are risk-averse by nature. Before we act, we'll tend to weigh up the consequences of not acting. Before you bought that smoke alarm, you thought about what would happen if you didn't. Before you trimmed the hedge, you worried what the neighbours might think if you left it wild and unruly.

So, in that sales meeting, carefully and precisely nudge and cajole your customer through the same thought process. If you can lead your customer to honestly reflect on the consequences of doing nothing (what would happen to the business, to morale, to performance? How would that reflect on them?) then making a change becomes urgent. Suddenly, nice becomes essential.

The conversation is easier said than done, but with practise, coaching and great listening skills, the whole thing becomes second nature. Our sales development programme is open to anyone who wants to get to grips with the fine points of successful sales. You’ll learn exactly which criteria you need to meet and how, in order to make sales easy and genuinely help your customers to improve their business or lifestyle.

To book yourself or your sales team onto an upcoming session, email

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