Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody likes to buy

Shivansh A.S
Jul 31, 2018 · 4 min read
“High fashion woman carries a handful of shopping bags” by on Unsplash

Almost everyone likes shopping, be it the traditional way, or the more recent online way. Methods may differ, but there is a certain joy associated with the experience of buying something, which is irreplaceable. However, this feeling somehow disappears almost magically, when a person tries to sell something to you. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that when someone is trying to sell something to you, they try to convince you that it is best for you. People may feel that their right to choose freely, without any biases is being snatched from them. It is an innate characteristic of human beings to dislike anything that seemingly takes away their right to do something. This probably explains the behaviour commonly exhibited by prospective buyers towards salespeople.

Buying a thing involves parting with hard earned money, which is why a buyer always looks for a product that ensures they get their money’s worth. Salespersons are tasked with influencing the customer into making a purchase, which is definitely not easy, to say the least. In addition, they will attempt to lure the buyer into purchasing something by convincing them that their product is precisely what the buyer is looking for. Prospective buyers don’t like to be sold to, because of the fear of being manipulated into buying something they may not need.

The Act of Selling

  • Consider a situation wherein a person walks into a garments showroom intending to buy a shirt and is faced with a wide range of options to choose from.
  1. Shortly, a salesperson greets the customer with a strategically placed question- “How may I help you?” Not only is this a harmless question, but is also an attempt to gain the trust of the customer by sounding friendly.
  2. Typically, the customer now either, states their purpose of visit, or asks the salesperson to leave. In either case, the salesperson tries to persuade the customer into making a purchase, without sounding aggressive. In the latter case, it takes an extra step to win the customer’s confidence.
  3. Once this is done, the next step would involve displaying the different shirts available, classifying them based on the design, colour, price etc.
  4. Once the customer has made a choice, the salesperson drops a subtle hint that a pair of trousers would complement the shirt well. Depending upon how much this suggestion appeals to the customer, yet another sale may or may not be made.

At the end of the day, it is the tactfulness of the salesperson that is effective. The trick is to attempt to make a sale, without looking like you are doing so. Salespersons throughout the world use this approach to their advantage, irrespective of the product that they are attempting to sell. More often than not, it works.

The reason?

Ultimately everybody wants to buy. This may be because buying something, brings with it a sense of ownership, one that everyone desires. It is only when they feel they are being coaxed into buying something, that they decide not to buy, which would then be an example of failed salesmanship.

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

You can substitute the garment store example with any other shop, and the logic would be completely applicable there as well. This is because universally, people like to buy things, and salespersons have the same task.

  • Let us now take into consideration a situation wherein a salesperson approaches a prospective customer first, rather than the other way round. Here lies a bigger challenge for the salesperson.
  • Now they have to explain why they are there in the first place, and how they can help the buyer to save time, and money when they buys from them. For this, they will have to draw a comparison with rival products to highlight the benefits of choosing the product they are trying to sell, over the rest. From the point of view of the customer, the salesperson is seen as a nuisance because they are an unwanted visitor. However, if the salesperson does succeed in making a sale, they are seen as a saviour in the eyes of the buyer. While a buyer may resist the process of being sold to, if the salesperson does succeed in convincing them to buy the product, both the customer and salesperson are satisfied.

The challenge that a salesperson faces is this — to win the trust of a prospective customer by showing himself to be a person who is here to help, rather than to make a sale.

Thus, to sum it all up, everybody does in fact love to buy, but wouldn’t be willing to admit it. It is the task of a salesperson to make the most of the opportunity that presents itself in the form of a potential customer and convince them that they are making the right decision to buy that particular product.

The key is to exploit a person’s love to buy something, without his knowing it. Doesn’t sound that simple now, does it? That is why, salespersons deserve immense respect.

We at Aidapp, strive hard to deliver the best experience of the job for the salespersons by letting them track their goals, with the help of
Saledrive — Sales Management.


At Aidapp, we are building products that simplify living.

Shivansh A.S

Written by



At Aidapp, we are building products that simplify living. We design technology to be really enjoyable to use - and get work done.

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