Sales through Service 24- Frustration of Buyers and Sellers


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 Part 23 in a series of articles from Sales through Service: How to make customers want to buy again and again and again (because you’re so ‘great’!) by Guy Arnold


Frustration of Buyers and Sellers

What is the problem with ‘traditional’ selling? 

  • Buyers so often feel fed up, poorly served and disengaged (so they lie, mislead and switch loyalty on price)
  • Sellers feel awkward and pushed to get certain results (so they lie, mislead and promote on price)

It’s the same problem!

Buyers actually like buying, and there’s nothing better than making a great sale and winning the loyalty and appreciation of a customer for life. 

So what goes wrong? Here’s a short proposal:

We are biologically hunter- gatherers. If we didn’t succeed, we would starve. Hunting and gathering was a matter of life or death. 

When it’s a matter of life or death, our brains are ruled by our ‘fight or flight mechanism’ (and we literally stop thinking effectively). We decide, according to habit, whether we are going to fight or run away from the perceived danger. 

Selling provokes the same primeval fears and responses: it’s very often perceived by our brains as a ‘danger’, so we stop thinking, stop making rational and helpful judgements, and instead use our primeval (often called the ‘lizard’) part of the brain: we go into ‘fight or flight’ at the speed of light. 


  • fight: by being pushy, using grim and hackneyed ‘sales tactics’, mislead and hoodwink to get the sale, or
  • flight: by giving in on price and terms in order to get the sale (and of course then struggle to meet these!)

Buyers retaliate to this dysfunctional behaviour by:

  • fight: being cagey, using avoiding tactics, misleading and lying, or
  • flight: saying ‘I’ll think about it’, then never returning calls and making lame excuses.

This is called a ‘lose/lose’ outcome where both parties get a poor outcome through an unpleasant experience.

This book teaches you how to get a ‘Win-win’ outcome where you will sell more at a fair and better margin, whilst at the same time gaining customer loyalty for life. 

Top Tip:

Constantly search for ways of systemising even the smallest of things in your business.

But remember: the customer will often still be playing by the old dysfunctional rules: you have to lead the way on this, no matter how difficult this may at first seem. There are some real habit changes needed, but you need to stick to your guns … you will succeed in the end … if you do the right things you can’t avoid it! 

Success is not down to luck or hard work: it’s down to effective systems, rigorously applied and continually improved: 

  • Did Apple gain superiority through luck and the Directors working their socks off?
  • Do Richer Sounds keep their fingers crossed and open 24/7?
  • Is Ritz Carlton the leading Hotel in the world through being lucky and working hard?
  • Did Wal Mart rise to prominence through luck?

Of course not! And neither should you. 

There are of course some individuals that get lucky (for example winning the lottery) or work hard all their lives and end up very well off financially (but what about personally?), but these are rare and unreliable. Playing the lottery is retirement planning for morons. 

It’s far better to apply an effective system that’s guaranteed to work, and apply it rigorously.

And what is ‘success’? 

‘There is no point in climbing the ladder of success only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall’- Stephen Covey. 

In the sales arena, is it better to make a sale in the short term at the expense of long term customer loyalty? Of course not, but when ‘success = money’, so often people (and more often senior managers in Organisations) throw common sense out of the window and go for short term ‘success’ today at the expense of real and long lasting ‘success’ today, tomorrow and forever.

Why: because it’s easier, it’s simple to measure, they haven’t thought it through … and they need to look good to stakeholders! 

Here are some examples:

  • Banks mis-selling payment protection Insurance and receiving a bill in excess of £12 billion
  • Abbot Laboratories mis-marketing their drug Depakote, and having to stump up $1.6 billion (yes, billion!) in consequence

Top Tip:

Know what ‘success’ REALLY means!

The examples are all around us every day … just read the papers!

So, know what success really means (for you), learn effective systems, apply them rigorously, keep developing and improving, and you will achieve success.


Next Time: The Power of Systems

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Arnold
Guy is the author of 'Great or Poor' ( ) … a simple and effective system for delivery of consistent and continually improving customer experiences, 'Go the Extra Inch' the effective way to empower your people, and 'Sales through Service' ( ) how to sell more through repeat business, referrals, round sales and reputation (the 4 R's). Guy helps Organisations large and small to systematically make more sales for lower costs, through 4 simple principles.


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