GIVE-AWAY, SELL…OR BUY?!! – the importance of managing expectations

I am often asked; “How much should you be prepared to give away before you start charging for goods and services?”  In a nutshell, my advice is always:

“ Give until they get it”

In other words, give them small pieces, sufficient for them to get the point; for them to appreciate the value you offer, to understand your business, and the advantage they will gain from working with you. It is also important to manage expectations.  Agree the point when you need to start charging and make sure they understand the mutual commitment between you; you provide them with something they value and they pay you for the benefits this brings.  Don’t forget, you are in business; you are there to make money, to make a profit.

This whole concept was turned somewhat on its head last week when I had a call from the Business Growth Show. Was I interested in speaking at the next show in Swindon in July?  I always enjoy speaking and it’s great to impart some wit and wisdom relating to sales.  We talked of the date, the content (he felt it should be in some depth….and then he said,                                  “oh, by the way, there is a charge related to this”                                          Apparently, previous delegates had been disappointed with some speakers and felt they had not received good value.  The clear and obvious solution would be for them to find better speakers.  But BGS in their wisdom, had decided to charge the speakers £500+VAT for the privilege of giving away, ‘in depth’ valuable insight, for the benefit of their delegates!!  To me this is a strange way of securing a higher calibre of speaker. I have heard that a speaking opportunity can be offered as part of an exhibiting package, but never before have I heard of charging the speaker to give away their expertise!   I declined, politely.

In summary, whenever you make a sales pitch or presentation;

  • Be clear in what you are offering
  • Manage expectations on both sides
  • Be prepared to give, up to a pre-agreed point
  • Then sell

Unless you manage expectations in this way, you may well experience embarrassment or even a ‘nasty surprise’ further along the sales process.  You may even lose the business.


Salient Ethical Sales – no pressure!

Are you fed up with ‘pressure selling’ and ‘pushy salesmen’?  

Having witnessed yet another example of this the other day I decided that Salient must now take a stand on this.  I have been promoting ethical sales since I started the company in 2007, but have never really shouted about this aspect.

Sadly, pressure selling techniques are still rife.  There are many ways of adding spin and pressure to a pitch and I am sure you have all experienced the common ones:

“This offer is only available today.”  

“Normally sold at £1000, but yours for £97” (!)

“Everyone is buying this, do you want to miss out?”

‘Pressure selling’ is often confrontational, manipulative, pressured, spin-focussed and pushy.  This is less likely to engender trust, or develop an honest and productive relationship.  If you felt you had been pressured or manipulated into buying, would you want to use that supplier again?  Would you trust them?  Selling does not have to be like this.  Salient Ethical Selling uses simple techniques which rely on an open and supportive approach.  This will ALWAYS win more loyalty, more customers and more business.

WHAT IS ETHICAL SALES?  –  it is a sales ethos focussing on:

  • an honest and open approach
  • clarity and straight-talking
  • trust and mutual support
  • relationship development
  • being that bit better than the rest

How is Ethical Sales different?

‘Ethical Sales’ is about fulfilling the need of the buyer first, then the seller.

This approach has proved to be far more effective in:

  • Developing productive business relationships
  • Fostering trust and growing loyalty
  • Achieving ‘preferred/best/ideal supplier’ status
  • Winning EVERY opportunity
  • Receiving referrals, testimonials and recommendations

“In all the years I’ve known Andy and Salient I have been impressed by his absolute consistency in his determination to operate and promote an integrated and ethical approach to doing business.  I have used his ideas and found them to be effective and profitable; they work.”     Andrew Hudson, Marketing Manager, Envitec Ltd.

“In my business, building a trusting relationship is vital, without an ethical sales approach, I’d fail”.   George Seward, Owner, Corporate Mergers Ltd

With ETHICAL SALES – it’s winning all round:

THEY WIN a trustworthy and honest supplier, and…

YOU WIN their respect, their trust, their loyalty, and their continuing business.

Salient is holding Ethical Sales Training days starting in January 2014.  If you would like to find out more or book your place, talk to Andy on 01793 843118 or 07941 041364, or email