Sales Training – The No Pressure Sales Technique

sales-training-low-pressureCompanies spend lots of money on sales training programs to sell more products. They’re constantly pushing – that’s the sales business- and it’s great! Yet, have you ever walked into a big-ticket store only to be confronted with an overanxious or inexperienced salesperson? It’s uncomfortable. How do sales professionals sell without being overbearing?

Depending on the environment, the best sales techniques stem from a no/low pressure methodology. For example, in furniture sales, when a customer walks in, approach them stopping several feet away, to avoid invading their personal space, smile broadly and say something like this:

Hello, welcome to ABC Furniture Co. My name is Joe. Please feel free to look around all you want. If I can provide any assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Then turn away slowly and WALK AWAY. While this would get you fired if you were selling cars, it’s very effective in many retail settings – and often enforced through rigorous sales training. By speaking courteously and respecting their privacy and space, you’ve created a safe environment. Many buyers are on their guard against high-pressure sales people and will brush them off with “just looking, thanks.” You gain a great deal by letting customers browse. First, the customer is more likely to come back to you when they’re ready to buy if they haven’t been pressured. Second, you haven’t wasted time on browsers with no intention to buy.

If a customer is interested in one of your products, they’ll hone in on it (read their body language – it speaks volumes). At this point, you can casually approach and ask an involvement question. An involvement question is any question the customer would ask themselves about the benefits of a product after purchasing it. Example:

Would this living room set replace your old one or is it going to be an additional set?

You can adapt this question to almost any product or service. Once you get them talking about why they want what you’re selling, you can then begin to qualify them and start your closing sequence. Sales professionals lead the customer with well-thought involvement questions and set up the close.

What sales training methods work best in your sales environment?



  1. mike Armstrong says:

    Definitely letting the prospect know you are there to help them if they need it and not to follow them around is the way to go. Giving them a welcome that offers a choice between assistance or browsing has truly helped me in gaining a customers confidence. I always give them space and then when they are showing interest towards something I come back with a re approach asking if they are moving or replacing furniture. That way they can’t hit me back with a yes or no answer. Once I get the conversation going I try to steer away from the topic of furniture. It’s really neat because I truly enjoy selling and helping, and aside from telling a customer ” look I really want to help you and I’m not trying to bait you” this gets me to the comfort level of just being myself and the customer opens up. Good luck!

  2. Sales Grail Team says:

    Thanks for your thoughts and sales tips, Mike!

  3. I work in a store with over 100 sales people on the floor. If I walk away after the greeting, by the time I go to reapproach, another salesman would surely have already engaged my customer, and by the rules of our store, they are now THEIR customer. What can I do without following them around, in my situation? We are not allowed to hand out business cards until after the sale, or until they’re leaving.

  4. Sales Grail Team says:

    Hi James –

    Thanks for your comment and your question. Are you suggesting that the sales system in place does not balance out? In other words, if you greet someone on the floor who isn’t quite ready to buy, but then another sales person closes them, doesn’t the same thing happen for you? What does your manager have to say? Readers – please respond as well!


  5. James is right on this. In some of our sales environments, the floor is open and almost always flooded. If the customer I approach chooses to browse away from me, I am almost guaranteed that a coworker or five is going to enter that space and try to make a sale. The manager looks the other way, he likes the numbers.

  6. Sales Grail Team says:

    Thanks, Lacey – I assume buyers will browse away from your co-workers as well, which would even things out, no? That said, what steps can you take to help others come back to you – to seek “you” out? How can you stand out as the “go to” on the floor?

  7. Christopher says:

    Lacey and James are right. In situations like this, unfortunately “the System” is against you and there is no way to win. You simply have to play the game. It sucks. The hungriest and most aggressive sales people, and those that will resort to almost anything to win, are sure to be the overall winners.

    Most sales strategies are not devised to deal with this situation. The sales strategy, you see, is from the company’s standpoint. This situation works perfectly well for them. It lowers their HR costs which can be a big drain on the bottom line.

    A salesperson will say, “Well, a good salesperson won’t stay in this environment. Turnover will be higher and it’s actually worse for the company.”

    No. No it’s not. If it was, they wouldn’t have it.
    The company doesn’t care about you, and they don’t believe that treating you better will result in more profit for them. You cannot change the system.
    Try to learn how to be happy in the present system. Look for alternate opportunities if you have to, but you will find the same incentive system working against you almost everywhere. Learn to make the best of it. Peace of mind is important and lack of it will drain your sales energy.
    All the best!

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