This just in: The hard sell doesn’t work.

This just in: The hard sell doesn’t work.

At least, not all that often, and it leaves both sides feeling not so great.

“Nobody wants to be a pushy salesperson,” Michael Montague, an associate of Sandler Training in Riverside, said Tuesday during a “How to Sell in Blue Springs” seminar sponsored by the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce.

A better approach, he said, is based on credibility, reliability and intimacy as opposed to the “always be closing” school of thought. Open and honest communication is the key, he said. And sometimes it’s important to just to get out of the way, as a good waiter would, not telling the diner what she wants but offering good service and maybe a suggestion or two.

“But they’re really not part of the dining experience,” he said.

Montague does a variety of business seminars, and Tuesday gave him a chance to highlight some of the ideas that Sandler Training, which has been around for decades, offers its clients. Much of what he had to say was grounded in the simple idea of saving time, which serves both seller and prospect: Some people like small talk, and some – including a lot of CEOs and other high-level decision-makers – don’t. Some people need to see the whole formal half-hour sales presentation, but does everyone?

In the end, buying is generally rooted in emotion more than a product’s features or benefits, and we usually like to buy from people we like. Everyone will claim to have the best value and the best service, so what can separate you from the rest of the field is building connections and building trust. The encouraging note is that plugging away and just being successful perhaps once more per 20 tries is enough to set yourself apart.

And remember: New ideas aren’t embraced and implemented instantly.

“When you’re changing anything, it takes time,” he said.

Montague is at 816-505-2500 and www.EffectiveSales.net.