The Psychology of Selling

Being from the United States, one becomes use to the constant “push” for sales.  Car dealers are notorious for the dreaded “push” sale.  Lots of tricks to get you to buy a car.  They “hold” your keys for appraisal and don’t let you leave – I had that happen to me at a Tom Wood Volkswagen dealership in Indianapolis.  I not only left mad, but I told many other people about how ridiculous it was I had to be put through this as a customer.

Years ago, I had training from the Sandler Sales Institute that made a lot of sense.  I remember first understanding that customers don’t trust salespeople (because they lie) during the sales training.  The Sandler system was set up to not make you look like a salesperson.  The aim was to build trust.

Since, I have learned the 95 Method.  The Method helps eliminate failure demand (demand caused by a failure to do something or do something right for a customer).  Bad service in the form of failure demand helps undermine trust in the eyes of a customer.  Try selling to a customer that has an outstanding issue can only make them mad.  Overselling to a customer creates failure demand when they discover that they don’t need to overpay for a service that is too much for their needs or budget.  This is all “push.”  “Push” too often leads to failure demand.  Sales organizations with revenue shortfalls often rely on more “push” to hit revenue targets which in turn creates more waste in failure demand.

There are many reasons for failure demand in service organizations, standardization and “push” selling are only two.  The only way to learn what causes failure demand is to study your organization as a system.  The 95 Method does this (we offer a free download at or even on this blog).  No matter what the cause of failure demand, it is a barrier to greater sales.

The elimination of failure demand removes the barrier and gives customers the opportunity to “pull” for products and services.  All customers like to buy, very few like to be coerced through “push” methods.  Service organizations can build trust with their customers and that is the real winning psychology of selling.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for  Learn more about the 95 Method for service organizations.  Reach him on Twitter at LinkedIn at

Share This: