5 Reasons Convincing Doesn’t Work in Sales

Saleswomen out there, when was the last time you watched a Jim Carey or Adam Sandler movie because your husband “convinced” you that it would be good? Guys, when was the last time you watched The Real Housewives of Orange County because your girlfriend said it was qualityImage for 5 Reasons Convincing Doesn’t Work in Sales of the words "No" and "Convince Me" TV? How about never?

When was the last time your friend swayed you to appreciate & embrace her political views by espousing virtue after virtue of a politician that you can’t stand? How often do you cave in & buy the windows, or exterior paint, or lawn fertilizer, or the new roof, or magazine subscriptions that the door-to-door salespeople are selling (despite the NO SOLICITING sign that they practically trip over to get to your front door)? Uh, zero times.

Why is that?

Could it be that convincing doesn’t work? It doesn’t work in your personal life & it certainly doesn’t work in sales. But they keep trying. And trying.

Think about our culture, our society. We are living in a time when most people will fight you just to spite you. They will disagree with you for the sport of it. If it’s not their idea, it’s not a good idea. How many times do you say, “it’s a nice day outside”, & at least one person in your office says it’s cloudy, or too cold, or not as nice as yesterday? It’s our culture. People are dying to get their needs met — to be right. It stinks, but we can’t do a thing about it.

Instead, why don’t you play to it. Play to their tendencies & expect them to disagree. Psychiatrists have been doing it for years – it’s how they gather all the information on their patients. Child psychology is a picture-perfect example of this. Child psychology doesn’t suggest that you convince. As a matter of fact, child psychology suggests that you go the opposite direction (on purpose) & have the child come to your way of thinking.

If you think these tendencies & motivations end when you exit childhood, you are wrong. You know what happens when you try to “convince” people to your way of thinking. They fight you. This is what has helped make reality TV so popular – that’s all they do on most reality TV shows (disagree, fight, bad-mouth, stab each other in the back — now that’s entertainment!)

If you want to be successful in sales stop convincing. Go the opposite. Take it away from them. Pull back. Look at convincing in the same way you look at pushing a rope uphill — won’t work. Take it away & pull back — like pulling a rope down-hill — that’s easy.

5 Reasons Convincing Doesn’t Work in Sales 


  1. Most people (especially in sales) will fight you just to spite you (for the sport of it)
  2. Convincing is hard. Takes too much work. Too many facts. Too much talking (like pushing a rope uphill)
  3. When you convince you are probably saying the exact same thing all your competitors are saying (where’s the value in that?)
  4. Convincing makes it all about you. Selling should be all about the prospect or customer
  5. Think about it… do you like it when people try to convince you to do things? (didn’t think so)

Enough of this, there’s gotta be a good Adam Sandler or Jim Carey movie on!

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Dave Tear

Dave is passionate about selling & helping others understand the sales process. Whether a client company has a 5 person sales team or a 300 person National sales force, Dave can Coach & Train them to be the best in their industry.
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