Don’t Throw Up On Your Customer


oversellingSales people, especially those who are super excited about whatever they are selling, or maybe they are just really trying to make their numbers quota, sometimes tend to throw up on their customers. What I mean is they tend oversell the customer by rambling about the product and service and subsequently lose the sale. Overselling can be just as detrimental to a sale as underselling can be.

Overselling is essentially pitching a customer on a product or service until they don’t want it anymore, or attempting to sell a customer something that is far beyond their needs and wants. If the customer doesn’t understand the intricate specs (i.e. pixels, megabytes, memory, ram, etc.), and you continue to spew these numbers out, you are throwing up on your customer in a figurative sense of the phrase.


  • Computer Sales: A customer comes into your retail location looking for simple computer to use for general internet searches, to use MS Office, and general tasks. Overselling the customer would be to sell them a computer with an expansive video card, sound card, and memory that would support heavy gaming and video streaming. This isn’t what the customer is asking for. Letting the customer know that there are more enhanced computers available if he chose to start using it for gaming, video streaming, etc. would be a good option, but let the customer choose what he wants to do with what he’s purchasing.
  • Fashion Sales: A customer comes into your retail location looking for a simple black dress for a cocktail party. Overselling the customer would be to sell her a dress that has sequins and is far too flashy for the event she described, thus making her overdressed for the party. Letting her know that you carry other, more elegant dresses if she has a more formal event to attend would be a good idea.
  • Wireless Sales: A customer comes into your retail location looking for a basic cell phone – one that he can make phone calls and send a few text messages on, he isn’t looking for internet or email capabilities. Overselling the customer would be to start talking about the pixels of the camera on the newest, latest, and greatest phone that just came out, along with the memory capabilities, the number of apps he can download, and how fast the device is on that particular network. FYI – if you do this, the customer will likely leave and not purchase anything at all. Now, mentioning that there are phones that have additional capabilities, such as email, internet and application access, etc. would be appropriate to see if the customer would be interested in it, but certainly do not go on and on about it.

Do you see what I did in all of these examples? In each example the customer is looking for something more basic than the biggest, hottest item I might carry; however, in each instance I would mention that I carry those items for their future reference. The customer will be much more likely to come back if you let them know what other options you do have, but don’t try to push those items on them. Customers really don’t like the sale-y sales person. They want to come to the conclusion about what they want to purchase on their own…with your help.

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