Do you like horror movies?  Some people do, I don’t.  The goal of a horror movie is to scare and keep you from feeling safe and comfortable.  Various scare tactics with music, visuals and suspense are used to drive the fight or flight response and leave us feeling a little creeped out and unsettled.  Not a place most of us want to be for very long.


So why would sales strategies focused on scaring people stick around for decades?  I thought these were dead and gone.  But I was wrong – some people are  still preaching that sales professionals should use the economy and recession effect to scare prospects into buying!

A competitor had an awesome sounding webinar this week on selling in these times. And a couple of people who participated thought it was GREAT information and helpful. But a client of mine said something just wasn’t sitting well with her.  That an underlying message in the lecture is that, in this economy, we need to scare our customers to increase their sense of urgency…and force them into buying now.

What??!  Scare our customers?  Isn’t that the “old” way of selling?  That we need to dig  until we find pain, help them feel the pain, and then “create’ the need for what we do?  Does this work?  For some people yes, but I don’t think most sales professionals are comfortable with that approach.

Long-term success in selling comes from building strong customer loyalties when we help people discover their needs by asking them great questions and exploring WITH them the impact of their situation and what they can do to remedy it.   At its’ essence this is similar to the “find the pain” philosophy in that we are finding gaps in something…yet a focus on collaborating and working with our prospects is more professional and comfortable for most sales pros.

By following a methodical process in our selling, we move the discussion through finding the gaps directly into how we can help.  We do discuss impact – both positive and negative.  But our approach to “scaring” or “helping” makes a difference!  We can professionally increase the sense of urgency to action without “scaring” them.

People have enough real fears these days and if we aren’t selling something that truly saves their life, we should leave the scare tactics to the film industry.

Contact Nancy Bleeke if you need to increase your sales.

Need ideas on how to effectively sell in this economy?  Get your FREE ebook, Recession Proof Your Sales when you sign up for The Sales Pro Insider Timely Tips ezine!  Click here to sign up now.  Promise:  No scare tactics included in the tips!