The Screwed Up letters – The Sales Prevention Officer – Part 2

Exchange of correspondence from a senior Sales Prevention Officer to a junior.

My dear Remora,

You seem to be settling in to your new role. Well done.

I note what you say in your last letter about guiding your client’s thinking and taking care that they see and read a good deal of quasi scientific psycho-babble about the science of making a purchase. But are you being a trifle naïve? Remember your role in this. It’s in your job title – Junior Sales Prevention Officer.

You seem to be saying that people make purchasing decisions based on logic or reason. And they should. That is what we have worked hard to make them think that. They think that if they do the right sort of analysis, accumulate the data, synthesise it and then use their logic appropriately, a sound purchasing decision will be made.

The reality is so far from that truth. They buy on emotions. They buy to feel better. It’s that simple. They use what they think are their higher faculties in making buying decisions, but deep down inside they just want to feel good after saying “Yes, we will buy that one”. If they don’t feel good it undermines their confidence for making the next purchase. We in Sales Prevention have a phrase for it – post purchase cognitive dissonance! Your job is to ensure their feelings about the purchase are downbeat thus over riding the logical decision making that would make them place the order.

Sales Prevention is easy if you obey the simple rule. Don’t build a relationship.

I recall an incident a few years back where I intervened to prevent a significant purchase. Their buying team had done due diligence on us and our competitors. They found that our after sales service was significantly better than the competition. Logically they should have gone with us. What could I do to stop them buying? Simple. I ensured no relationship bonds were created. I ensured that all correspondence with the prospective client lacked any relationship building qualities. It was impersonal, formal, cold, and brusque. We communicated effectively that winning their business made no difference to us whatever. Every step along the sales process was limited to the legal minimum or we just did not communicate. We delayed our response to questions. We ensured that they could not talk to us directly, citing internal meetings as being sufficient excuse not to take their calls. Eventually they got the message and bought from a competitor that excelled at building strong relationships. It was a lucky escape for us. I cannot imagine our Operations Manager reaction to here pristine manufacturing site being tarnished by actually making things.

So how might you Remora, as a Junior Sales Prevention Officer prevent or delay the decision-making process? Remember, you are there to fuddle the customer. They want relationships, so give them cold hard logic. Whatever else you do, make sure their emotional bonds with your company are weak, and that they feel bad when having dealings with your organisation. If all else fails, think about your own name – Remora. It means hindrance. Use that at every part of the sales prevention process.