8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Reasons Why Persuasive Sales Tactics Don’t Always Work

Here are three reasons why persuasive sales tactics don’t always work in business.

Rhys Metler


Some old-school sales people will tell you that they swear by persuasive sales tactics but this more aggressive way to sell isn’t always effective—and it can even be downright destructive. There’s a fine line between persuasion and manipulation, and if you cross that line, your buyer will see right through it—you won’t get the sale and you might lose the customer, too. Here are three reasons why persuasive sales tactics don’t always work in business.

Buyer Control

Persuasive sales tactics used to work in the past when sellers had more power in the buying process. But a shift has occurred thanks to technology and now the buyer has more control over the entire process—from researching to decision making.

Buyers aren’t easily persuaded anymore, which means that sale people have had to start coming up with new, more innovative, and softer selling techniques. Persuasive selling tactics make it clear to the buyers that you’re trying to take back control, and if they feel pressured or backed into a corner, they might choose to do business with your competitors instead. No one wants to feel pressured into purchasing something when they’re not quite ready to make the decision yet. Buyers want to remain in control of their own decision making process, and it’s your job as a sales person to work around this when selling.

Damaging Relationships

Persuasive sales tactics are often too blunt and obvious. The buyers, who are now more informed and knowledgeable, can see right past the ruse. They know that you’re clearly trying to convince them to purchase something by any means necessary, and they don’t take kindly to it.

Today, sales methods need to be based on relationship building and trust. The second you try to use persuasive sales tactics you can start to lose the buyers’ trust. And if you’ve already spent time building that relationship from the start, you’re unravelling all your hard work—meaning that you’ve wasted a lot of time to get to this point just to end up damaging the relationship when it came time to close the deal.

In today’s market, the seller-buyer relationship is key, and it’s not something you want to risk messing up just to make the sale. Give them time to trust and like you, and you’ll have a stronger relationship because of it, and still be able to close the deal in the end. Nurture the relationship—don’t damage it with persuasive sales tactics.

Buyer’s Regret

If you used persuasive sales tactics and got the sale, you might think that the whole process was successful. However, this might not be the case. Your client may have come down with a case of buyer’s regret after the purchase. If a client isn’t 100% sure he wants to purchase what you’re offering and you persuade him to do it anyway, it can backfire on you in the future. He might not want to do business with you later on when more buying needs come up because he might feel cheated and manipulated. He’ll feel uneasy about working with you again and can end up choosing your competitor. This is obviously the last thing you want to happen. Once you’ve made a sale, you want to be able to keep that buyer happy and loyal so he becomes a repeat customer. Persuasive sales tactics can ruin this for you, so it’s often best to choose softer selling techniques.

Tread Lightly

Clearly, persuasive sales tactics aren’t always the most appropriate selling methods to use. As a sales person, you want to close the deal no matter what in order to get your commission, but if you’re using persuasive sales tactics you need to tread lightly or risk losing it all. Sometimes, the risk isn’t worth the sale.  

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.