7 Misconceptions of Lower Third Salespeople

Does the salesperson misunderstand the nature of selling?

Question to ask: "How would you describe the selling process?"

The challenge you are addressing: Under performing sales people don't want to come across to prospective buyers as "pushy".  

What you are looking for in the salesperson's response to the question above is an indication that selling is "pushing" prospects to do something they really don't want to do. 

Your salespeople probably won't come out and say that. 

The first reason is that you are their boss and they are certain you don't want to hear an brutally honest confession like, 

"I think our products/services cost waaay too much money."

Or, "Our top salespeople must sell a lot because they are pushy and too aggressive. I don't want to be that kind of person."

The second reason is that they would essentially be admitting they are making a living convincing people to do what they really don't want to do. 

And that would not be a fun confession. 

Instead, your Lower Third producers may give you indirect clues about how they feel about the selling profession, saying things like, 

"I am good at giving customer service."

"I do my best to answer their questions.   Then I let them decide what is best for them."

"I don't want to come across as a pushy."   

When you frequently hear the underlined phrases above... they indicate the Lower Third salesperson's misconceptions about the nature of selling. 

The solution:  To address this misconception, let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture... 

As a sales manager or business owner, it is important for you to remember that selling is an emotional activity. 

Selling is not like working on the line at a factory where an employee can basically perform the same quality work regardless of whether he or she is tired, upset, distracted, or feeling sick.
When selling, those distractions have a very real affect upon the 

  • salesperson's performance
  • the prospective buyer's response
  • the subsequent sales results.

This misconception, that a salesperson must be pushy to succeed, addresses a deep-seated selling objection. A selling objection is not a mental objection. It is an emotional objection.  

Imagine that.  We all know prospects have buying objections that stop them from buying.  But few sales managers seems to consider that many of their Lower Third salespeople have selling objections that stop them from selling!  

The 7 misconceptions in this training series that introduce my sales consulting services address 7 selling objections often held by Lower Third salespeople.  


When you hear your salespeople frequently say they don't want to be pushy, that is a clue that they are probably dealing with this particular selling objection.

Words like "pushy" indicate a salesperson is not comfortable asking prospects to take action.  Any action. 

Why?  Because in their deepest emotions, they feel believe asking others to do something "for them" is 

a) impolite. It's not polite to ask people to do things for your benefit. 

b) selfish. It is selfish to ask another person to do something for your benefit.  

When you broach this topic, your salesperson may initially resist the idea that they are dealing with these deep seated beliefs. As their sales manager or business owner it may take some finesse on your part  to discuss this topic it in a manner that your salesperson feels safe to candidly express his or her beliefs. 

Here are some suggestions for initiating transparency:

 1) Acknowledge that most people, whether in sales or not, do not want to be pushy. 

- Yes, there are some people in the sales industry who are unpleasantly pushy.  

- And yes, that is not the type of salespeople you want on your sales team.  

Your task is to help them past the false belief that every salesperson must choose to pushy and succeed in sales or be "nice" and remain in the Lower Third. It is a false choice.  

2) A lot of sales people feel the same way. Whether they are just starting out in sales or they been involved in sales for a very long time.  

3) Let them know that you're glad to be discussing this topic. That it is an important conversation that directly affects their income and professional satisfaction.  

4) Discover if your salesperson feels uncomfortable with every aspect of selling. Do they think every part of selling is being pushy or if there's just certain parts of their sales work that they find pushy? 

For example, some sales people feel very comfortable asking people to buy goods or services that they absolutely need to have at that moment. Their air-conditioner breaks. Their license needs renewal. 

But yet on services that are preventative or optional, those same salespeople are much less comfortable in asking prospects to buy.  

A discovery question I frequently ask is how a salesperson become involved in the sales profession

And oftentimes in those stories you discover clues about how they really feel about selling. 

What is the solution for a sales person with Misconception #1? 

In open back-and-forth conversation, discuss questions that help them look at this misconception in new ways. Two questions I frequently ask are:

1) Can you make prospects buy products and services they really don't want? 

Even if a sales person could somehow strong arm someone into buying something they really didn't want, this age of right-of-rescission allows buyers to change their mind later.  

2) Would you meet with a salesperson about a product or service that you have no interest in buying?  

Would you pick up the phone and call a company about a product or service you have no interest in buying? 

Most salespeople will say they will not spend the time to listen to a pitch no matter how good of a deal it is, if they are not even remotely interested in buying that product or service. 

The bottom line:  you to hear your salesperson agree that prospects have some level of interest that is leading them to give a few minutes of their time to learn more from the salesperson. Asking prospects to give them better quality information is not pushy, it is the vehicle for more fully serving the prospect's needs.    

One final point

When mentoring underperforming salespeople who are hesitant to "push" prospects to make a buying decision, remind them of the two basic tasks of a salesperson:

1) Present the products / services in clear, persuasive manner. Most salespeople are okay with this task.  

2) Help prospective buyers make decisions. 

 Some buyers have difficulties making any decision.  

Often prospects say they want to think about it, not because the presentation wasn't persuasive, but because they have difficulty making any decision!  

The answer lies in asking confirmation questions, as explained at the end of this article:  

Special Training: The Circle of Persuasion

This extended report provides a detailed overview of the world's only complete persuasion model,