Should You Hide Your Intent To Sell?

by Paul Castain on August 8, 2013

Perhaps it’s the New York in me, but I prefer a straight shooter.

If you’re contacting me because you need help, want to sell me something etc, tell me that but don’t hide the true intent of your message by dressing it up with diversionary tactics like . . .

Sending me an email asking me if I know of any sales reps looking for an opportunity and in the same breath asking me if we can jump on a Webex detailing the opportunity that I could get in at an insane price.

Sending me a LinkedIn invite, telling me you’re a fan and by the way, could I write a review for your new book.

Thanking me for my Sales Playbook group and just happening to mention that you have a community and would appreciate it if I could help spread the word.

Leaving a voice mail that expresses interest in my services and when I call back the “interest” was really in selling me your service.

I could go on and on but all of these share a common flaw . . .

They’re shallow, deceptive and . . .

I (like you) run away, really fast, from people like that.


For starters, it’s insulting.

Insulting that someone would try to fool you into thinking that thank you, that invite, that compliment etc wasn’t really a desperate attempt to sell you something.

Here’s a better idea . . .

Be upfront and don’t diminish the value of gratitude, compliments etc on a blatant “sales pitch” or better yet;

Build your army BEFORE you need it.

If you’ve taken the time to show up and nurture your network, you will never have to result to diversionary selling tactics.

As a bonus, they will trip over themselves to help you . . .

Because you’ve already helped them, upfront, and without strings attached.

Your turn . . .

Have you ever been the victim of “diversionary selling” tactics, and what are your overall feelings about what I just shared?

FYI . . .

I just announced the dates for our September online sales course and . . .

I even included a very cool early registration deal where you will get $50 off and a free bonus session.

But just like all good things . . . I’m only offering it for a short time. It ends this Monday, August 12th so click here for more info and to get your bonuses!

  • Ted O.

    I get these annual calls from the business school I graduated from to “update my information for the alumni directory” that always end in asking for another donation. It seems its always a bubbly young coed that engages as “how are things going” and i know the request is coming. Since it is my alma mater, if I’m in the mood for a chat, I am polite otherwise I cut them off pretty quickly.

  • paulcastain

    Great point Ted!

    I just went through a similar thing with my son’s university.

    They posed the call as a “How are things going with your son?” call. Even gave me a few ideas to make his experience even better and then asked me for a donation.
    Thanks Ted!

  • Larry Edwards

    Paul, again as always, I agree with you on this one.
    I can always tell when someone isn’t really listening to what I am saying because I know they are up to something and are either afraid to tell me why they called or why they called or why they want to meet with me. It is quite frankly an insult to my intelligence and the red defense light comes on and tells me if they are using this tactic on me, what else will try next. The chances for trusting them just went out the window.
    When I call for an appointment with a new prospect, I will give them my 30 second commercial and then tell them I have done a little bit of research on the company and feel we could add value to help them grow their business. I will usually also tell them I value their time and when we meet I will be organized and direct in order to find out if there is a fit as well as find out if I missed something when do my research about their company. You might also tell them, I can usually determine within 10 to 15 minutes if we are a fit.

  • Maria

    Ok then. I have a question. But background first. Every day i sell furniture and it works great for me. But i took a summer job and I sell Trips around my Home town Cracow so I need to be aproching tourists with a trip offer. There are many ways to ask about it but none of them seems to be working as I would like it to. Do you have any pointers that could help on field like that?

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