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Is it ok to manipulate clients for their own good?

I recently had a conversation with an assertive young rep about the use of pressure and manipulation to “help” clients.  The comment he made that made me pause was this:

“I don’t mind using mind tricks and a little pressure to get clients to close because I know how happy they will be once they buy our solution.”

Manipulation for Good?

So let me rephrase this just a bit, because the thinking seems to be this:  Clients are happier after they have made a decision, so manipulating or pressuring the client into a purchase is actually for their own good.

Does The End Justify The Means?

I’m sure you recognize this as the-end-justifies-the-means thinking, and I’m sure it makes for great rationalization among some salespeople. But, as it turns out, it is wrong.

How satisfied people are with their decisions after they make them while under pressure happens to be an area well studied by social scientists. The studies show that the vast majority of people are very much less satisfied with the decisions they make under pressure.

Caution Manipulation Ahead

This happens to be especially true with purchasing decisions and can have some serious negative ramifications to your after-the-sale relationships and long-term success with clients.  I have seen clients who were manipulated into purchasing become tyrannical high-maintenance clients that could never be made happy and everyone prayed would go away.

You don’t want this.  Probably the biggest shortcut in selling is simply to do a excellent job for clients and have those clients be your advocate to get more clients.  Manipulating clients into closure destroys all hope of leveraging them for future business and referral business.

Don’t do it.

Closing Tip:  If you want to avoid buyer remorse, cancellations and left-field complaints after the sale I recommend you avoid any form manipulation when closing.


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