Is manipulation necessary in sales?

Clint Hansen

Manipulative persuasion techniques in sales are an expression of weakness. In essence, the salesperson turns to violence because, in reality, the customer does not want his service or product. Or he has no idea how to convey the benefits to an uncomprehending and stubborn customer. When it comes to small, one-off transactions, deceptive tricks can still be tolerated. But the potential of most business relationships unfolds over the long term. So to manipulate the customer today is to shoot yourself in the foot. After all, one never forgives violence.

Unless the salesperson is a fool or a psychopath, there is only one good reason to cut off his future cash flow — extreme impatience. That is, the seller is under intense pressure from outside (boss, mortgage, loss) and/or inside (greed, fear). Even if there are other ways to close the deal, in this state, the seller will dismiss them if there is no guarantee of getting the money now. It’s understandable why books and courses on tough negotiations, the use of NLP and hypnosis in sales are so popular. The higher the level of desperation, the more likely it is that the person will bite on the promise: “Do this and you will get results”. It is like being seduced by a drug: ‘This powder contains heavenly pleasure. The consequences? Don’t think about them.

Nothing will change for the better as long as the salesperson is impatient. You must change your attitude to despair so that its jaws open. The resulting gap will allow you to ask yourself and find the answer to the question: “For what?”. By drawing strength from the meaning, it becomes possible to learn an alternative way of selling anything to anyone. It is not difficult, but it requires a quality that has been in short supply — patience. First of all, patience for yourself, and then patience for the client. But the reward is worth the effort. Now you no longer have to convince anyone. Sales happen on their own, in the course of a conversation with the customer. What’s more, customers voluntarily and willingly tell you what their needs are and tell you how to change your product features, distribution or price. All you need to do is forget yourself for a moment, genuinely want to understand your customers and ask the right questions.

Yours sincerely,


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As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.