Is Pharrell Williams' Suggestive Close Off Limits?

“Popstar adopts salesman line”. Quite a headline.

And who is the biggest popstar on the planet right at this moment?

It could well be Pharrell Williams.

There cannot be a soul untouched by his mega Happy anthem. Save for some despicable Iranian mullahs.

His recent song sales are record-breaking (such as these in England).

But there is a backlash. It surrounds the lyric, ‘I know you want it‘. From another of his recent huge hits, Blurred Lines.

He was pushed on this by news rottweiler Krishnan Guru-Murphy this week. His response;

“Is it sexually suggestive when a car salesman says to a person who is trying to buy a car ‘I know you want it’?”

“If a good woman can have sexual thoughts is it wrong for a man to guess that a woman might want something?”

Well. The world has spoken. And it all appears damning.

Clearly in social situations, such ‘encouragement’ is considered inappropriate. The adjective the internet favours is “rapey”.

What about in Sales scenarios?

Well, it’s a type of Assumptive Close. And a stalwart of the old-school. But does that mean its time has passed?

In many ways, such a close is seen to bring a procrastinating prospect to finally commit. Then there’s the view that if you’ve reached this stage then you’ve blown it somewhere. After all, ‘don’t all prospect’s close themselves if you’ve done your job properly?’, I can hear the modern school strut?

In addition, as probably goes without saying, Pharrell’s supposed angle of ‘flirty’ is in the same boat as humour. Worse even. Such a sales attitude that can have catastrophic impact it is often best left well alone.

As you can also tell from Pharrell’s online hammering, it’s all in the context.

Anything pressured with a degree of menace emerging beyond that of a cheeky grin is a no-no.

Also, arrogance is seldom attractive to a buyer. If ever.

And when your approach is patently thinking more from your own viewpoint, rather than that of your prospect, you should be run out the building.

Each of these three are dangers of a mistimed or misinterpreted deployment of Pharrell’s derided as misogynist phrase.

The Assumptive Close though does have a place in today’s Sale.

Especially when uncovering a prospect’s true feelings, or working out with someone like a ‘champion’ how to get over the line.

I can easily recall how turning the statement into a question can further your sale too.

Remember to use with absolute respect, with equals and before all might be lost.

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