Sales is not about Selling

Ask most people if they would like a career in sales and watch the horror creep through their very existence. Most likely their general perception is that we are ‘foot in the door’ product pushers. That we convince prospects to buy our product regardless if a genuine need exists or not. That we don’t mind taking the hard knocks to get what we want – sales commissions. That we are the ‘hired guns’ inside the organisation.

My life’s work as a sales leader has been to educate my teams that sales is never about selling. It is all to do with locating potential customers who have a genuine need of our product/service in their business. This is about saving our valuable sales time as it has with being professional by the way.

In my lead generation courses, I preach that the key to prospecting new customers is about sifting out those who may have a need over those who do not. Never waste valuable prospecting time on people who do not have a need or don’t understand the need. That is like trying to teach your cat to whistle – it only serves to annoy the cat and frustrate yourself terribly in the process. It is not what we are paid to do!

It is as simple as this; our role is not to sell. Our true remit is to identify people who have a problem that we can help them solve. Name a more fulfilling job role to have than to go meet new people, gain a full understanding of their problems and help them find real solutions to their current challenges? Welcome to the best job ever – this is Sales!

The next time you meet a new prospect, instead of doing the standard ‘show and tell’, open the conversation with ‘I am not wearing my sales hat today’. Spend your precious time in front of the prospect discussing their business and get a detailed understanding of their current pain-points or problems. Tease out with the prospect not only why these pain-points exist, but more importantly what negative impact(s) they are having on the business in terms of productivity, market position and of course on the bottom line – profitability. Then explore with them how the future would look like without these pains, what it would mean for them as people, how it would impact the future of the company, what would it do for their bottom line?

In a more complex sale cycle, take all this priceless information away so you prepare the best possible solution for the prospect based on your discussions. Make sure before you leave the meeting that you have qualified their budget, timelines and expectations. Agree the date, time and agenda for the next meeting, confirm all by email at the first opportunity. Most likely you are now already ahead of your competition. Your credibility with the prospect is high. You are in pole position to make the sale.

Don’t mistake me, if the opportunity presents itself to close the sale in one sitting – take it!!!

If all the above makes sense to you, why not call me today on 087 987 1311 to discuss this article in more detail.

Gerard Whelan.