No Selling Allowed
“(Buyers) are not allergic to sales people, but they’re allergic to being sold. They want insight, knowledge and context around their situation. Someone who can solve a business problem and achieve business outcomes.” Jill Rowley, Social Selling Expert
Many sales and marketing experts talk about the savvy consumer of our modern times. It’s true that the Internet has proven a powerful tool, enabling consumers to vet and research sellers on their own. However, there is a certain consumer wisdom that we all possess simply because we’re human and that is our ability to know when we are being sold on something. It’s synonymous with our ability to know when someone is being insincere or lying to us. We can tell when someone is pushing their own agenda rather than sincerely trying to help us out and it turns us off, even when it’s being done with the best of intentions.
Sales people get a bad rap because too many of them make the mistake of selling rather than providing value and adding insight. They push their own agenda and it’s the kiss of death in sales.
As a B2B cold calling and lead generation firm, we are on the frontlines gathering valuable intel on this subject on a daily basis. The following are our top 3 don’ts for selling your products and services:
1. Don’t put the focus on your product or service. Far too many salespeople put the focus on their offering – it’s features, how great it is, etc. etc. The buyer does not care, plain and simple. They only care about how it can help them. Focus on that.
2. Don’t assume you know what your buyer needs and how your product / service fits into that. Sometimes companies assume that they know exactly what their buyer needs or wants without doing the thorough necessary market research to back that up. This is a mistake. There is priceless knowledge and insight to be gained, and then effectively used, during the research phase. Don’t skimp on it. The only way to show value is to truly understand your buyer’s needs and wants.
3. Don’t push your own agenda. For a buyer to truly believe that all you really want is to provide insight and add value, and not to sell them on something, then you will fare the best if that’s all you actually try to do. Sincerity and integrity matter. People know when someone is being sincere and they know when someone has an alternative agenda. It might sound crazy to approach it this way – after all, you have a responsibility to close and make sales – but the truth is, the less sales you try to ‘make’ happen, the more will occur, as long as you provide insight and add value of course.