I’ve been involved in sales training a long time. I’ve been selling even longer than that. I suppose that would be obvious that someone should actually be in sales before they start teaching others how to sell. But it shouldn’t be obvious. There are many people and companies around that offer sales training that have little or no sales experience. What they actually offer is sales theory, not professional selling skills training.
Sometimes they offer “people skills” or “soft skills” but those are very different than actual sales training.
My suggestion is that you never accept a single word of advice on how to sell from someone who has never sold. If they have not experienced first hand the incredible high of earning a challenging prospects trust and their business along with it, then they don’t know enough about sales to teach you a thing.
If they have never felt the utter hopelessness of losing a sale they know they should have had then they don’t understand the psychology of professional selling and they should offer training on how to be a fraud instead.
So, now that I have that out of my system I have another suggestion if you want to sell more….stop trying so hard to sell. Instead start helping your customers and prospects buy more.
The difference between selling and helping people buy is not just words. When you help people buy rather than trying to sell them something everything changes. Your approach changes. The questions you ask customers change. How you advocate your product or service changes.
How the customer perceives you changes.
Salespeople who sell ask questions to determine if they might be able to convince the customer to buy their product. Salespeople who help customers buy ask questions to see if their product will really help the customer.
Salespeople who sell are prepared to negotiate a price lower than they want. Salespeople who help customers buy know they are far less likely to be asked to negotiate the price. The customer sees the value in the product AND the sales professional representing it.
Salespeople who sell see every question as a potential objection. Salespeople who help customers buy see every objection as an opportunity.
Salespeople who sell work hard for their sales. Salespeople who help customers buy work incredibly hard too yet often feel as if they are hardly working.
Salespeople who sell manage customer transactions. Salespeople who help customers buy manage customer relationships.
Salespeople who sell can make a lot of money. Salespeople who help customers buy make more…and they have a heck of a lot more fun doing it.
If you’re not sure which type of salesperson you are I have a question for you that might help. Can you say, with great specificity, exactly how your product or service helped your last five customers reach one of their goals or objectives?
If you can’t answer that, with specifics, then you might be doing too much selling and not enough helping. Think about that before your next sales call.