Channel markets, Sales and marketing

“The Best Way to Sell Something…”


Recently, I read a quote, “The best way to sell something, don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.”  I suppose I get the idea, but somehow I think there is much more to selling, and our customers deserve more from us.

Awareness, respect and trust are critical, but they are insufficient to drive customers to change or to buy.

I understand what the person is trying to say. He’s suggests avoiding all the typical bad behaviors we see from sales people—always pitching, focused on their own goals rather than customer goals, leveraging manipulative behaviors and techniques. But we already know those things aren’t characteristics of great selling.

The idea is important, but it is an incomplete view of what professional selling is about.

I think what disturbs me about the sentence is the relative passive tone it implies. Building awareness, respect and trust, and they will buy? Why should they? Why should they even be concerned with us?

Complex B2B selling is not passive, it’s anything but! It’s irresponsible to our customers and our own companies to just focus on building awareness, respect and trust.

Sales people are change agents. We help our customers discover ways to improve, change, to better achieve their business and personal goals.

Great sales people are constantly looking for opportunities where their customers/prospects could more effectively achieve their goals and dreams. Great sales people care about the success of their customers, but recognize customers may not be aware there are better ways to achieve things.

Great sales people are constantly “selling,” that is they are disrupting their customers thinking, they are getting them do learn, discover. They are teaching them and collaborating, help the customer generate a vision of what might be. They are restless and “impatient,” not to get the order, but to see the customer achieve their goals. They know their greatest value is in helping customer recognize new opportunities and in facilitating their buying process.

Great sales people are viciously focused on their time and that of their customers. They don’t waste time with customers who don’t have the problems their customers solve. Yet they know the customer doesn’t care about their products and solutions.

Great sales people recognize they aren’t selling a product or solution, they are selling the need to change. Change is tough, if we aren’t constantly selling change, doing nothing prevails.

We owe our customers and ourselves more, we must always sell!

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David Brock is president of Partners in EXCELLENCE, a management consulting firm focused on sales productivity, channel development, strategic alliances and more. Read more blogs from Brock here.