Selling is not Telling

September 30, 2013 9:11 am

Many approach selling from the historical erroneous proliferation (by the many ‘sales gurus’ that have gone before us) that it is all about the ‘telling’ in selling. In that, we are there to tell the potential buyer about how good our product or service is, rebut objections, convince them to buy and walk away with an order. I think there’s a better way?
Approaching a sales situation from the buyers perspective and not our own makes a whole lot more sense, especially given the fact that they obviously have a need or want, we potentially have a solution and it’s not until we truly ascertain what that need/want is do we know whether our product or service will assist them. We can’t get understanding if we are in telling mode.
Asking well directed questions, listening, asking, listening is the priority for any situation. Advising a buyer that we are there to find out about them and to see if there is a potential match and synergy between us puts the sales situation into a whole new light, especially when they know you are more than happy to refer them to a better product or service if that is best for them. That communicates integrity. We approach it from the perspective of mutual benefit not in just getting a sale.
The 80/20 rule applies here. Listen 80% of the time, talk 20%. I think that ratio also applies to our success. If we listen and carefully provide a solution chances are we’ll be successful 80% of the time. Sell by telling and you’ll effectively reduce it to 20%. I know which I’d rather.