Those who talk, write and teach about sales have found many ways to describe the details of sales and selling, which is not bad, but it seems that some may have lost the forrest for the trees.

Let me explain what I mean with a challenge:

Think of all of the selling techniques, methodologies, philosophies, paradigms, descriptive words, etc. that you ever heard. Some examples might include:

  • Consultative selling
  • SPIN Selling
  • The Challenger Sale
  • The assumptive close
  • NLP
  • Following the buyers buying process

…and many more.

Before I issue the challenge – let me be clear – I am not saying that any of these things are bad. Let me issue my challenge, then I will tell you my concern.

So here is the challenge – think of all of the selling techniques, methodologies, philosophies, paradigms, descriptive words, etc. that you ever heard, and try to fit them into some category of sales and selling OTHER than one of the parts of the following simple definition of sales:

Everything you need to do to succeed in sales boils down to three things:

  1. Get into a sales conversation with someone
  2. Figure out what they want or need
  3. Convince them to buy something that you sell as a solution

So the list of techniques, etc. above is not bad – but often when people write or talk or think about these things, they get so deep into the details that they forget what sales needs to be about – getting into then successfully getting out of a sales conversation.

Saying that a certain technique is good or bad is like saying a certain food is good or bad – it is a matter of preference. If you can successfully use a technique or methodology or style or whatever – then go for it – but don’t forget where it fits into the grand scheme of things, and to be successful, make sure that you have systems in place to:

  1. Get into a sales conversation with someone
  2. Figure out what they want or need
  3. Convince them to buy something that you sell as a solution

When you learn new things about sales, ask yourself where they fit into this three point scheme.

For example:

  • Cold calling or going to a trade show might be thought of as a way to get into a sales conversation
  • SPIN Selling might be thought of as a methodology for figuring out what your prospect may want or need
  • Learning sales techniques or product knowledge or understanding the dynamics of the buying process for each customer might be thought of as things that support convincing a prospective customer to buy your solution

When you struggle with your sales efforts, ask yourself which part of this three point scheme is the source of the trouble.

Of course you will need to dig down to a deeper level of understanding to get to a useful answer, but if you don’t see the forrest for the trees, you will fail to use tools, techniques and improvement efforts in the proper context.

If you sell for a living, make sure that everything you do is aimed at one of these three things:

  1. Get into a sales conversation with someone
  2. Figure out what they want
  3. Convince them to buy something that you sell as a solution

Do that and you can’t go wrong!

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Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)

So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.

If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:

The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.

Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.

The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.

If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.

Here’s to your success!

-David