The words “sales” and “philosophy” don’t really sound like they work together in any kind of a normal sentence. If you are in sales, however, it might just make all of the difference in the world for you if you can see how they do.
A few years ago, I was having a – well – philosophical conversation about how to describe my work. As we really dug into it, I realized that in many ways, I consider myself to be a bit of a “sales philosopher”. When I shared this idea with more people, however, I usually got either funny looks, or spoken admonitions.
“Who wants or needs a sales philosopher, and what is sales philosophy anyways?!?”
OK – I’ll take the bait – let’s answer that. Here is an example of sales philosophy and philosophy-less sales, and why it matters.
Let’s say that a salesperson sees his job in a very literal way, such as:
“my job is to sell stuff to people”
Now that is absolutely true, it is the core definition of a salespersons job to sell stuff to people. This is not inaccurate. But let’s compare that to a more philosophy driven perspective, such as:
“my job is to help people make a good buying decision about the kinds of products (or services) that I am selling”.
So what happens from within these different perspectives?
It is easy to imagine that the first perspective – the one about selling lots of stuff to people – can lead a person to do what it takes to get the job done – which may or may not have a high level of integrity, good feelings on either side of the buying and selling equation, and it could go either way for referrals and repeat business. A salesperson who shoves something down your throat is probably not someone you would go back to or tell a friend about.
On the other hand, most salespeople spend more time with their products and services than most of their customers, and are more familiar with the issues around using their products and services. As such, when a salesperson takes the second approach – to help the customer make a good buying decision, then the same thing gets done – a sale – but in a different way.
A salesperson taking the more helpful approach is going to be more likely to:
- Work to learn his business, products and offers so that he can be of maximum assistance to the prospect
- Work to understand the needs of the prospect
- Listen to the concerns of the prospect
- Make sure to suggest an appropriate solution, after learning well what that means
Who would you rather buy from?
Who would you go back to?
Who would you tell your friends about?
Thinking about sales in terms of “just selling stuff” only works up to a point. You might get the job done sometimes, but is this really the best way to serve your customers, feel good about your work and set yourself up for ongoing success?
However, when a salesperson operates from a deep, personal philosophy about how and why to do the job of sales, then the right behaviors tend to happen before, during and after the sale. In today’s tough and competitive markets, this kind of edge will not only help our sales philosopher win more sales, but will help him feel good about the job of doing so as well.
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 your 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.
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!