Rule #2: Stop Trying To Sell
Few people enjoy the idea of “being sold.” A key step toward becoming more successful in sales is to take a contrarian approach to what you are doing. Once you learn to do this you will immediately find yourself in a more natural and comfortable position and you will become more pleasant to be with. Your words will be received favorably while your recommendations will be treated with respect. When you approach sales from this contrarian position, your success is sure to follow.
What is this contrarian approach? To become more successful in sales you must, Stop trying to sell!
Notice I didn’t say stop calling people . . . meeting people . . . questioning people or listening to what people have to say. I didn’t say stop seeking opportunities to be of service to people or stop fine-tuning your product or service presentation. I didn’t say stop writing to prospects or sending newsletters, postcards or press releases. I didn’t say stop attending trade shows, seminars, workshops or conferences. I didn’t say stop subscribing to trade papers, magazines or bulletins. I didn’t suggest that you sleep late or hang out at Barsalloti’s Bar & Grill on Tuesday afternoons. I recommended that you simply Stop trying to sell.
Most people don’t like being around people who have “selling” on their minds. In fact, other than a few rare cases, I don’t think you can sell anything to anybody. People today (consumers and purchasing agents) are pretty street-smart and are skeptical of “empty suits” (salespeople who don’t have a clue and can’t tell third base from the dugout). If somehow a salesperson does manage to finagle a buyer into spending some hard earned cash for an un-needed product or service, chances are it will be that salesperson’s last victory . . . with that buyer or his organization.
Even the phrase “being sold” is a turn-off. I don’t believe I was ever “sold” anything. I wasn’t “sold” my car. I don’t believe anyone “sold” me my house. Nope, I don’t believe anyone has ever “sold” me anything.
Yet, I feel very natty and confident when I don a well-fitted, stylish business suit. I experience joy knowing my family is comfortable and safe while riding in a clean and practical automobile (which, I am quick to mention, I personally decided to buy). I have lived up to my responsibilities knowing that my life insurance policy is adequate. The last time I wandered into a men’s shoe store and exited with three new pairs of shoes, it came as a direct result of my deciding to buy each pair. A salesman didn’t sell me anything. I take great pride in having decided, without the unwanted pressure of a well intentioned salesperson, to adopt my two greyhound dogs, Jetta and Eddie. In short, I take pleasure and pride in the things I personally decide to own.
People enjoy owning things which they themselves decide to own. But the idea of being sold, on the other hand, conjures up feelings of manipulation and resentment. I don’t like it. You don’t like it. And your prospects don’ t (and won’t) like it either.
So, it should come as no surprise when I tell you again in a voice just shy of shouting . . . STOP TRYING TO SELL THINGS!
Spend your time instead looking for, and isolating people like me, who find enjoyment in buying stuff . . . in ownership . . . in making sound financial decisions, and finding solutions to problems. Then (and here comes a blinding flash of the obvious):
Help people make good buying decisions.
Plenty of people in your immediate universe need help. Your objective, and it is a challenging one, is to find them. But a formidable obstacle stands squarely in your path. People today, and for good reason, have a hard time trusting other people, especially when it comes to parting with their money. Once you learn how to focus on helping rather than selling, you will be on your way toward establishing this all-important level of trust. It won’t come easily but its absolutely necessary to become an effective sales professional.
You reap several attractive and healthy upsides to my “no pressure” approach to making a living:
- When trying to help people make decisions that are right for them, you feel good about yourself and what you do for a living. You will never have to apologize for your actions, your thoughts or your intentions.
- You will experience minimum levels of stress. In this age of stressed-out, whacked-out, frazzled-out and burnt-out people, finding ways to lower your stress level is a pretty useful way to spend your time.
- You will never be accused of being manipulative or for double-talking your prospect in any way, shape or form. You won’t experience guilt when trying to minimize or overcome legitimate concerns or objections, or for recommending higher priced products or services when it is appropriate. You are simply trying to help people help themselves by asking the right questions.
The beautiful thing about having this mindset is that you will maintain healthy eating and sleeping habits, while exhibiting a welcomed sense of humor.