“Sell Without Selling!” … “Never Sell Again!” … “Salesless Selling!”
Have you noticed the proliferation of teachings and articles telling you that you don’t need to sell in order to … sell?
I often hear salespeople try and deny they are salespeople.
Examples: “I’m in sales but I don’t really sell…I just help people.” Or, “I don’t consider myself to really be in sales.” This sales-denial is not meant to be dishonest. They really believe it when they say it.
What’s the confusion? Like most things, it goes back to a false premise; in this case, the term “sales” or “selling.”
If you believe that selling is somehow immoral or … yucky, you’ll do practically anything to avoid identifying yourself with it. This makes total sense, doesn’t it? The challenge is that — since you know you are in sales — that is a disconnect costing you a lot of money in lost business. Just as importantly, it’s keeping a lot of people who would have benefited from your product or service from doing so.
In Go-Givers Sell More, John David Mann and I responded to several false definitions of selling. Sales is not a talking people into buying something they don’t want or need; it’s finding out what they do want or need and helping them to get it.
Sales is not taking advantage of others, but giving them more advantage through your excellent products or services (assuming it genuinely meets their needs and can benefit them).
Sales is not about taking but about giving. Heck (yes, I said “heck” — I apologize) 😉 the Old English root of the word “sell”, “sellan” meant…”to give.”
And, exactly what do you give when you sell? You give time, attention, counsel, education and empathy. And, most of all, you give value.
You should be proud of that, proud to be in sales, and proud to say that you are a sales professional.
Of course, what the non-selling claims at the beginning of this post and others we often see are trying to communicate is “selling without using manipulative tactics.” I understand. And, again, I’ll go back to the premise: If you really believe that selling is based on “tactics of manipulation” (actually, this describes a con-artist, not a salesperson) and you are an honest person, then that false definition is hurting your sales. After all, how do you effectively do something that — in your gut — you feel is wrong.
So, reframe, my salesperson friend. And, do this by understanding what sales is and — just as importantly — what it isn’t. Focus on providing your exceptional value to the lives of many, and thrive.
Oh, and do products ever actually “sell themselves?” No. That’s why you are so badly needed.