Well, that is a very confusing statement coming from someone that has been in the sales profession for over 40 years, but it is true, I don’t want to sell anything; I would much rather have you buy.
The days of ‘pushing’ your products and/or services to an unsuspecting prospect are over and have been so for a very long time and I for one am so very grateful that it is.
The prospects of today are better informed and knowledgeable than ever before. They typically know what they want and how they want to buy it. One thing that is very clear today is that your prospects do not want to have things ‘pushed’ on them. The salesperson that has not figured that out yet is doomed to a life of mediocrity and overwhelming frustration. Buying is evolutionary. The landscape is constantly changing in terms of what people buy, why and when they buy it. It is only the true professional that keeps up with the times and updates themselves to deal with those changes.
What we as sales professionals have to understand is that selling is a five-step process. The first being, finding people who not only need our product or service, but also want that product or service and can afford to purchase it. After all, if there is no need or want, why are you ‘pushing’ them to buy it? If they can’t afford it, morally should you be again ‘pushing’ it on them?
Secondly, you have to build a rapport. It is a fact of today, in the majority of cases anyway, people not only buy from people that they trust, but they buy from people they like and those that remind them of themselves. If there is trust and comfort, then there is no ‘push’. The prospect is ‘pulled’ through the process and they make the decision on their own. In other words, they sell themselves.
Thirdly, as the salesperson, it is your responsibility to find if there is a need; if there is no need, there will be no sale, or, if there is a sale, it will be to a very unhappy customer as they have been ‘pushed’ into something that they obviously do not need. If this is the case what are the chances for repeat business?
Fourthly, once a need has been discovered, then all we can do is suggest a solution. The operative word there is, ‘suggest’. They, as the prospect, have to ultimately make the final decision. You cannot make it for them.
Lastly, ask what the next step is. It is the poor practitioner that ‘tells’. I go back to my opening paragraph; I don’t want to sell anything; I would much rather have you buy. As Zig Ziglar said: Selling is not something you do to someone, it’s something you do for someone.”
The ultimate goal should always be to ‘pull’ the prospect through the process. With the ‘pull’, it is the prospect that sell themselves. Look at it this way, would you rather have something thrust on you and talked into something that you didn’t want, need or could not really afford, or, would you rather make the decision on your own with the guidance of someone that has your best interest in mind? Which do you believe your prospect would prefer? Therefore, it becomes quite easy; don’t sell them, let them buy.