Please Don’t Sell!!


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Most companies have a set policy, when it comes to motivating their sales teams. They set individual and team sales targets for the month, quarter and year, which are then linked to incentives in cash and kind.

I guess this is natural, considering how a company’s success and profits are directly proportional to its Sales figures.

In theory, we all know that the best way a salesperson can increase his chances of a sale are by not acting as a salesperson but as an advisor to the prospect, helping him with his sales decision.

To achieve the status of an advisor the salesperson needs to put his customer’s requirements before his personal sales agenda! Would this happen if he is under pressure to achieve X target within Y number of days?

Quite unlikely, if the salesperson has a target to meet, he will be under pressure to sell the premium version of the product/solution to a prospect – not because this is the best option for his buyer, but because the sale will help him achieve his sales targets faster.

The motivation in such a situation is not winning a customer but selling to a customer.

The problem with selling is – Customers, judge the value of a solution by evaluating its cost against the problem it solves and the value the solution brings to their business. If at any point after purchasing a solution they feel they have been sold more than they actually needed, they feel duped and carry forward many negative feelings for the company which sold them the solution in the first place.

A dangerous scenario – especially today when an unhappy customer has various channels at his disposal to voice his grouch.

Such an attitude towards selling can also result in loss of sale opportunities. Since the sales person is so focused on selling the maximum to a prospect, he often misses the signals sent by a prospect asking for alternate solutions that can be customized to fit the prospect’s budget.

How not to sell

How can companies ensure that their salespersons win customers and not sell solutions?

1. When setting sales targets and incentives companies should focus not just on the value of the sales but also volume. Every sale is a customer acquisition, and every customer acquisition offers upsell opportunities for the future. Upselling can include additional features, services and after sales services. Every upsell indicates the level of trust enjoyed by your sales person and your company with your customer.

2. It is good to have different sets of price packages for your offerings, but your sales team should have the freedom to further customize these packages for the benefit of their customers.

3. Encourage your sales teams to build relationships with their prospects, spend time understanding their requirements and then, only pitching those solutions which best fit the prospect’s requirements – irrespective of the price tag.

4. Encourage salespersons to treat every sale as a commitment they have to keep and nurture till they work with your company. Keeping in touch with customers, to find out if your solution is working fine, if they need any assistance etc. not only ensures a great sale experience for the buyer, but also keeps the window open, for any further upsell opportunities.

5. It is good to remember that overall customer experience is key to winning a customer especially when you have several competitors offering similar solutions.

Every sale is a placement of trust in a company’s offerings and their capabilities. Holding someone’s trust is the only way to keeping them on your side. Like it or not, till we enter the era where companies can pick and choose their customers, its best to concentrate on winning customers and not just selling solutions.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


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