Stop Wasting Your Time Selling!


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A sales person’s job is to sell–so why would I recommend professional sales people stop wasting their time selling? The real issue is that too many sales people waste time selling to people who have no need to buy.

Sales people make 100?s of calls every day. Mindlessly calling endless lists of people. They don’t know anything about those people, their companies, but their name is on the list so they call. Or marketing has provided a lead. Perhaps someone requested a white paper or information. The lead is given to the sales person to call. The sales person dials. Inevitably, they go into voicemail. The sales person may leave a voicemail, “I’d like to talk to you about my products/services. I think you might be interested.” Call after call. Sometimes, they reach a human being. “Do you buy these products and services…….I’d like to tell you about my products and how they will help you.”

But what they miss is: Does the customer have a need to buy?

They may be an ideal match for the sales person’s product and services. They may have, in fact, bought before. But the issue is, do they have a need to buy now?

No amount of selling, no amount of persuasion will get a person to buy if they have no need to buy.

So rather than selling, perhaps we are better served, and better serve our prospects, by searching buyers–that is people who have a need to buy.

How do we find people with a need to buy?

Well, it may seem obvious, but ask.

“Come on Dave, we always ask! Stop the double talk!”

Yes, sales people ask, but they are probably posing the wrong question, they ae asking, “Do you need my product, service?” That’s the wrong question.

We should be asking about their businesses? Are you achieving your goals? What challenges do you have in running your business? Are you exploring ways to expand your relationships with your customers? What are you doing to reduce your operational expenses? What are you doing to improve your quality? How is your competition changing? What does that mean to you?

But what about customers who don’t have a need to buy? How do we create it?

Here’s where we might get customers to consider new possibilities. The opportunity to teach or challenge them can create an awareness and a need to buy. Help them identify opportunities they may be missing. Help them see ways to better serve their customers or grow their businesses. Help them understand how they might become more efficient and effective in their operations. We have to help create a new vision and an urgency to change.

“But Dave,” some say,”That’s just a whole lot of extra work! Why do we have to change?”

Well, it’s pretty simple. What you are currently doing isn’t working! Customers are completing as much as 70% of the buying process without us. More and more sales people aren’t making their numbers. Or the volume of mindless activity sky-rockets. All these impact sales success.

Perhaps the biggest reason is customers simply don’t care about you and your product. They care about what they care about. So isn’t it much easier and much more productive if we talked to customers about what they care about.

Stop wasting your time selling, focus on finding people who want to buy and help them buy!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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