However, this view is typically based on a misunderstanding of what selling is really about.
Yes, there are hard sales people who will flog you anything they can (actually, anything that generates a large commission) but these people tend to burn out – as do their businesses.
Instead, non-pushy people can become great sales people simply by thinking about sales in a different way.
For this piece I am indebted to Geoff McClure who provided me with great definitions.
Firstly, according to Geoff, “selling is about solving problems”.
Anyone have an issue with that? Of course not. So, think ‘problem solver’.
Of course, before you can solve a problem, you have to identify it. Hence, Geoff defines generating leads as ‘finding problems to solve’.
So, the act of building a sales pipeline is really about finding people who have a problem that you can solve.
What might these problems be? For businesses they might be; lack of sales, falling profit margin, marketing costs, costs going up, inability to hire the best people, lack of funding etc…. For individuals it might be, need to build a pension, need transport, need to heat home, need to eat, need a holiday.
In the current climate these problems might be defined as ‘affordable’ – so I need ‘affordable transport’ etc….
So how do you generate those leads? Again, Geoff tells us to ‘create “Noise” about the solution’.
“People buy solutions to problems – from people who listen, who can show how their products solves the problem.”
Lastly, sales people do need to be enthusiastic about their solution. And yes, they also need to be persistent unfortunately!
But there is an ocean of difference between the pushy sales person who wants to solve HIS problem (ie a sales target or commission) vs the persistent sales person who wants to solve YOUR problem and does so by listening carefully.
As Geoff says
“Given a lead, two ears, some thought and enthusiasm anyone can sell.”
So there you have it.
Selling is not so scary – when you turn it around and see it as problem solving, and it all starts with listening – not talking!
Why not take a look at our other article about sales and sales people