Many people confuse “sell” with “get client” (or “convert prospect to client”).
I have been vehemently addressed by people who want to use the word “sell” to mean any and every activity whose ultimate result is that a prospect becomes a client.
But if you define everything you do to sign up a client as selling, you rob yourself of any means to talk about why some methods of doing this work less well than others.
One of my clients asked me to help him to sell better because, as he said, “I don’t like doing it and I can’t do it.”
My response was, “well, don’t do it, then”. The point was that, whatever he was doing, he was actually able to get clients. Clients came on board without him having to “sell” to them. If he started associating this successful activity with the word “sell”, he would decide he couldn’t do it and didn’t like doing it. And he’d end up not doing it so well. (People like to be right.)
I define “selling” as those activities that result in a prospect becoming a client which make the seller more important than the prospect. This is a subset of all the activities that can be engaged in which result in a prospect becoming becoming a client. Selling makes the personal needs of the would-be seller more important than those of the prospective customer.
Putting the seller’s needs ahead of those of the prospect is perceived by the prospect as the seller saying: “I don’t care that much whether I can meet your needs, or have enabled you to spend your money wisely, I just want to get your money into my bank account”.
And it works, for sure. But it’s important to see that it stems from personal beliefs and emotions, not an objective understanding of how either people or businesses work.
Getting clients should be first establishing that you can meet their needs. And that is about helping them discover what their needs really are. This is not necessarily easy, which is why many businesspeople decide that they won’t do it and invent specious reasons why they shouldn’t.
Some people really can’t do it well, and they need training or coaching to help them do it better. It actually requires some skill in coaching.
However, bolstered by sales trainers and by those who want to remain right about what they are doing, the conventional wisdom persists, designed to reassure the seller that all they need or do is “sell”.
But, in the end, this selling just comes across as neediness, and neediness is very unattractive.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2016 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 29 january 2016. image: Free images
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