Selling Out is Killing Your Bottom Line

Dec 9, 2021 | Sales Development, Sales Growth, Sales Leadership

In my new book, titled (not surprisingly) Sell Without Selling Out, I describe how the behaviors of sellers fall into one of two categories.

The first is Selling Out.

The other is Selling In.

Why is this important?

Because ‘Selling Out’ explains why your sales performance isn’t meeting expectations.

It all starts with the buying experience.

Studies have found that more than 50% of a buyer’s purchase decision is based upon their buying experience with a seller.

That’s their experience with you, personally.

Or (if you’re a sales or revenue leader) that’s the buyer’s experience with the customer facing people on your revenue team. Or, with the sellers employed by your channel partners.

As Maya Angelou said:

“…people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

It’s a measure of the quality of the human interactions sellers have with buyers.

It doesn’t matter what you believe your sellers are doing.

It only matters how the buyers perceive and experience the actions of your sellers. (Have you recently surveyed your buyers about this?)

What Are the Downstream Impacts from Selling Out?

Selling Out degrades your brand equity. A sales interaction is one of the primary ways buyers experience your brand.

Selling Out creates a negative first impression with a buyer that can be hard to overcome.

Selling Out creates a poor buying experience. In a Jobs to be Done context, your buyers basically are “hiring” your sellers to help them better understand the challenges they have to address and the desired outcomes they can achieve by doing so.

Selling Out makes the buying journey about your objectives, not the buyers’.

Selling Out stretches out decision cycles. Sellers in this mode struggle to gain a true understanding of the things that are most important to the buyer. If buyers have unanswered questions, they won’t exit to the next stage of their buying process. So, things get stretched… And when opportunities flounder with unanswered questions it creates uncertainty in the minds of buyers, often leading to an increase in the dread “No Decision” decision.

You can see where this is headed.

A poor buying experience leads to lower win rates.

If buyers feel that they are the target of your salesy-ness vs a partner in trying to find a solution that enables them to achieve certain goals, then they’re more likely to choose a competitor.

The end result of the poor buying experiences created by Selling Out are lower win rates leading to low quota attainment and missed revenue targets.

Which often leads sales managers to ratchet up the pressure to take sales actions that are… Selling Out.

And the cycle continues.

Want to break out of the vicious cycle that is Selling Out?

Come back for next week’s newsletter, where i’ll talk all things Selling In.

And in the meantime, get a head start by reading the first chapter of Sell Without Selling Out (You can do that here).

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P.S. Here’s Some Random Wisdom to Make You Think

Thought #1:

“I firmly believe that to presume what cannot be measured is not very important is tantamount to blindness…we place far too much trust in numbers. Numbers are not reality. At best, they are a pale reflection of reality. At worst, they’re a gross distortion of the truths we seek to measure.”

John C Bogle. Founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group.

Thought #2:

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

Peter Drucker, The Father of Modern Management

Download the first Chapter of Sell Without Selling Out