Sales is a human business.
So, I really hate to say this, but…
Sellers aren’t very good at selling to humans.
More often than not, your customers make the decision to buy from you in spite of you, not because of you. If you’re going to stop Selling Out, you have to take control of how you sell.
Before you can do that, you first have to understand exactly what your buyers need from you.
According to a Forrester study, executives consider less than one fifth of the meetings they have with salespeople to be valuable. In other words, more than 80% of buyers earned zero return on the time and attention they invested in you.
Buyers are figuratively holding their noses and buying from you in spite of your best efforts to sell to them. This happens primarily because you have been Selling Out.
Look at selling this way: every choice and decision a buyer makes during their buying journey is their referendum on you. And it’s personal. Not in a “you’re a bad human” sort of a way.
Personal as in “you don’t really understand what’s most important to me, so I don’t have confidence that you can help me get it.”
When your buyers set out to explore the purchase of a new product or service, what is their mindset?
Do they want to invest unlimited amounts of time and effort to exhaustively investigate all their alternatives?
I mean, if they’ve recognized that they have a problem to solve, or a pain point to cure, do they dismiss the urgency and give themselves as much time as they need to make the optimal decision?
So, when a buyer is ready to have a conversation with you, when a buyer is prepared to invest their time and attention in you, it’s because they need your help. They’ve gone as far as they can go on their own, and now they’ve turned to you.
Your job as a seller is to listen to understand what the most important thing is to your buyer. And then help them get it.
Your buyers need your help with that second part; the “help them get it” part.
At that moment your buyer needs your help to:
(1) Quickly gather and make sense of the information they need to make a decision about how to get their most important thing; and,
(2) Accomplish this with the least possible investment of their time, attention, and resources.
But here’s the thing. Selling Out doesn’t get them there. Buyers don’t need your process. They don’t need a dose of your earnest persuasion. They don’t need you to be salesy. They’ll go through their buyer’s journey without you if you add friction to their process and force them to invest more time and attention than necessary.
If you start Selling In, every sales action you take will align with this goal of your buyers. They need your influence to help them make the right choices and decisions. Start Selling In and you’ll become the reason your buyers decide to buy from your company. Not your product. Not your company. You.