Years ago sales owned the conversation. If you were a buyer you got in line to find someone to help you learn enough about a new product or service on the market so you could make a “sound” decision – especially if it was a business transaction where it is businesses selling to other businesses. Unfortunately, a lot of sellers took advantage of that scenario thus giving selling a bad name.
The Buyer Became in Charge
The internet changed everything. Now the buyer is the boss – large and in charge. Some companies and their sellers have been very unprepared for this for the most part and have not responded well to helping buyers buy. How do I know this?
Buyers shop on their mobile devices. Why are so many websites still not responsive? If I can’t view your site on my phone, you’re missing out.
Sellers still call with horribly poor voice mail messages where their focus is on their features and how they are sure they can help us – without learning about us first.
Sellers are clogging up LinkedIn now with seller-focused SPAM.
It’s like people just don’t get it, right?
Seller as Helper / Advisor
Now sales must respond. No more spam or slimy sales tactics. In its essence, selling – or helping others to solve an issue, build their brand, or reach an aspiration is an admirable thing to do. Sales is an ADMIRABLE profession.
Here are "3 Ways Selling is Helping":
1) Buyer Wins – Seller Wins: When a seller helps a buyer with a personalized solution that makes their world better, the seller is also helping his or her company turn an idea into revenue. The buyer pays willingly for something so valuable to them. This is the ONLY way our economy grows. A strong economy is essential in so many ways.
2) Buyer Learns from Seller Then Buys Appropriately: Many times you go online and you don’t really know what you need but you might think you do. Example: Someone connects with us for sales coaching and after talking with them we all learn that they are not a good fit as a seller and need to move to another department in the company. Currently artificial intelligence can’t figure that scenario out – we need human intervention. Eventually I’m sure there will be AI sellers online – with the Amazon approach, “if you liked that, you might like this”.
3) Sellers Adjust to Really Serving, Helping, and Advising: A lot of great sellers are there now – we focus on serving our buyer and personalize their experience with us in every way. We listen and we find ways to help the buyer make a sound decision that makes sense for them. We don’t send mass emails in hopes of getting lucky, and we don’t SPAM people with anything. We are the new generation of what true, valuable selling is about.
Inbound marketing company Hubspot just launched an online sales program to help change the world of selling. You may have noticed their great sales blog over the years. Selling is not new to Hubspot, they have been helping companies grow revenues through their inbound marketing tools for years. Now they are helping change the world of selling. I’ve had the chance to go through the program and I’m thrilled to see their take on eliminating bad selling.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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