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When a Sales Person is Always Right, There has to be Something Wrong

Galileo once said, "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself." This typifies very nicely the non-selling posture. The idea is to sell to understand before selling to influence. Sales people's intent to sell and persuade is far greater than their intent to understand, decipher, appraise and help customers prioritize their challenges. Doing what they believe is best for their customer surfaces all that obstructs it.

When all you do is look for positive news and information, you often end up getting the opposite in the end. Truth is an experiential process. You cannot easily tell someone it. In sales truth is found when you eliminate barriers, hurdles and conflicting motivations.

"The obstacles fall on their own accord easier when the underpinnings are chipped away," says David Hawkins. Most traditional sales people try to reach revelation for their customer by adding new information, pertinent selling points and new data into the mix.

The natural tendency of sales people is to expand and exert there will and influence, instead of contracting it. Most conventional sales people could easily be accused of trying too hard. Most do not have the internal confidence and fortitude to not try so hard. Their biggest fear is not trying hard enough, not giving it the old college try. However, what if trying too hard is what prevents one from reaching one's goals? The non-selling posture represents selling less (hard) to sell more. One of the most underutilized skills in selling is a posture of allowing versus getting.

The non-selling posture is a very personal approach that succeeds in a world that is beset by sterile and staid traditionalists who stand out by there impersonal appeal. Dynamic and trusted sales people stand out because they are very objective, constantly challenging their own biases, presenting opposing views, never burying the truth and representing the voice of reason.

Customers generally will see what they want to see based on their biases and predispositions. Traditional sales people rarely make the effort to get into their customer's mind, head and world. Quite frankly they are afraid of what they will find.

Be very judicious and careful with your advice. Dispense it when it is appropriate. Good advice is outcome neutral and it helps when it is actively solicited. No matter how good your advice is, customers tend not to like to be told what to do, especially when they are not ready to receive it. This reminds me of the old truism of when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Mainstream sales people sell as if customers must be conquered or vanquished. Their stance is very assertive, ego-centric, product-centric and company-centric. They sell and position with the idea that it is important for the customer to be properly aligned with their expectations. But if you want to be prudent and trusted, you need to be aligned with your customer's expectations and needs. However, when you are single-minded in your pursuit to meet your own expectations you become conflicted with fears of not making the sale. This energy sap neutralizes your ability to be believable, trusted and ultimately make the sale.

Richard Farrell is President of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a national sales development and training firm based in Chicago. He is the author of the upcoming book Selling has Nothing to do with Selling. He trains and speaks around the world and has authored many articles on his unique non-selling sales posture.

Phone: 773-404-7915
EMail: rfarrell@tangentknowledge.com
Web: http://www.tangentknowledge.com