You Do Not Have to Force Sales to Make Them Happen
Traditional feature and benefit selling cannot coexist with a non-selling posture, or a consultative, advisory-based sales approach. To accept one is to deny the other. Where one appears the other disappears.
A non-selling posture views all information with equanimity; neither positive nor negative. The sales person's position is neutral. The sales person has no misgivings about supplying answers to questions that they know the customer did not want to hear, or did not expect. They also ask questions that do not necessarily support their selling agenda in their quest for the truth.
The non-selling posture validates customers by saying, "listen to yourself, listen to others, follow your own guidance, find your own answers, and most importantly decide what is best for you." The reality is they do this anyway, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The more enthusiastic, positive, excited, optimistic you are with customers, the less inclined they are to share important and sensitive information, be honest with you and share their real feelings and opinions. The enthusiastic selling strategy creates too often an unconscious sense of unearned and unwanted obligation for prospects. It is as if the sales person in all their excitement is saying, "Please spare me my feelings, and just tell me the good news that I am dying to hear."
One of the great "aha moments" of the non-selling posture is the recognition that you do not have to force sales to happen. They happen so often by themselves if you just let them do so. Customers more often than not, have the answers already, all the sales person has to do in many cases is help them hear it. The no-selling posture is doing very little with style.
Sales people need to hear and see without emotion. They should come to a sales call with an empty mind so they can be available and open to hear and see anything and everything. Too often traditional sales people see and hear only what they want to see and hear.
The beauty of the non-selling posture is, because there is no pressure and expectations, it gives the sales person a calm sense of clarity, and an air of quiet authority to stay focused and let the customer stay self-directed and in control.
The non-selling posture can be very challenging to many sales people because they feel it will denigrate their position, possibly bruise their intellectual pride, and undermine their authority and reason for being. However, the non-selling posture allows sales people to hold their knowledge in a very flexible, respectful and nurturing way.
It allows them to use product knowledge as a tool to get more information, and as a way to promote open dialogue about sensitive business issues, instead of as a tool or a weapon which they can beat customers into flimsy agreement or submission.
Too often sales people extract weak agreements from customers, instead of engaging them to seek their own counsel, and come to their own conclusions independent of the salesperson's selling agenda.
The non-selling posture is liberating because it forces you and your customer to be constantly facing reality and the truth. This authentic approach is refreshing to customers because it is extremely efficient at cutting to the chase, and getting to a trusting relationship as quickly as possible. Because the non-selling posture is fairly effortless it tends to take a lot of pressure off customers who normally feel they must be constantly on guard.