Here are 8 lies about selling:
- It is enough to just be helpful. It is true that you create value by helping your buyer. You help them discover their needs. You help them determine the cause of their problems. You help them evaluate their choices and the accompanying trade-offs. Providing them with information promptly isn’t enough to help to make you a trusted advisor. You need to have chops.
- Selling has changed so much that . . . There is no doubt that selling has changed. And so has buying. But the core of selling hasn’t changed much. You still need to be known. You still need to be trusted. You still need to be liked. You still need to know how to help your dream client produce better results than they are now. And you still need to ask for and gain commitments.
- Salespeople are no longer necessary. You can buy things on the Internet. You can find information on the Internet too. But when the decision you need to make is complex, risky, and expensive, you are going to want to work with a professional.
- Inside sales will replace the need for field sales. Every week I get an email from a sales consultant who insists that a field sales force is unnecessary. Along with a lot of other folks, he believes that inside sales people are all that any business needs. There is no doubt that there are good reasons to drive the costs out of some sales operations. But because something is the right idea for one business doesn’t make it right for all businesses. Face to face sales isn’t going away anytime soon.
- The majority of buyers are engaged online. Everyone is online. Everyone is on Facebook. A lot of people are on LinkedIn. But not everyone is online engaging with salespeople. One reason this is true is that using the social tools to engage buyers isn’t easy for a lot of sales organizations. In some industries, like SAAS industries, a lot of people in a lot of different roles are engaged. But in some huge, old industries, not so much.
- The new “new” thing is the magic bullet. Every couple of years a new process, methodology, or technology is touted as the magic bullet. All of these processes, methodologies, and technologies are valuable. But none of them ever lives up to the hype. None of them ever turns out to be the magic bullet. Because there isn’t one.
- You must wait for buyer’s to engage. Waiting isn’t a strategy. It’s a particularly bad strategy for a sales organization. No matter how good your inbound marketing efforts are, it’s a bad idea to allow inbound leads to determine your destiny. You still need to target your dream clients and proactively and professionally pursue them.
- You must wait for buyers to ask to buy. If waiting for your dream client to engage is a bad idea, then waiting for them to tell you that they are ready to buy is an even worse idea. The idea that you need to wait for your dream client to ask you if they can buy is nonsense. You still need to ask for all of the commitments you need. If you’ve earned those commitments, you should have no hesitation about asking.