Most of what you read here are articles designed to help you sell more by selling better. But lately, I have noticed that a great many people are more interested in strategies that prevent sales. In the idea of giving the people what they want, what follows is advice that will keep you from selling.
Email and Other Poor Decisions
- Use email to ask a decision-maker to schedule a meeting: The kind of people that end up in leadership roles have no interest in wasting time. If you want to avoid booking a first meeting, this will ensure you will never meet a prospective client. See: Email Rules for Good Salespeople.
- Using an automated prospecting sequence: If you are dead set on spamming your contacts with five self-oriented emails, stacking one on top of the other, will have the non-targeted contacts happily moving your emails to spam. This is how not to sell. See: Automation without Losing Your Soul.
- Avoiding calling your contacts: To ensure you sell nothing, never pick up the phone and ring your contact. By never speaking to your contacts, you never have to worry about winning deals.
- Not trading value for a meeting: To avoid booking a meeting, make sure your contact recognizes you are offering them a chance to learn about your company and how you are helping other companies like theirs. By proving the meeting is a waste of your time, you can avoid a sale. See: The Trading Value Rule.
Preparing to Lose Deals
Let’s assume that by some accident, you ended up with a meeting. Because you are trying to not sell, you must do something to make sure you fail to sell.
- Don’t visit the client's website: By not reading the company’s website, you can ask questions like, “Tell me about what your company does,” or “How long have you worked here.” These questions will ensure your contact rushes out, explaining they forget about an important meeting. See: Do the Damn Reading
- Don’t research the company’s industry: To ensure that you don’t come across as someone with the business acumen that buyers and decision-makers expect from the salespeople they buy from. By knowing nothing, you will reach your goal of not selling. See: Business Acumen: A general Understanding
- Don’t make a list of questions: Good questions are likely to cause your contacts to want to buy from you. To ensure you sell nothing, don’t make a list of powerful and valuable questions. See: 6 Types of Questions
- Show up late and unprepared: This strategy will ensure your contact will buy from someone else. Showing up late and unprepared will cause you not to sell, but to ensure you make no sales, make certain your contact notices you have done nothing with your hair.
How to Ruin a Meeting
If by this time, you have accidentally ended up in a meeting, you will take measures that ensure you avoid making a sale.
- Start by building rapport: You can prove that you are a time waster by asking the client personal questions about their family. The longer you take, the more you will notice your contact is getting frustrated. Because they believed they were in a business meeting, they are certain to avoid a second meeting. They will also buy from someone else. See: When Do You Build Rapport?
- Position your company: Spend twenty minutes positioning your company. Start by telling them the year your company was founded before explaining your CEO’s story. If you have investors, show them their pictures. If your contact is still sitting across from you, you must up your game.
- Show them your trophy case: Pull out the slide that shows the client all the big named companies your company has as clients. Your contacts are interested in a conversation about their company. You can frustrate them by talking about other companies.
- Position your solution: Make sure to explain in detail how your solution differs from every other solution available. To make it hurt, explain why all other company’s solutions are inferior to yours. Talking bad about your competition will ensure you sell nothing. See: What To Track on Your Competitors
- Don't use your contacts time: The more time you waste, the less you must worry about selling something.
- Never ask for a second meeting: Wait for your contact to suggest that you call them to schedule a second meeting. What is good about this strategy to not sell is that your contact will never take your call, return your voicemail, or respond to your email.
How Sales Leaders Can Help You Not Sell
- Choosing efficiency over effectiveness: One way leaders can help their teams to not sell is by believing that efficiency results in greater revenue. To pursue efficiency, one need only buy software. By avoiding the difficult outcome of increasing their team's sales effectiveness will ensure the outcome of not selling. See: The Cult of Efficiency and the Cult of Effectiveness
- No development plan: To ensure that their teams sell nothing, you want to make sure that there is no possibility of increasing the sales force’s ability to win deals. Even if they ask for coaching, withhold it, and prevent selling.
- Allowing the above: From not prospecting using an approach that will produce meetings, not causing their teams to prepare and do the reading, and using a sales methodology from the Pleistocene Era will ensure you won’t sell. See: How to Choose a B2B sales methodology.
How to Not Sell - An Observation
This is how to not sell. The observations above are all factors that impact whether you will sell or fail to sell. Should you wish to sell, you need only to reverse each of the individual ways salespeople fail to create and win clients.
If what you are doing is not producing the results that you are seeking, you need to kill your darlings and change what you are doing. Most people want to add something to what they are already doing, but without removing the obstacles that avert the better outcomes, you will not find the greater success that comes from doing the opposite of the above list.