Salespeople are getting soft. Like marshmallows.
Many haven’t embraced sales. Many more that share the title “salesperson” don’t believe in their hearts that selling is meaningful work. Some have adopted the belief that there is something wrong with the activities that make up selling. They believe and behave as if these activities are somehow dirty, beneath them, unjust, or unnecessarily manipulative. They believe and behave as if taking some sales activities means that you can’t really care about your clients, that you are completely self-oriented.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Cold Calling and Prospecting
Proactively calling your dream clients could be seen as aggressive, self-oriented behavior. After all, you do want to make a sale, and making a sale would certainly benefit you and your company. But the funny thing about this Western, free-market capitalism is that, in order for you to collect the benefit of your bargain, the person or entity you are bargaining with also expects to receive the benefit of their bargain.
Prospecting is how you determine who it is that you can help and how you might do so.
Prospecting and caring are not mutually exclusive.
Asking for the commitments you need from your dream client can also seem to be assertive or self-interested. You need your dream client’s agreement to create and move an opportunity forward, and moving the opportunity will certainly benefit you and your company. But this is only a half the story.
If you create value at each stage of your sales process, and if you truly care enough to help your dream client succeed, then you create value by guiding them through their buying process. They expect you to know how to move them from where they are to where they need to go. You are offending no one by asking for the information that you need to help your client or by asking for the access to the team whose consensus you will later need.
Gaining commitments and caring are not mutually exclusive.
Asking for meetings to help resolve your dream client’s concerns at the end of the sales cycle can certainly be perceived as self-serving. You want one last bite at the apple, and you want to make certain that you are chosen over your competitors and over the status quo. That’s one way of looking at it.
A more thoughtful and mature view might be that your dream client is going the natural resistance to pulling the trigger that accompanies every major decision. You create value for them by helping them to resolve their concerns and assuring them that will achieve the outcomes you are selling. You provide them with answers, proof, and confidence to move forward to a future state they both need and desire.
Resolving your dream clients concerns and caring are not mutually exclusive. Not even close.
There Is No Choice to Make
Are there still some salespeople that are self-oriented and selfish, only selling so that they can receive the benefit of their bargain without caring about their customers? Sure there are. But if you are here and reading this, it isn’t likely that you are old school salespersons.
There is no choice to make. You can, should, and must be confident and comfortable with the activities that succeeding in sales requires of you. You must take these activities and you must care deeply about helping your clients to succeed.
It is your intentions that make the difference. Your intentions are the difference. If your intentions are good, then you don’t need to worry about being “non-salesy” (whatever that means).
Can the same activity be different when taken by two different people with different intentions?
Is it selfish to want to help your dream client if you also benefit?
What do you have to believe about your clients in order to prospect and cold call?
What beliefs do you have about asking for and gaining commitments?
What beliefs do you have about overcoming objections and resolving concerns?