Selling has a bad reputation. Traditional, transactional sales tactics like cold-calling and going door-to-door have left little to no room for people to view sales in a more positive light. But it doesn’t mean sales professionals can’t try. Learn about transformational selling, sales best practices, and how to properly approach the process.
Why People Don't Like Sales
Being Told What to Do
The number one reason for people despising sales is being told what to do. No one likes being forced to do something. It’s engraved in our human psychology thanks to reactance, our brain’s defense mechanism against threats to our freedom. When someone is told what to do, they often go in the opposite direction. Unfortunately, traditional sales tactics focus on telling someone why they need a product or service, and why they should buy it, taking away the freedom of decision-making.
They're Not the Spotlight
The second reason people don’t like sales is because they’re often not the centre of attention. With traditional sales methods, people focus on a product’s prices, features, and benefits, not on the customer’s journey and what their life will look like after using the product or accepting the offer. This approach is very product-focused, and customers can’t envision how their needs and lifestyle align with the product or service.
The final reason for people disliking sales is pressure. If a customer says, “Not at this time,” or “No thank you,” a sales professional using traditional methods may keep pushing a customer to say yes and reconsider. This pushiness makes customers feel trapped, scared, and disgusted, and they won’t want to buy.
What is Selling Really?
The reason why selling is frowned upon is due to the traditional approach. So, let’s define what selling actually is so you can learn how to improve your process from one that people feel “icky” about, to a process where people feel comfortable and safe.
The formal selling definition is to give someone a product or service for the payment of money.
The modern definition of selling, or what the team at Finka Inc. like to call transformational selling, is solving problems and forming authentic connections using trust as the currency.
- Traditional, formal selling: focuses on the price.
- Transformational selling: focuses on the client’s transformation and how you’ll help them reach their goals.
Sales Best Practices
What Selling Is
Remember your first day of college or high school, feeling nervous about navigating your class schedule and getting to know people? You’d be settled in after the first couple of weeks and would find fellow students you’d gravitate to in your classes, lunch, and extracurricular activities. There were no strings attached. You solely wanted to know people for the sake of knowing them, socializing, and creating friendships. This is what building a relationship with a potential client should be like. Get to know them as a person and colleague first. The sales will come later.
Selling is all about taking your client on a transformational journey. In a pitch, meeting, or email follow-up (however you communicate with your client), paint a clear picture for them:
- What their pains are.
- The repercussions of these pains.
- Options to overcome the pains and reach their goals.
- How you can connect them to an option or solution.
- What the solution is.
- How using this solution can help them reach their goals.
- What reaching their goals will look like.
Making a Difference
When someone buys your product or service, how does their life change? Which goals do they hit? Which obstacles do they overcome? The answers to these questions are what selling is all about—helping people live their best lives.
What Selling Is Not
Really, you shouldn’t view potential clients as prospects. You may end up seeing dollar signs floating over their heads. We’re kidding! But seeing potential clients as prospects can make you more money-hungry and closing-deal focused. A prospect is someone who you see succeeding as a customer for your business. If you go to a networking event and chat with people just to label them as a prospect, chances are the connections will fall through because you didn’t see them as a person and take the steps to build authentic relationships.
Selling is not your client filling out their payment information on a transaction page and clicking “Buy.” There’s so much more work that goes beyond the price point, like nurturing the relationship until they feel comfortable to work with you, and continuing this nourishment so they know they made the best choice in partnering with you. It’s all about nurturing and empathy, not the transaction.
Selling isn’t just about making money, and if this is your sole focus, your sales and marketing efforts will fall flat. You won’t achieve the revenue results you’re so hungry for because you leave your prospect relationships and transformations to starve.
What Does Selling Mean to You?
Even if you don’t use traditional sales tactics (yay!), we hope this article was a refreshing reminder of best sales tips, teaching you how to sell and how not to sell. Sell doesn’t need to be a fearful, “icky” word, and I’m glad you’re with me on this journey of removing its negative bias.
For your takeaway, I really want you to think about what selling means to you. In a document or using pen and paper, I encourage you to answer the question in the heading: What does selling mean to you?
Write down your answer and refer to it when you need a guiding light during your sales process.
Cheers to transformational selling and creating safe sales environments!