Justin Ricklefs


The Sales Process Isn’t About You

As sales professionals, a funny thing happens when we stop talking and start listening.  We actually sell more.

Far too often, sales folks make the story about themselves, not the other person in the story.  And sure, that may be successful for a while, but sustained success will come when we realize it’s not about us.  In the sales process, here are four common areas where we struggle to get out of the way:

1.  Our quota.  Our clients don’t give a rip about our sales goals.  We do and our bosses most certainly do, but our clients don’t.  When we realize sales is about the relationship; building trust and gaining respect with our clients, our quotas will be blown out of the water.

2.  Oversell.  You bet it’s fun to sell the big ticket product or service.  It’s a bigger commission and provides more swagger internally.  But is it right for the client?  If we believed it was about the client, would we still suggest the same offering?  What if instead, we sold them exactly what would meet their needs?  Would this accelerate trust, longevity and likely lead to more business down the road?  No question.

3.  Trashing our Competitors.  Our future clients will make buying decisions based on many factors including their direct relationship with us.  Are we likeable?  Are we honest?  Will we shoot them straight?  If we’re willing to bad mouth a competitor to a potential client, they may have doubts about how we’ll speak about them as well.  It erodes trust.

4.  Not shutting up.  It’s blunt, but shut up.  We talk too much.  We’re good at talking, which is one reason we’re already successful, but let’s watch sales soar as we listen.  Diagnose.  Ask questions.  Learn to ask even better questions.  Listen more.    Our competitors are talking a ton too, so let’s shift gears and differentiate ourselves by asking meaningful questions and listening.

Happy selling.

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