Whether we call ourselves a salesperson or not, if we have an idea, product, service, skill, talent, or opportunity that we can offer to another and they can benefit from, then we need to be able to sell.
Most people, whether they are a partner in professional services firms, the MD of a business, a tradesperson, a customer service or sales professional in B2B or B2C sales, a lawyer, baker, educator, psychologist, manufacturer, or working for a not-for-profit or in administration or procurement, all need the ongoing custom of members, patients, supporters, sponsors, clients, peers or stakeholders to make a living. Today selling is everybody’s business.
Despite the prevailing paradigms of the 20th century ‘old school selling’ tactics, highly successful sales people have always known the best way to sell. They know how to explore clients’ needs and help them get what they want. They know that trust supersedes like. They practice a range of life skills which are present intrinsically, whether we know it or not. They are applying skills which proactively forge honest and open relationships based on real value, trust, transparency, respect, and doing what we said we would do. This is their competitive edge
Yet some people still believe it is not their right to put their ideas forward instead relying on their good work to speak for them. Others are too frightened and many have never been taught how to sell effectively. Too many people do not purposefully and proactively put themselves in a position to explore opportunities with others, bring their ideas to the table, create new possibilities or earn what they are worth.
Whether we earn a living from what we do or not, if we hide our talents and capabilities from others and no one knows about us or what we are capable of then how can we be of service to others and earn what we are worth?
Since 1995 we have promoted the concept of trust based relationships and fair exchange of value as the underlying premise of professional selling.
We believe that the role of sales professionals is not to push the products, services or solutions that the organisation they represent offers, but rather to use that base, their skills, experience and knowledge to assist customers clarify their real requirements and then assist them in making valid, well informed decisions. In our view, when sales professionals fulfill this task they find that prospects want to buy from them, or at the very least, involve them in the purchase decision.
It is our view that in the 21st Century, with social media becoming such an important influence in business, salespeople who are able to help their customers make sense of the information and solutions on offer; be more efficient, and do more things better than they have in the past; be more effective and help their customers do whatever it is they do better, and who help their customers mitigate risk, are going to be the real winners.
The underlying sales philosophy that guides them, the selling styles they use, the methods they deploy and the skills they bring to bear have to be guided by integrity and the desire to ensure a fair exchange of value. If they do this, then regardless of whether they are using Needs Satisfaction, Consultative Selling, Solutions Selling, or other customer centric selling methods, they are going to be successful.