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Sales People Don’t Message, They Have Conversations

by David Brock on April 14th, 2017

I’ve spent the past couple of days at the TOPO Summit.  It’s become one of 3 “must attend” conferences I go to every year.  All the presenters are rock solid practitioners, with pragmatic advice.

However, as I listened to many of the presenters and much of the conversation, there was one theme that disturbed me.  People were constantly talking about how sales people should “message” more effectively.

Perhaps, I’m guilty of wordsmithing, but sales people don’t message.  They engage people in conversations.

Marketing “messages,” as they should.   The communications marketing provides is primarily one way, creating awareness, provoking interest, educating customers.  Yes, marketing can build some level or interactivity through web sites, perhaps a stream of messaging based on scoring techniques, but it’s primarily one way communication or messaging.

As sales people we want to engage our customers in high impact two way conversations.  We want to understand what the customer is trying to achieve, what their dreams and goals are, how they feel about the challenges they face in their roles, their urgency around change, and so forth.

We don’t learn these things through “messaging,” we learn these through deep two way conversations.

We can’t forget, every interaction with the customer must create value, otherwise we waste their and our time.  The interactions that create the greatest value are conversations about them and what they do.

We never get that engagement if we have our sales people “messaging.”  We only do this by engaging in high impact, value based, two way conversations.

 

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6 Comments
  1. Dave, maybe they were references in the idea in this book:

    Conversations That Win the Complex Sale:

    Using Power Messaging to Create More Opportunities, Differentiate your Solutions, and Close More Deals

    • The book is quite good. While he leverages the messaging concept, it’s really focused on stimulating a conversation. In too many of today’s approaches, things start and end with messaging–we’ve almost forgotten the customer in the process.

  2. You are so right, Dave…

  3. Dave, “messaging” is what I want to tell you, with a focus on how I want to say it, presumably so it’s most persuasive. It’s the control and persuasion mindset that must go.

    “Conversation” is what you want to talk about. It’s what will bring the most value to you! This is a challenging mindset shift. But once made, conversations become less intimidating to sales professionals.

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