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Can Selling Be Effortless?

by David Brock on September 10th, 2010

Everyday, I get inundated with offers.  As you would expect, I somehow get on a lot of spammers lists for various things having to do with selling.  Most of those go directly to my Junk Mail, so I don’t see them, but some still aren’t caught by my Spam Filters.

All of them have the promise of “Getting Rich Quick.”  A recent series have focsued on “How To Sell Effortlessly.”

Effortless Selling is an interesting concept.  Somehow I think I may have been doing things wrong all my career. 

Selling has never been effortless for me, in fact it’s been exactly the opposite.  Selling has always involved tremendous effort, focus, and discipline.  It’s involved a lot of creativity, overcoming challenges,  and dogged persistence.  Like any sales professional, I’ve had my ups and downs, fortunately far more ups than downs.  While it hasn’t been effortless, it’s been huge fun and rewarding.  I couldn’t think of anything else.

But it’s an intriguing concept.  We can become much more effective in our selling.  We can be much more efficient.  We can do things that profoundly improve the results we achieve.  But none of the ways we achieve these things could be mistaken for Effortless.  They require hard work.  Research, preparation, engaging the customers, understanding them, understanding competition, developing and executing winning strategies, coordinating resources from our company, responding to the customer, developing and presenting winning solutions, negotiating final agreement…….  And that’s just when we have a qualified opportunity.  Overlay that with finding new customers and opportunities.

There are lots of great tools that make some of these things easier and faster to do.  There are tools that help make us more productive.  There are resources we can engage to help us execute the sales process.  But they don’t make things Effortless.

We can work much Smarter—maybe that’s called Smart Selling, but I think that’s different than Effortless Selling.

I’m really intrigued by the concept–but not enough to dump money into what these people want to sell me.

Can selling be Effortless?  Would I really like to be engaged in a profession that was “Effortless.” or is the Effort part of the reward?

What do you think?  Can selling be effortless?

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  1. Dave

    Certainly is a poor choice of words and makes me wonder what market segment they are targeting with that message. Reminds me of a post on twitter yesterday someone was pointing out that said “make money doing nothing!”

    Perhaps these marketeers are operating under the assumption that people are so dull from all the mind-numbing chatter of media that they will only respond to an outrageous piece of copy like this.

    I suppose that there are those who will be drawn to such a message. After all, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” as P.T. Barnum put it. Meanwhile I’m with you. If someone is talking about measured results and effectively reducing risk they are much more likely to garner my attention.

    Don F Perkins

    • Don. thanks for the comment. It reminds me of a point, while great selling is not effortless, we should not measure ourselves by effort, but rather what we produce. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Effortless Selling is like the Grapefruit Diet for Instant Weight Loss, it doesn’t exist in my mind.

    Like David, I’ve found selling somewhat effortless because I worked hard at learning my crafting. Once you learn something well and practice it to (semi)-perfection, it becomes easier to do. But once something becomes truly effortless, there is a tendency for complacency to set in and mistakes get made. What was once effortless turns into damage control as we try to salvage the fruits of our “effortless selling.”

  3. I’d distinguish between “effortful” and “energetic” here. Effort is grunting, sweating, straining, vein-popping activity. Energetic is motivated, alive, aware, awake, present activity.

    It’s less effort to be yourself, to be natural, to be relaxed. But the path to be yourself, to be natural, to be relaxed, takes personal effort over a long period of time.

    At the risk of being cliche, it’s like a golf swing. The best golf swings have tons of energy, but they feel effortless. Great golfers have polished their swings through effort so that their energy can come out.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t want to “Make Money Doing Nothing.” Why would anyone want to spend their precious life doing nothing?

    • Great point Matthew, perhaps great selling looks effortless, but is really the result of a lot of effort!

  4. Givonn J permalink

    Time to play devil’s advocate a little! I think someone said and I agree that this was a poor choice of words sent to the wrong “prospect”. Now I did not see the ad, but what if the focus was the processes of selling and not selling as the process. Being in sales for over a decade, I have seen and sure that you’ve also experienced the difference in performance between a professional with a strategic action plan and a salesperson that goes out day after day on luck and a limb. For those that haven’t, there is a huge difference! If you understand WHAT your solution can do for a certain vertical market, WHO your ideal client is and their decision makers, HOW your solution delivers strong value, WHERE to go to find these buyers, and WHEN to strike, then it does become somewhat effortless because you now have put effort in what is called a Business Plan. It gives you a template and milestones to operate from. Now, you can call on similar businesses and say tell them how you’ve turned around ABC competitors business and would like to offer them the same. Now, you know that it takes 4 letters, 3 calls, and 2 emails just to get in the door. Now, my friend, you have a systematic approach to doing business. Now, the hard part is that you get off your butt and go out there and work the effortless plan that you don’t have to think about. That’s the effort part that they didn’t want to talk about. Like you said David, that part is NOTHING relative of effortless!

    • Givonn, you make some outstanding points. High performing sales professionals always have a process as their foundation. They continue to improve both the process and their ability to execute it. They continue to learn and stretch themselves. While they have a process in place, and have interalized it, they work hard in it’s execution. Great professionals make what they do look effortless, but they are constantly working and improving.

      Thanks for joining the conversation and for your great observations.

  5. To me selling is ALWAYS fun…it seems effortless because the flows so simply to the hoped for conclusion.My feeling always has been I don’t want someone to buy my product I want to help them improve their business

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