An old colleague of mine had a great way of looking at things. He and I would meet with thousands of sales people every year. He woul soften comment: “The one thing common with every sales person we meet is their overwhelming need to sell.”
With little provocation, they would launch into their pitches. They would enthusiastically talk about the latest greatest features of their products, how great their companies were, and how superior their offerings were when compared to competition. Virtually everyone we met was very compelling.
However strong their need to sell was, it made no difference until they found a customer with a compelling need to buy. If your customer doesn’t have a need to buy, you will never be successful in selling them–you will be wasting your time and, more importantly, their time.
I occasionally go into rants in this blog, usually it’s about a sales person who has a strong need to sell, but they are imposing themselves on me, wasting my time—never taking the time to find out if I had a need to buy. I write about the importance of asking customers questions and the “discovery” process. I’ve written about vicious disqualification. Part of what these do is help determine if your customer has a need to buy.
Spend your time and that of your customers well. Regardless how strong your need to sell is, if your customer doesn’t have a compelling need to buy, go someplace else. They’ll thank you and you will be more productive.