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Tired Selling Advice

by David Brock on October 19th, 2021

Even “sales gurus” get it wrong. I was reading an article entitled “15 Rules Of Selling,” Some observations about these rules:

  1. The word, “Customer,” was never mentioned. These rules are all about us–the sellers. Yet buying is always about customers.
  2. The rule that came closer to mentioning customers referred to buyers. It was”Buyers are liars.” I just can’t begin to address this. It’s stunning to come out of the mouth of an expert. This mindset pervades too many and is the basis of distrust that buyers feel for sellers.
  3. “Closing begins at the beginning,” is a variant of the infamous, “Always be closing…” The focus is on the attainment of our goal, not helping the customer achieve success.
  4. “Control the sale,” such arrogance. The buyer always controls their journey and what they want to achieve. This doesn’t mean they don’t seek help, particularly from inspired sales people. Nor does it mean that sellers can’t influence the thinking of the customer. Great sales people’s views and help are sought by customers, they seek help in making sense of the things they face.
  5. “Ask yourself, ‘How can I make more money?'” Again the focus on us and our success is overwhelming and arrogant. It gets people to focus on how they can manipulate the situation to their own purpose and not serving the shared goals we have with the customer.
  6. This advice is particularly difficult when none of the 15 Rules for Winning Sales includes a perspective about the customer and helping them succeed. We know the only way we achieve success is through their success.
  7. “Only two objections, the one they tell you and the real one.” Again, this is a derivative of the concept that buyers are liars. The customer may not tell us all their issues or objections, but usually because we either aren’t asking the right questions, engaging them in the right conversations, or we haven’t earned their confidence or trust. This is virtually always a seller error, not any malicious thinking on the part of the buyers.
  8. The rest of the rules were relatively benign, not really useful.

How can anyone, let alone a “guru,” talk about the rules of sales success and never discuss the concept of buyer success. How can we be talking about the rules of selling treating the customer as an annoying obstacle to our success?

Sadly, too much of this thinking pervades sales and selling. It has never been appropriate, but now when customers have so many choices in their buying process, becomes more problematic.

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