Thursday, May 8, 2008

Buying vs Selling

I often find that prospective customers would rather buy than to be put through some sort of sales process. Don't get me wrong, some situations require a little "push" to get the job done and put a sale on the board. A salesperson, however, should not have to continually fight an uphill battle with every prospect on "what's your best price" and "I am happy with my current vendor".

When these questions arise it is obvious that the salesperson has not taken the time make sure he or she is credible in the prospect's eyes. In short, the prospect has no perceived value in dealing with you when these questions come hurling at you like darts.

When selling is done correctly, buying should take place without any push from the salesperson. If the prospect has been qualified, the salesperson has taken the time to show third-party proof to enhance credibility, and the proposal is profit-justified, a sale should take place with no closing skills of any sort. If the prospect is qualified and believes in you, they will certainly believe your proposal and the money, time, or productivity you are putting back in their pocket.

About six months ago, I inherited an existing account that was happy with the products they were buying from my company. I placed a call on the main decision maker shortly after the account was given to me. After I introduced myself, I will never forget what this gentlemen said to me. "Hey, don't feel like you have to come in here and sell something to me." My response, "I don't want to sell to you, I just want you to buy from me.". After that, I shut my mouth and took an order.

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