Home > Personal Selling > Learn to sell by not trying to sell.

Learn to sell by not trying to sell.

This topic has been brought about different forums but it is something that should be repeated to help some of our newer memebers develop into successful sales consultants.

1st and formost, you are not a sales person, you are a sales consultant. People hate to have someone try to sell them something, but they have no problem listening and recieving advice from someone experienced. Quit trying to sell your product, and start trying to solve their problem. And if its not benificial for the customer to buy right now, tell them so. They will respect you more for it and when it is time for them to buy they will do so.

2nd. Listen, listen, listen. If you catch yourself listening and already planning a response while they are talking, you aren't listening. Take time to hear the customer's concerns out, and when they have finished, and only when they have finished then you take time to think about what they have said, then respond. If you respond to them immediately after the finish talking, they feel you are trying to sell them. I love to sit back in my chair and be quiet for a moment, so I can digest what their concerns are and see best way to address them. I always start my response with, "Just so I fully understand you are concerned about ________, _________ and _________ correct?" Then follow up with, "Well Mr. Customer, based on my X years of experience in this industry, I would suggest...." They can't argue with your experience.. It's yours.

Do these two simple things and watch the responses you get from customers. They will start asking for your advice... "John, what type of down payment would you suggest. We were planning on putting down X amount, but how much more would you suggest?"
It makes the sales process more enjoyable and more likely for the customers to come back and see you for thier next purchase. - by jrboyd
My response to your post may be considered highly critical. And I apologize right up front for my bluntness - unfortunately , I believe your post to be somewhere between somewhat misleading and totally misleading ...

Therefore, I cannot stand by and not be critical, for the impressionable, if not for yourself.

This topic ... is something that should be repeated to help some of our newer members develop into successful sales consultants.

... you are not a sales person, you are a sales consultant. People hate to have someone try to sell them something, but they have no problem listening and receiving advice from someone experienced.
Since when does the title you desire to give what we do influence how we do it? What is this; word-play 101 or are we professionals with serious training?

Quit trying to sell your product, and start trying to solve their problem.
Well ... that is how you sell anything - by solving problems, even if the customer did not know they had them, which is what most of us call OPPORTUNITIES.

Since we cannot sell without selling, why not just get trained and therefore be better at it? Then we can forget about silly word play issues and concentrate on acting professionally.

And before I end this little objection section, if I may call it that, I must add; "acting professionally" has nothing to do with thinking you should stop selling and everythign to do with understanding your prospect, their needs/wants/desires and showing them how to get it/them.

Listen, listen, listen. If you catch yourself listening and already planning a response while they are talking, you aren't listening.
If you LISTEN and hear a need/pain or opportunity, and you do not have a big silent "AHAH" as well as a "I have something here" in your head ... you either don't have a pulse or you simply do not know what to do next anyway, meaning you have a serious lack of pro-sales training.

Take time to hear the customer's concerns out, and when they have finished, and only when they have finished then you take time to think about what they have said, then respond.
How about this instead; if you are trained, you don't have to think after they are done talking, you know how to respond. THE KEY IS TRAINING!

If you respond to them immediately after the finish talking, they feel you are trying to sell them.
Are you kidding? If you don't respond with what is important to them they get weird-ed out, perhaps feeling you are PUSHY or RUDE - other wise they appreciate your effort, as it addresses what is important to them.

The time it takes to respond it not necessarily tied to the feeling the prospect gets from us or how well we do our job with one exception - if you take too long to respond that WILL freak them out.

I always start my response with, "Just so I fully understand you are concerned about ________, _________ and _________ correct?"
So if your prospect said "... my concern(s) are/is ___________" (usually there are not three at once) you would repeat them for no reason?

Come on ... how about when you are not sure what the prospects need(s)/pain(s) are or you are unsure if they have stated an objection, you ask this closed probe to verify that what you think you heard was what it appeared to be. In other words you confirm what they are thinking when you aren't 100% sure.

However, when you are sure, why would you repeat what they just stated ... just get on with it, make a specific benefit statement instead!

Then follow up with, "Well Mr. Customer, based on my X years of experience in this industry, I would suggest...." They can't argue with your experience.
Yes, they can disagree with you, which is why we wait to see if what we said was accepted. Because many times, in any selling suituatuio0n,. be that B2B or B2C, our statement counters their basic feelings and if it does so, we have to deal with that attitude right then and there.

DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING - I could care less how expereince you are!

It makes the sales process more enjoyable and more likely for the customers to come back and see you for thier next purchase.
What does? - by Gold Calling
My response to your post may be considered highly critical. And I apologize right up front for my bluntness - unfortunately , I believe your post to be somewhere between somewhat misleading and totally misleading ...
As i view yours.........

jrboyd's interpretation is fine, please refrain from pulling others posts apart, you are not the only veteran of sales here ;sm - by PiJiL
As i view yours.........

jrboyd's interpretation is fine, please refrain from pulling others posts apart, you are not the only veteran of sales here ;sm
Looked like point and counterpoint to me. Two knowledgable and passionate people with different views.

JR is smart and professional enough to know that when he takes the time to post things he really believes in, he might get opposing opinions. A credit to both of them for sharing. - by Ace Coldiron
Biggest thing to remember here guys, is there is no ONE correct way for sales. It is always good to have pro's and con's for every method. Remember the biggest goal here is to help each other improve sales skills. I welcome any counterpoint to any tips I post PiJil, then I can read them, and see what I can take from it to help improve my method.

One big thing to remember here PiJil, is I am in the auto industry, so my tactics are more aggresive than most, and I do come up with ideas that are considered way outside the box, when it comes to sales. (Having customer give me the tires on the truck he wants to buy, just so I can get to his payments) But that works for me. I truly believe in being exposed to as many sales method's as possible, then taking what I like from each and everyone to develop my own. - by jrboyd
Looked like point and counterpoint to me. Two knowledgeable and passionate people with different views.

JR is smart and professional enough to know that when he takes the time to post things he really believes in, he might get opposing opinions. A credit to both of them for sharing.
Thank you Ace -

If it is not okay to appose thoughts ... not people but various schools of thought .... actual ideas, then this forum, in my opinion is a complete failure.

Lastly, it is not the trying to sell that sets the prospect off, it is HOW YOU TRY TO SELL ... period.

This thread's concept, like others (including; 'Spend your time trying to disqualify them instead of qualifying them'), is rapped around a set of words, not real actions, theory created in a fictitious reality (in our minds), not what is real ... the use of actual professional sales skills ... so, obviously, if you accept what I am saying in this paragraph as valid than what we are discussing is that which is utter and complete non sense.

That is why I had to do what I did. And why I will always do similar in the future within this or any forum of discussing our profession. - by Gold Calling
Biggest thing to remember here guys, is there is no ONE correct way for sales. It is always good to have pro's and con's for every method. Remember the biggest goal here is to help each other improve sales skills. I welcome any counterpoint to any tips I post PiJil, then I can read them, and see what I can take from it to help improve my method.

One big thing to remember here PiJil, is I am in the auto industry, so my tactics are more aggresive than most, and I do come up with ideas that are considered way outside the box, when it comes to sales. (Having customer give me the tires on the truck he wants to buy, just so I can get to his payments) But that works for me. I truly believe in being exposed to as many sales method's as possible, then taking what I like from each and everyone to develop my own.
Great thoughts, JR! I think that is one reason why your posts are so respected here. - by Ace Coldiron
Thank you Ace -

May I say to the forum in general; since I would spend a whole career apposing certain view points, feeling they are foreign to what works in selling ... I literally cannot be told not to do what I have done above and many times in this forum.

Furthermore, if it is not okay to appose thoughts ... not people but what they think .... actually ideas, then this forum, in my opinion is a complete failure.

Lastly, it is not the trying to sell that sets the prospect off, it is HOW YOU TRY TO SELL, period.

The whole concept that gets rapped around words rather than actions is obviously, when thought o this way, utter and complete non sense. That is why I had to do what I did.
Expressed so well, Steven! - by Ace Coldiron
New poster here, but wanted to respond to this part of this post because I disagree and want to hear others' thoughts....



How about this instead; if you are trained, you don't have to think after they are done talking, you know how to respond. THE KEY IS TRAINING!



[snip]


The time it takes to respond it not necessarily tied to the feeling the prospect gets from us or how well we do our job with one exception - if you take too long to respond that WILL freak them out.


In my opinion, it has nothing to do with whether or not you already have the answers prepared in your head, it's a matter of psychology with the customer. I'm a huge believer that psychology is a huge part of sales, especially in a cold-calling or non-customer-initiated environment. You have to make the customer feel as though you not only KNOW what they want, but CARE about what they want as well. I could be wrong, but I really feel that is what jrboyd was getting at here---it's not about whether you NEED the time to think about the correct answer, it's about your actions toward the customer and how it makes them feel---i.e., are they being SOLD, or are you CONSULTING them.



jrboyd, I agree wholeheartedly with virtually everything you said. While Gold Calling, had many great ideas, I tend to see your post as more of a "mentality" issue than an actual "execution" issue---i.e., if you go into a sales call thinking "I have to sell this person," you've already started on the wrong foot. If you go in with the mentality of helping the customer to the best of your abilities and to the greatest of their benefit, you're already a step ahead of most salespeople---and customers are smart enough to recognize such things.


Just my opinion---and great forum here. - by RebelT
I see where your coming from RebelT and think you for your support. And I understand completely on what Gold Calling is saying as well. The only thing I would suggest Rebel, is on the mentality comment. I never going into a sale thinking "I need to sale this customer." I go in thinking this customer is already sold. - by jrboyd
Assumption is the root of all income :) - by PiJiL
JR and RebelT,

Your points are valid. Remember though that people often take different paths to expressing themselves and arrive at the same place.

For instance when PiJil paraphrases the famous "Root of.." quote into something that fits his trajectorial style, I can understand, but I would express the idea through a Quantum lens by substituting "Observing" for "Assuming" because it has much more meaning for me. We know "assuming" discussion is much more popular than Quantum discussion, of course. We might arrive at a similar place, but I doubt we want each other's vehicle.

JR, when you share your attitude by saying "I go in thinking this customer is already sold." you reach a similar place to mine when I say I create a sale by observing a sale. Again, it's a quantum thing similar to quantum physics. But there are few boundaries between the sciences and selling IS a science.

Steven expresses from an extraordinary deep understanding of the selling process and human behavour (Stimulus-Response) to get to a similar place once again.

Steven gets some stuff thrown at him (not by you guys) and it goes with the territory. It's an ego thing, BUT admitting you're good at something is never really an ego issue. The real ego issues are among those people who cringe at the thought of others' success.

RebelT, when you say "If you go in with the mentality of helping the customer to the best of your abilities and to the greatest of their benefit, you're already a step ahead of most salespeople---and customers are smart enough to recognize such things." I could not possibility agree with you more. But I might express it as a "Powerful Intent to create a superior experience for a prospect or client." We arrive at a similar place. - by Ace Coldiron
Who was it that said, "It's not bragging if you can actually do it". Someone posted that here. Biggest thing to remember here is that some of the more experienced sales consultant's here are in different industries. Car sales is a bit more aggressive, and that's why most of my posts pertain to getting the sale done here and now. But there's no doubt in my mind that if you took ACE or Gold Calling and had them sale cars using their styles it would work for them just as well. Had a manager compare me to a pit-bull today. He said when I go in for the sale, I don't let go until it is sold or dead. But he can't figure out, what it is I do, that allows me to say and do somethings with the customers that he would never dream of.

We are here to learn. And learning is an excercise. For those of you struggling, let me tell you one thing. Like excercising, you will eventually reach a point where everything just seems so much easier. Where you don't have to try as hard as you use to to run the mile in 8 minutes. Don't give up. Perfect your sales presentation, and soon everything just falls in place.

Alot have mentioned that they are having troubles selling in these turbulant times. No one wants to buy is what I hear daily from the sales people here. They talk to about 4-6 people a day and can't seem to close the deal. They are consistantly on the phone and can't get anyone in. I promise you, those of us here that are more experienced don't have that problem. Ace, Gold, Mprince, and myself, don't worry much about the economy. To be honest, I haven't had to set an appointment in 3 weeks. I've taken two lot ups and one phone up. Everyone else is coming to me. Why? Because they see me as salesproffessional. I've sold them, their family or their friends, and they like doing business with me.

When one of the more experienced consultants here offer a counter point, don't be so quick to judge. Even if you agree with what the other person was saying, there is still merit in the counterpoint.

Now as for Ace's comment on Ego. I can't agree with him more. It is an ego thing. I'll tell you right now, I think I'm the best car salesman out there. Not because I'm stuck up, but because if I don't believe that, I will never be the best. Go play a game of football, and instead of a peptalk, go talk about how bad your going to lose. Then go play the game and see what happens. Just some food for thought.

Peace - by jrboyd
I see where your coming from RebelT and think you for your support. And I understand completely on what Gold Calling is saying as well. The only thing I would suggest Rebel, is on the mentality comment. I never going into a sale thinking "I need to sale this customer." I go in thinking this customer is already sold.

Personally, I completely respect and agree with your approach. I have practiced and taught my sales reps over the years a very similar technique.

Consumers feel that when a sales person is trying to help them make a smart buying decision, than that sales person is looking out for the consumers best interest. In addition, the consumer will find that you are more genuwine than other sales people just trying to make a quick buck. - by Jumpman
I go in thinking this customer is already sold.
I go in thinking "How can I be of service to this prospect."

Only one in three will buy, that does not mean that I wish to or do behave differently regardless of this fact.

We don't need to adopt expressions that hurt - however inadvertently - our profession. I have said it before and I will say it again, what we need to do is get better. If you are good enough no customer feels anything other than the fact that you are trying to help them make the best decision for them. - by Gold Calling
Why is it that sales professionals always want to change who and what we do? We do sell and we do try to convince or guide the client into our products and service. We can call I whatever we wish to call it however we still are selling and we still are sales professionals.

I respect Jr comments however I wal
waltz into his dealership wanting a certain car but I cannot afford that certain car he is going to SELL me what i can afford. If I can afford the car I want chances are I wil get that car or a better car.Depending on what kind of sales professional he is.

A client comes to us or we go to a client they already know they are going to receive a pitch from a sales person. The perception must be it is the clients idea and not mine or it must over whelmingly be in favor of the client to guide them into a better product.

I must puit my hat beside Golds in this case. I also agree with jr that the perception of the client remains as seeing this as a decision for them to own instead of the perception of them buying off me. I hope that made sense it did to me but then again I understand my thought process. - by rich34232

Only one in three will buy, that does not mean that I wish to or do behave differently regardless of this fact.
Actually 3 in 3 will buy but the average sales person will only sell 1 of 3. Remember everyone buys, so how do you get more to buy from you. - by jrboyd
Actually 3 in 3 will buy but the average sales person will only sell 1 of 3. Remember everyone buys, so how do you get more to buy from you.
JR, I agree completely but only in the context of which I think you state it. You're in the conversion business--many others are in the creation business. What I mean by that is that you are dealing primarily with people who are in the market for cars--SO yes, in theory 3 in 3 will buy. It is a retail environment. That is not the case in many other aspects of selling where the process consists partially of "finding" the market.

That said, your point is very valuable and shows insight. I suspect that, although you might express it differently, you SEE THE SALE, sort of like a sculptor SEES a finished statue within a block of stone.

I call it observing the sale--a quantum expression. In plainer words, it's there for the taking.

In answer to your question "How do you get more to buy from you?", hopefully a few people will find answers on this site though posts like yours, Rich's, Steven's, Skip's, Martha's, and others. - by Ace Coldiron
"In answer to your question "How do you get more to buy from you?", hopefully a few people will find answers on this site though posts like yours, Rich's, Steven's, Skip's, Martha's, and others." -- AceC

"If you are good enough no customer feels anything other than the fact that you are trying to help them make the best decision for them." GoldC

GCs statement is the answer to AceC's question.

When there's trust and respect because the customer feels you are trying to help him or her make the best decision, you will make more sales provided you make more contacts.

Initially it begins with finding out if this "suspect" is a prospect meaning one who has a need and want and willingness to buy what you sell. All three may not be identified immediately but the need and want should be there.

Then comes the conversation or selling situation - I don't know all the proper terms - and in that comes the trust and respect. Trust and respect comes from a dialogue of getting to the heart of what matters.

MitchM - by MitchM
Mitch it is funny how we develop different terms meaning the same process. The time you speak of building trust is what I call my meet and greet period.With my process this is my first step with building a relationship.This is where I build trust and value with my clients in b2c.This is the process where I listen to my clients and gatherr as much information about them and also about the problem they are immediately having a concern.

During this time the client not only tells me how they want the situation to disappear they inform how I must do it and how I must convey my message.They also inform how I must present my solutions and how much they are willing to spend on a final solution.The amount is never a dollar amount but in the want to get rid of the problem and how long they have been dealing with said problem.

I am a cocky sob and I know I am great at what I do. When another company has told them the problem cannot be solved I solve that very same probelm and quickly.I have physical experience and product knowledge of my field.I have reatil and wholesale experience I know what is available.This knowledge gives me an unfair advatage of my competition and my client as I know how to rid the problem and know how to convey the message with how to get rid of the problem. I love this time with my client and they can tell I love this time - by rich34232
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.