Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Nobility of Sales

Why do so many people dislike the sales process? The number of switched on people I meet who actively don't sell is staggering!

It's an issue of identity I think...

The obvious elements that contribute to the anti-selling phenomena...
  • Bad past experience
  • Cultural bias
  • The elitism of the academic world
It's all about language, meaning and service.

To serve is to solve problems.

You don't have to technically sell anymore.

You do have to invite people to buy.

So, focus on doing great work, building a reputation and be sure to let people know how they can get more of you, your business or your cause.

Get out actively and have conversations with people who you can help and who may need what you have. But always let them know what they can buy, how they can buy it and why they should buy it from you.



  1. Hey Matt, what I know is the main reasons many information experts don't sell well, are (1) they what they're capable of (expertise) but have difficulty articulating that value in client-problem language; (2) they do not have a sales process that they are proud of and (3) most often, no-one is holding them accountable for proactive contact initiation activities that lead to more new, repeat and referral business. And most importantly, when they do find a potential client, their intention is to win a sale.....which is of course, the wrong intention.

  2. Thanks David great advice. David is a great sales mentor for anyone who is looking for one.

  3. Hi Matt.
    I think it’s more to do with horses for courses!!
    Some of us are brilliant at what we do in our own trades, many of us don’t want to sell because we don’t 'enjoy' it and so don’t value it as much as we potentially should. David makes perfect sense to how and why. However looking deeper we can understand that many people are not wired to enjoy the sales and marketing process.

    Yes we could and maybe should learn to put ourselves out their more. Perhaps many of us are put off by what we have seen through marketing and selling and don’t want to be associated with outdated techniques or people. For my mind much of the selling and marketing is based on pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Many of us just don’t want to be part of the unethical conduct that many businesses are involved in. I think this could well be behind the cultural bias (Australian consumer cynicism) Matt referred to.

    Take a look at the selling that happens on TV, the internet, in newspapers, radio and magazines, its deeply imbued with psychological trickery and is based on a consumer driven model that continues to cause massive issues socially and environmentally. Perhaps that's why some people don’t want to be caught up in this deceptive world of marketing and selling, I know it’s a good reason why I duck for cover in this area. It’s very much Americanised and do we Australians want to be associated with that outdated model or do we want to be more authentic and innovative?

    The sooner our world gets on doing what you suggest Matt and as well doing it with authenticity, and integrity , ("focus on doing great work, building a reputation and be sure to let people know how they can get more of you, your business or your cause",) then the better our world can become.
    Getting these basic fundamentals right is something we all need to be focusing on.

    Gary Scholz

  4. Thanks Gary. Appreciate the further thinking.

  5. When you are passionate about your value, selling comes easy. I guess that in itself answers your first question. Sure, some people don't like 'the sales process' but its a matter of perspective. The science (Process & Method) combined with the tools (CRM, Powerpoint,etc) are only as effective as the passion behind the value proposition. As a contrarian, consumer cynicism suits me fine, because it means that my competition is already on the back foot. I don't see the white elephant in the room, I only see a customer whose state can be improved with my help.

    Trust me, even Neuroscientists are now discovering that everyone is born with an inbuilt BS sensor, but on the flip side if your not BSing and you truly believe you can help, the customer will come to you. So change your mind, empower yourself and have the dialog that share's the vision of a better end state.

    Con Georgiou

  6. Yay - great provocation Matt! To make a sale is to exchange your goods or services for the coin of the realm (in oldie words) - so we all do it. Whether proactively or reactively. Whether subtly, ethically or sleazily. If you're in business, the only question is how, not whether. To 'sell' is simply to bring about a sale. Not to be the pusher, as is often felt by the pushee.
    I've loved teaching people ethical service-based selling for 30 years, and will go on passionately promoting the incredibly important skill of sales-with-service as long as the breath holds up.
    Thanks Matt.

  7. For many women it's a case of being asked to follow processes that don't sit well with their natural style. In my 17 years working in banking and finance I was sent on various training courses to learn selling techniques... which were all developed and usually delivered by men who had a much more left brain approach to selling than women typically do. Women are natural experts at relationship management and this is what makes them great at selling - provided they're encouraged to simply be themself in the process.