If you always ‘sell’ like you always did,
you might just end up out of business quicker than you thought,
because there’s something going on out there:
Increasingly sales people just aren’t trusted.
Is it time to change the way you sell?
The dynamics of the seller/buyer relationship are shifting so dramatically that something has to change in the way we build our businesses. If you think about it for just a few moments, you will have to admit that you’ve noticed the change.
So what’s changed?
It started with the banking crisis; so many long established trusted pillars of the establishment dashing our faith in financial organisations that were and are still (in some cases) household names. Millions of people all over the world affected not just financially but in a way that caused them to question the trust they had in the institutions that they had been loyal customers of, sometimes for a lifetime. The hurt was deep and still is, we felt let down; betrayed by people who seemed to have no principles, no values other than to look after themselves, whatever the cost.
Gary Hamel, ranked the world’s most influential business thinker by Fortune Magazine said in a recent BBC interview that the crisis had brought the whole capitalist system into question.
That hurt and fallout is still being played out in our newspapers day by day – and now we have the news organisation, that campaigned with such pomposity against the people and institutions involved, in the news themselves. They seem to have now betrayed a trust by taking the tactics used against celebrities who might have been seen as ‘fair game’ to ordinary people who found themselves in extraordinary and often painful situations. “Is there any level they won’t stoop to for an edge in a story’ one relative of an alleged ‘hacked’ victim said on the BBC at the height of the reporting.
Even more recently and following the UK ‘riots’ one senior police officer refered to what he called a new definition of guilt - ’only admit it if you are caught’ which pervades the higheset levels of govenment and business. What about not doing ‘it’ in the first place he asked.
It seems you can’t trust anyone to be straight anymore.
Sure, we’ve all learned through the hard knocks of life to have a healthy dose of cynicism but now it seems many people almost expect to be misled, expect everyone to try to get one over on them.
Why should this affect our businesses, why do we need to be aware?
Because for those of us who have to sell a service or a product there was already plenty of suspicion that people who ‘sell’ things might just say or do anything to get a sale. In fact, in an on line forum I took part in a few days ago, one sales director said:
“The job of my sales people is to make my company look good, to put a gloss on things and win business”.
It’s a view held by too many people who sell; and worse, it’s a view held by people who buy – even when the seller has the best of intentions. ‘Sales people’ just aren’t trusted.
The top earners do things differently.
I’ve worked with some of the best sales people in the world, some of the top earners. These people aren’t called salespeople; they are most often described as ‘professionals’ – skilled technical people who would hate to be thought of as sales people but never the less have to, and do win business: lots of it.
The top earners I work with don’t ‘sell’ in the stereotypical way. They have an approach to winning business that propels them to trusted advisor status. They never, ever put a gloss on things or do anything underhand. Their attitude flies in the face of everything some people think ‘sales’ is all about.
Successful sales people today take a principled approach.
I’d like to make principled selling something that you do too.
This blog is dedicated to what is now my mission – to demonstrate how a principled approach to selling can help build better, more profitable businesses in a way that both seller and buyer will always find comfortable.
Is it time to change to change the way you sell?
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