One of simplest words of wisdom that I received when I started out as a Software Account Executive that still serves me today is, “Cathy, it’s not about you. It’s not about how smart you are, how many awesome things you sell or how much you think your prospects need what you’ve got. It’s about what they think and what’s important to them. It’s about getting to know them and understanding where they are on their journey and why getting to their goal is so important for them.”
It’s always about the buyer’s journey.
The point of those wise words that IS about us as Sales Professionals is our commitment to understanding our prospects. That’s why Sales Guru and icon Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
Your job is to know where prospects are on their goal journey right now. It’s to help them to identify what the obstacle is that’s in the way of them achieving what they want most. You serve them (and ultimately your business goals) by connecting the dots for them for overcoming their obstacle with the best solution.
You have more credibility and relationship building power when you acknowledge that the best solution may or may not be your solution.
The moment you lead a sales conversation with the presumption that you understand who the client is and what their needs are before you honor them with an invitation to “get to know” their story, that’s about your goal journey.
Who can trust a Sales Professional who prescribes solutions to problems they don’t even know the prospect is having?
That kind of self-centered selling is what has been giving the noble professional of sales a bad rap from the beginning of time.
I have faith in you. I think you care deeply for your clients and that the issue often is wrong focus. Most Sales Professionals focus on gains, solution gains for the client and financial gains for the Sales Professional.
That doesn’t happen if we don’t take the time to focus first on what the client considers a gain. I believe you can solve your prospects challenges and you can help them remove the obstacles in the way. You just need to remember, it’s not about you. It’s about stepping into the unfamiliar, uncomfortable shoes of another human and seeing their story through their eyes.
That’s how they will see you more clearly. And in the end, that’s how you can stop selling so hard because by connecting with what is wanted and needed, more prospects will be buying more often from you.