Sales is suffering from 9 brutal ills:
- The Bro Culture
- Lack of Coaching
- Too Product-Centric and Not Problem Centric
- Not enough salespeople understand the game/rules of sales
- Too much reliance on selling tools.
- Not enough training in the industry/space
- Too much activity management
- Little respect for prospects and buyers time
- Not enough humility
Here we are problem number four. This is a problem is like a dormant virus. Almost every salesperson is afflicted with it, but they don’t realize it. Most salespeople don’t understand the game of sales. They think selling is about them. They think selling is about their product. They think selling is about competition. They think selling is about quota. They think selling is about President’s Club and being the top rep. Salespeople look at selling in a lot of ways, but few actually get what sales is all about. They don’t understand the game of sales and it’s costing them deals, partnerships, and greater success.
Of all the misconceptions salespeople have, the biggest is they think it’s about them, their company, and their product. Look at most of their decks, pitches, emails, voicemail messages and the one pagers they send out. They almost always, exclusively talk about their product and their company. What they don’t understand is that customers and buyers don’t give a shit about your or your product.
Gap Selling Truth Bomb #2
No one gives a shit about YOU!
Sales is not a selling sport or a commission sport or a telling game. It’s a helping game. It’s a discovery game. It’s a thinking game. It’s a creativity game. It’s a support game. It’s a problem-solving game.
Buyers care about themselves. They have problems they are trying to solve. Their business is suffering somehow and they need to stop the bleeding. They don’t care about you or what product you sell or how long you’re company has been in business. They care about their own world and it’s our job as salespeople to understand as much about their world as possible.
What salespeople struggle understanding is that they aren’t paid to sell. They are paid to influence a decision and that can’t be done when you’re focusing on you, your product or your company.
When a salesperson doesn’t understand that it’s their job to influence they become an order-taker and order takers don’t provide as much value as decision influencers.
The game of sales is a data game. It’s about getting as much information as possible about the buyer’s current state and what’s going on. It’s about understanding the current environment, the problems they are struggling with, the impact those problems are having on the organization, the reasons they are having them and how it’s making them feel. It’s about understanding where they want to go. Why they want to go there, what happens if they are successful and what solutions would be most effective in ensuring they get there.
This is all data. No telling, pitching, no demoing, no hard close, not manipulation. It’s simply being a data hound, and getting as much information as possible, that will allow you to influence the sale leveraging everything the buyer told you.
Salespeople, it’s time to change the way we sell. The days of pitches, product-centric selling are over. The game has changed. Don’t be an order-taker. Be an influencer, be a problem-centric seller.
Product-centric selling is self-absorbed and puts you, your company, and your product at the center of the sale. Problem-centric selling puts the buyer, their challenges, their problems, and their desired outcomes at the center of the sale and isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
It’s time we change the way we sell. It’s time we stop focusing on us, and our products and our goals and start focusing on our buyers. It’s time we change the conversation to look more like problem-centric salespeople than to product-centric salespeople.
Remember, it’s not about us, it’s about them. Let’s start acting that way.