Everyone hates “Sales People” BUT they love “Experts”

Solo oily heed text

Everyone hates sales people – admit it you do as well – even sales people hate sales people!

When a sales person approaches you in a store and asks “can I help you” unless you are in the Apple Store or maybe PC World you automatically say “no thanks just looking”.  Even if you are not just looking, even when you really could do with a second opinion on which shirt goes with the trousers you just picked out.  When a telesales person gets you on the phone you will rarely give them the chance to tell you about the deal they have for you or the service they offer.  At the networking event when someone you just met delivered his elevator pitch before you have even had a conversation and tried to force his card on you, the only person watching who didn’t know that you were not going to do business is the salesman.

The rare exception I mentioned was when you go into the Apple Store or PC World you actively seek out the salesman to ask advice we value their expertise, you understand that you may know less than them and so you are desperate to tell them what we need, how we will use it and how much you can afford and boy will their advice influenced your buying decision.

Why?

Because everyone hates “Sales People” BUT they love “Experts”.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

In the 80s and 90s sales people were trained to push information, to state the features and benefits overcome objections and then try to close the deal.  The world has moved on but sales training in the main hasn’t.  People don’t want to be sold to they want to be engaged, advised and empowered to make the buying decision themselves.   Engaging means sharing expertise, questioning and delving deep into the needs and wants of the buyer, engaging is far more powerful than running through the old style sales script.  Engaging empowers the buyer to make the decision, it is easier than selling, it’s more fun AND everyone I coach to engage increase their sales by at least 25%.

So stop selling people what you want them to buy and start engaging and helping people buy what they really need.

Fortunately becoming an expert is easy, yes you need to read your product manual and service level agreement etc but that’s just background info.  The best way to become an expert and be loved by your clients is to ask questions.  A field sales person will meet between four and a dozen buyers a day, a telesales person will talk to at least 20 decision makers a day and a retail sales person will talk to up to a hundred.

Now imagine if those sales conversations were used to engage and to understand the reasons that the buyers may want to buy and to understand the problems and pain experienced by the buyers of their service.  How long would it take for every one of them to become real experts in their marketplace, to be able to offer really credible advice and to share information that will empower the buyers, make them respect the sales person and make it far more likely that they will buy?

Results can be instant but to make engaging a habit and get 25% plus sales increases usually takes people I coach about three weeks.  The person in every business that is best placed to access the knowledge required to become an expert is the sales person but most of them just keep trying to force the sale through rather than listening to reasons that their prospect needs to buy and that’s a pity because everyone hates sales people BUT they love experts.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

Intelligise Be Brilliant

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2 Responses to “Everyone hates “Sales People” BUT they love “Experts””


  1. 1 Stephen Smith October 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    You’re right Gordon, people who are using closing “techniques” and not evolving towards the consultative approach are limiting their success.

    When I ask other sales people what’s holding back their sales they usually start on the economy, the operations team or any number of other external factors. They very rarely give the right answer, which is 99% of the time is, “me”.

    Would you agree experts are passionate about what they do? Someone once told me that you can teach process but you can’t teach attitude.

    • 2 thenewgoldenrules October 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Stephen thanks for the comment

      Passion – yup not just important but vital – how many people are working on projects they are not passionate about? If you don’t have a passion for what you do you can’t possibly each peak performance.

      It’s partly an attitude thing (how you manage yourself) but it is also about they way you are managed by other people and how you define what you do. I used to define myself as a sales person (a top sales person actually) and I hit targets and sold things to people, sometimes things they didn’t need and sometimes I charged them over the odds. I wasn’t passionate in fact I lost my mojo and started to resent the targets and strategies set by my CEO and eventually I wasn’t me anymore – I was living a half life.

      Now I define myself as an “Intelligiser” I help people do smart things in business that help them sell more volume or make more profit. I never oversell and I do huge favours for people that makes them wonder how I can find the time, I stopped giving to get and just started giving maybe its karma but 100% of all the business I will invoice between now and the new year called me, I didn’t sell, I simply engaged with people who had heard from others that they should seek my help.

      So now I have my mojo working, I am really passionate about what I do, it doesn’t feel like I am working at all and I am making more money than ever before but I have also lost my desire to spend and to consume especially when it comes to my car which used to be my passion!

      I dont think you can even become an expert without passion.

      Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp

      Intelligise – Be Brilliant


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