How to Sell Without Selling
“A reporter recently spoke about how hard it is to get out of the way of stories he reports. In other words, the story is about "them" not "him". There is a lesson there for salespeople...”
When salespeople speak about the "sales process", rather than the customer's "buying process", they are putting their viewpoint first and inserting themselves into the sale.
When they focus on how they want to sell, or when they want to sell, and sometimes what they want to sell, they have invited themselves into the sale. They may think that customers don't notice, but they do. Clients intuitively see when salespeople put their own needs before the customers' needs, and that creates distrust and defensiveness.
How do we sell without "selling"? By getting out of the way, not of the sale, but of the purchase, so that it is a natural conclusion for customers to proceed for their own self-interests.
Facilitating the purchase means removing reasons not to buy, and helping customers see why it is in their interests to move forward. This assumptive selling style has another benefit. By genuinely putting our customers first, they will see that, paraphrasing Herb Cohen, while we care about their business, we don't care too much. We don't put the sale first.
Now that the Internet has empowered customers to self-educate and compare, salespeople are free to add value on a higher plane of knowledge and experience, using personal service for competitive differentiation and advantage. Sometimes all we have to do is step out of our own way, and let the sale fall into place