What's Your Perspective on Sales?

Someone paid a really nice compliment the other day.  He reached out to connect with me on LinkedIn and said he really enjoyed my perspective on sales.

/pərˈspektiv/ noun-

I thought about that for a minute…  How many salespeople don’t actually have a perspective on sales?  They may have views.  I’m sure they have opinions. But so many people are dug into a specific process or system that doesn’t allow them any field of vision.  It doesn’t provide them with any flexibility.  It’s tunnel vision.

Salespeople are often shown a way, given a path. But a path can quickly become a rut, which can turn into a trench very quickly. Tunnel vision can be beneficial as it relates to focus, but are you focusing on the right things?

1. A Particular Attitude Or Way Of Regarding Something

Selling is pretty simple, right?  Find people who need what you have, then approach them.  Extol the virtues of your product or service, and ultimately convince them to buy, right?  How hard can it be?  If I speak loudly enough, or make it cheap enough, it should be really simple.

Sure, but what you’re failing to realize is that the only people who are buying are those who like it loud and cheap.

But wait, if they like me, then they’ll buy from me.  So I’m just going to buy them stuff and take them out for fancy dinners and golf outings.  Then I’ll be able to sell them stuff…

Sure.  That is until someone buys them something nicer or takes them to a more exclusive club.  Is that what your company is all about?  “We technically sell widgets, but the real margins are in steak dinners.”  What kind of customers are you attracting?

I despise these approaches.  They reduce what we do as professionals to bullying, “wining and dining” (blech…), or racing to the bottom.  Yep, you can make a living spending someone else’s money to make some for yourself.  You can browbeat a prospect into doing something they don’t want to do.  Or you can strip your company’s value down to nothing more than a tenth of a decimal point in order to win that race.

But none of this is what I call selling.

2. An Apparent Spatial Distribution

Selling is about understanding your customers, their business, and the challenges they face.  It’s about providing insight where it’s needed.  Selling is about communicating value.  It’s about understanding how you can impact their business in a way that others can’t.  If you cannot provide unique insight, you cannot provide unique value.  If you cannot provide unique value, you cannot sell.

Professional selling is not just about understanding why customers buy but also understanding why they wouldn’t buy your solution.  It’s about understanding that more sales are made on the tenth call than the first.  It’s about knowing that not everybody will respond the same way to the same value proposition because not everybody has the same values.  Selling is about knowing sometimes that a prospect will never be a customer, but also believing sometimes that the 100th call will be the magical one.