The trick: no tricks

Sales people need to approach the right people with the right product or solution. Yet another brochure has landed on my desk inviting me to learn the tricks on how to sell successfully. I wonder how many people will take the bait this time. The motivation circuit in fact is full of sales people who, for a hefty fee, will explain how they hit the big time and offer to share their tricks.

Well, here is some advice for free: this approach never works. Most people don’t want to be tricked and don’t want to trick others. What they do want is an honest and open relationship because good selling is based on delivering what you said you would.

As customers, we are crying out for sales people who are proactive, take the time to listen and understand us, match our needs effectively with our products and services and leave us feeling we have engaged in an honest and open relationship based on trust and respect. And if we get it, we are even prepared to pay a premium.

Sales have moved on from the approach of the 1990s, when product-focused sales teams had little interest in establishing authentic long-term business relationships with clients. Back then, most sales teams were either aggressive and adversarial (leaving clients feeling battered and worn) or soft and insipid, basing their relationship on mateship, special deals and long lunches.

Now the best sales people are more sophisticated. They call on the right level of buyer, interact more strategically with the client and offer beneficial solutions based on value.

And they understand that trust, not tricks, is the key to success.


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