A seismic shift in the way we sell

If you were looking for things to settle down and a return to the good old days of selling in 2012 and beyond, think again. We’re never going back. It’s now time to adapt and forge a new path for selling in your business.

Selling is now everybody’s business and everybody lives by selling something with ‘A Seismic shift in the way we sell’ voted the seventh most important sales trend for 2012 from The 12 Sales Trends of 2012 by our readers.

The way we sell and the way we do business in the 21st century is proving to be a very different proposition from the traditions established in the 20th century. Selling now requires a different philosophy and approach.

Selling and service now go hand in hand, so we all need to be much more proactive across the entire value chain of our organisations. There are now very few absolutes – everything is subject to evolution and reinvention. It’s no longer just about doing deals and all about developing strong relationships that go beyond great products, great service and great design.

In the 21st century business is more about questions than answers; more about thinking than action; more about people than capital.

Traditional versus modern selling

To understand just how much selling needs to change you don’t have to make comparisons with 100 years ago – you need only go back 30 years. Back then ‘selling’ was nothing more than product monologues – features and benefits dished up to a captive audience. Now, organisations have to do more than just ‘do a deal’. They need to engage with their increasingly informed clients, proactively identify opportunities and have a meaningful dialogue around service, relationships and results.

If you want to succeed in the 21st century then you have to change your thinking to change your world.

‘Selling’ in the 21st century is about the fair exchange of value. Everyone is involved in selling and everyone needs to be able to communicate and proactively sell themselves effectively, ethically and confidently in any situation. It is no longer our product or even our service that generates value for our business – it’s our people and our relationships with our clients, communities and each other.

Instead of looking into the past, we can use 2012 as an opportunity to get our houses in new order because the world is changing yet again and we need to change with it.

Remember, everybody lives by selling something.

Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Her business Barrett P/L partners with its clients to improve their sales operations. Visit www.barrett.com.au.


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