For God’s sake can we please stop talking about sales like it’s 1954? Don’t you cringe when you hear people say things like “People don’t want to be sold? Is it really your experience that salespeople are walking into their prospect’s doors spraying and praying? I’d have an easier time believing that you had to nudge the salesperson out of their diagnosis long enough to pitch you.
If you say something like “people don’t want to be sold,” it’s only true if you are talking about sales four decades ago. It’s true if by that you mean spray and pray, pitch, withhold information, and use tie downs and closing techniques from a time before most salespeople were born.
Of course people want to “be sold.”
Why wouldn’t they want someone to help them understand their business challenges? Why wouldn’t they want someone with subject matter expertise and business acumen to help them understand the choices available to them in improving their performance? Why wouldn’t they benefit from having a smart, thoughtful salesperson help them resolve the concerns they have about upsetting the status quo?
Does anyone really believe that their prospective clients don’t want someone to help build consensus around change, someone to help justify the decision to change, and someone to hold accountable for those new results?
As for selling, who wants to buy from someone that doesn’t believe so strongly in what they sell that they will advocate vociferously for the opportunity to serve their prospective client?
Of course, no one wants to “be sold” by a salesperson that does any of these things poorly. But they also don’t want to go to a doctor that practices medicine poorly, or a lawyer that practices law poorly (this list could go on ad infinitum). That doesn’t mean they don’t still need a doctor or a lawyer.
Salespeople and sales organizations have been in tune with and adapted to the changes that have occurred over the last forty years in real time. The changes in the way we sell were underway long before the chattering class decided to weigh in with their ideas. How else could we have sold so much?