Don’t Sell What You Want To Sell

alt text image for a man holding a piece of paper with the word "right" written on itNo matter how good your product or service, no matter how excited you are about it, no matter how much you believe—and you absolutely must believe—you don’t sell what you want to sell.

Sell What Your Buyer Wants to Buy

In sales, we give a lot of lip service to listening to our clients, to understanding their needs, to creating the right solution. And it’s mostly not lip service. Most of us have all the best of intentions. But then there are times when it is more difficult to walk this talk.

It’s easy to be excited about your new idea, your new product, or your new service offering. It’s equally easy to be excited about your solution when you know it is the right answer and it that it will get your client the result they need, after all, you have years of experience and you have seen your dream client’s set of problems dozens—if not hundreds—of times.

The trouble begins when you want to sell what you want to sell because you are excited about your new idea, or because you are viewing your dream client through your solution, or because you are convinced it allows you to leapfrog your competitor.

Your New Ideas (Might Not Be Right)

Your new idea may be everything you know it will be more, but if it isn’t want your dream client wants, then isn’t going to help you win. You are creating a vision together with your dream client, not simply installing your vision.

Your Tried and True Solution (May Be Wrong)

Even if you know what the right answer is because you have solved problems like the ones your dream client is experiencing now, if it isn’t right for them, it isn’t right for them. We say things like “one-size-fits-one,” and you have to mean it when you say it if you are going to win your opportunity. Your dream client decides whether or not your solution is right for them; they make the final determination and your vote isn’t going to be counted.

Your New Competitive Advantage (May Cost You Your Deal)

If you are excited about what you do because it helps you leapfrog your competitor, you can do your best to sell your new vision and your new idea to your dream client—if it is right for them and not simply a way you believe you can beat your competitors. It has to because it is right for them and because it is what they want, not something that you need them to want simply because you believe it allows you to beat your competitor.

You must differentiate yourself and your offering, but it has to be in a way that creates value for your dream client; it has to be a difference that makes a difference for them, or it isn’t the right strategy or approach.

Selling What Is Right

This is hard post to write, and in some ways, an even harder idea to understand.

You have to sell your new ideas, you have to sell what you know is effective in producing results, and you must differentiate your offering and innovate. A winning deal strategy is one that finds away to allow you to help create and meet your dream client’s vision. A losing deal strategy is one that ignores or discounts your dream client’s needs and vision because you have something else that you want to sell.

Sometimes your client wants what they want, even when you have something different and that may even be more beneficial to them.

The one thing you can always count on is the fact that if you give your dream client what they want (and by doing so make them a client), you will have far greater access to the decision-makers and influencers and much more time to work on selling them what you believe to be right later.

If by trying to sell what you want to sell, even though its not what your dream client wants to buy, you will find yourself losing to a competitor who is going to give your dream client what they want—and you will lose your deal and greatly limit your access.


Is your deal strategy about giving your clients what they want to buy, or is your deal strategy about you selling what you want to sell?

Are you excited about your new idea because it is right for your dream client? If they aren’t excited and if they believe it is wrong for them, are you willing to lose your opportunity because you don’t want to sell them what they want to buy?

If your dream client doesn’t buy your new idea, how much more access will you have if your dream client is a client? Are you willing to wait and work on the sale you really want to make until you have their full agreement and their full commitment?

Is you fronting the solution you want to sell because it is what you know has worked in the past? Could it be made stronger and more likely to win if you modified your approach to meet your dream client’s distinct and specific needs?

Are you excited about your idea because it is compelling to you? Do you love that it levels the playing field against bigger competitors or leapfrogs them completely? Who has to find your idea compelling in order for you to win the deal?

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