The reason sales has a negative connotation is specifically driven by a few historical behaviors. The first is a self orientation. The second follows the first closely, and that is a lack of influence and persuasiveness.
It’s all about you.
One of the things that made the sales process a negative one for the buyer, prospect, and customer was the salesperson’s self orientation. That self orientation often extended to the company who hired and trained the salespeople. That self orientation can be described as the desire to “sell someone.”
It was clear that selling was being done to the person buying, and never for them. It was very tactical, and the outcome was nothing more than the salesperson closing the deal. Tactics and behaviors that followed were built on the idea of winning. Listen, you are still supposed to win deals. But the way that you win is by helping your client, not by winning and allowing their win to be an afterthought.
There are still salespeople and sales organizations who are self oriented, and a number of pundits that suggest that a self orientation is necessary. That’s not true. People want to work with people who they believe have their best interests at heart, and who they believe can help them improve their results. Not someone who is trying to sell them.
Force is the choice of those who cannot persuade.
The bullying, badgering, argumentative approach to what would have at one time been called “objection handling” is the choice that you make if you lack real influence and the ability to persuade your prospective client.
Force is the choice of the weakling. Those with real power have the power of mind share and authority. They do not need to rely on force as a method to gain a commitment.
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Filed under: Sales