You Have to Sell

Your product isn’t going to sell itself. Unless you showed up to work today with a line of clients trying to buy what you sell, your product cannot do the selling for you. Nor should you want it to. That would make you an order taker, and you would create little value and risk being automated.

Your company and its storied history isn’t going to do the selling for you either. It’s nice that you have been in business a long time, and the origin story may have indeed shaped the values that you still hold dear. Very few of your dream clients are going to be compelled to buy from you because of the time your company has been in business.

The logos of all the clients you won are impressive. You work with some of the best-known companies on the planet. This has to be a sure-fire way to prove your bona fides. Your dream client might also think that they are too small to get your attention and that they don’t resemble the clients you serve. Either way, the fact that you have won clients doesn’t create much of a preference for you, and it doesn’t absolve you of having to sell.

This is a short list of the things that salespeople front load in conversations with their prospective clients, mistakenly believing that this improves their credibility. There was a time when this was true. That time, however, has passed. None of these things do enough of the selling alone or combined.

It’s more important now that you are capable of helping your prospective clients learn something about themselves, something that compels them to change, something that nothing on the list above can do for you. It’s also important that you know how to advise your prospective client on how to change, what they need to do, why they need to do it, and what trade-offs they will need to make.

There are better starting places for the conversations you need to have to create value for your dream client and to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Starting somewhere else establishes you as something less than a peer, and likely positions you to be commoditized.

Filed under: Sales Knowledge

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