Losing Isn’t a Sales Style

What does it mean to have a “style” of selling?

Most of the time, the word “style” indicates an unwillingness to do what is necessary and instead do what is easier, something that can’t easily be called a “style” as much as ineffective choices. Other times, the person who suggests they have a “style” communicates the idea that they believe that the general principles and good practices don’t apply to them or their industry, often saying that their client or industry is so different that none of what works in sales would work for them.

Not At All a Style

Not prospecting isn’t a “style” decision. Suggesting that your clients don’t want to speak to a salesperson unless and until they are interested in buying from them is to believe that those same clients already know what they don’t know and are already making the right decision in every area of their business. Waiting like a rain barrel isn’t a style.

Not scheduling meetings because prospects don’t like to meet with salespeople and using email as your primary sales communication channel isn’t a “style,” it’s mostly a weak and ineffective decision. Why would someone who won’t even meet with you decide to buy from you?

Not possessing enough business acumen to command a conversation with the contacts who make decisions around your category isn’t a “style.” It’s an inability to create value for your clients. Maybe it is your style to start with eight slides that pitch your company’s history, your client’s logos, and your solutions, but that style is how you prove you are selling a commodity and you believe you lack the depth to consult.

Might Be a Style

If by “style” you mean being authentic, that might be another thing. Maybe you have a great sense of humor, and your ability to bring levity to the sales conversations compels your clients to prefer to work with you.

Maybe “style” means that you have deep insights and are excellent at creating a conversation around change that causes people to explore doing something different. Perhaps your style is serious in a vertical where serious works.

Maybe you have fast rapport skills, and your ability to connect is what allows you to help people explore new ideas because they immediately trust you (I have a sister who has this ability and uses it to great effect, while also being directive and consultative).

What is not a style is refusing to accept reality or the general principles of good salesmanship. If what you do doesn’t work, change it.

Filed under: Sales Acumen

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