Sales is not about convincing people to buy!

After encountering another obnoxious salesperson last week, I’m reminded to share a critical mindset shift that can help you generate sustainable, long-term sales results:

Sales is not about convincing people to buy. It is about helping people make the best possible buying decision for themselves.

I was so relieved the day I really understood this concept! Trying to convince someone of anything is a lot of pressure. I never felt adequate to the task, although I tried, because that’s what I was taught: that you had to do to make a sale. So I was ecstatic to learn there is a better way!

In Chapter 7 of Sell Like Jesus: 7 Characteristics of Christ for Ethical Sales I created a chart (reproduced here) so you can quickly compare the difference between convincing (high pressure selling) and engaging people in a discovery process (service-motivated sales).

High-pressure salesService-motivated sales
AssumesSeeks to understand
ManipulatesInfluences respectfully
DemandsOffers choices
Discounts you, your knowledge, your perspectiveAffirms you, your knowledge, your perspective
Knows-it-allCurious, open to learning
Decides for youAllow you to decide
Only accepts a “yes” A well-qualified “no” is okay, as is a “yes”

High pressure sales puts the product being sold in first place. Servant-motivated sales puts the person in first place. One is transactional, the other is relational.

This mindset (helping people discover vs. trying to convince them) is based on the premise that it’s more important to learn about the person and what’s is motivating them to buy rather than telling them all the wonderful things you can do for them. Instead of focusing on getting the sale, you focus on learning their story while listening for points of overlap. Once you understand them and their situation, it’s easy to flow into next steps – whether it is to continue exploring, proceed with a purchase, or to realize there isn’t a good fit and part ways amicably.

In short, make selling about the other person, not about you or your products. Once you understand them and qualify them fully, you are positioned to share only those things about your offerings that make sense to share based on what they told you. Now you’re not “convincing”, you’re fulfilling based on their input.

If you’d like to learn how you can double your current closing rate, reply to this email and we’ll set up a time to chat.