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Is Your Selling System Making You Stupid?

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selling system challenges

When I share the basic concept of “people love to buy, but they hate to be sold,” most top salespeople will agree. However, startups and small businesses are notorious for always selling.

Some salespeople would say repeatedly repeating the same action and expecting a different result is stupid.

As the great philosopher Forest Gump stated, “Stupid is as stupid.”

Think briefly about how hard it is to sell when you make cold calls. You are calling someone who was not expecting your call, was probably busy, and hates getting cold calls. You probably have about a 6-15% success rate on a cold call, and that’s only to get an appointment. And these stats are for a skilled sales professional.

The other problem you have is the sick-to-your-stomach feeling before you make your cold calls. If you’re lucky, you can talk to someone instead of getting their voicemail. Voice mail is all about screening calls and avoiding salespeople. There are many different schools of thought on voicemail, but I’ll save those tactics for another time.

When you get into your prospect’s office from this channel, you may find they have their selling defense walls up. These walls are tough to overcome with traditional “show up and throw up” selling techniques. Let me share the first part of my process for helping your prospects buy instead of having to do the hard sell. Let’s face the facts, you don’t even like the challenging sell technique, so stop it!

Remember what Forest said a moment ago about stupid is as stupid does.

Selling strategies have moved on now; there is social media and video chat.  You neither need to nor should you make cold calls.  Engage with prospects through your networks on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Then suggest a Zoom call to discuss your shared goals and how you can assist each other.

Sell the way you buy

So if you understand the basic concept of “people love to buy but hate to be sold,” what should you do differently? Let’s pretend for this example that you have moved your prospect from the stages of knowing and liking you to sitting down face-to-face with you. The whole point of sitting down and meeting with your options is to diagnose their current situation.

I’m going to share my doctor analogy with you. The doctor analogy is for you to diagnose your prospect’s problems and goals and then prescribe a plan of action to fix the issues and achieve their goals. This simple process will help you utilize the system of helping your prospects buy versus using all of your energy to sell them.

Diagnosing the situation

When analyzing your prospective client, there are several steps to follow. First, you must understand their current situation and how they got there. This will give you a starting point for your potential business relationship.

Next, you should identify where your prospect wants to go. Ask them about their goals in the short-term and long term. This will help you clarify expectations and determine if you can work together.

Then, have your prospect discuss the obstacles they are facing or expect to face on their journey toward their goals. This will give you insight into their challenges and allow you to address how your product or service can help.

Only 3% of the population has written goals and plans to achieve them. When your prospect can share their dreams with you, this is a compelling moment where you reach even more rapport with your prospect.

Selling Styles

Many companies and salespeople rely on the old-school approach of focusing on features and benefits when it comes to selling. However, this approach may not be effective in the early stages of the sales process. Instead, it is essential to understand where your prospect is currently and how they got there. This will help you establish a starting point and connect with your potential customer.

Take action

Take 30 minutes each week to review if you’re selling or helping your prospects buy. Studying your sales calls each week and figuring out what you did should be a pretty straightforward process.

Following the five steps I shared will make your prospect diagnosis much more effective.

You have no reason to engage in stupid selling behavior anymore. Remember the words of Forest Gump as you engage your prospects and clients when selling, and make it easy for them to buy instead.

Go and conquer!