People Hate to be Sold, but They Love to Buy

18th March 2020Business Development

Buy and sell in business environments

You need to sell more. As a sales professional, your livelihood depends on it. Your company craves growth. It needs more customers to survive and thrive.

The heat is on. You feel under pressure to deliver but somehow – even though you are trying very hard – you are just not closing enough sales.

Time to change your approach!

“Whilst few people like to be sold – and even fewer like to be chased, most people enjoy buying, particularly those products or services that they really value”

Chris Dunn

That’s why the best salespeople in the world have stopped selling.

Instead, they help their customers to buy by building trust, exploring options and ensuring that the product or service that the buyer chooses fully meets their needs and represents great value in their eyes.

How to change your focus from “sell” to “buy”

There are various techniques that have been developed over the years that transform your role from “Sales Director” to “Assistant Buyer”.

Moving from selling to helping your customer to buy requires an entirely different focus from you as a salesperson.

Unnatural as it may seem, you will no longer the hero of your sales story. Your product with its amazing features and benefits will no longer be centre stage.

Instead your customer will truly be at the heart of everything you do. To achieve this in a genuine way you will need to do 3 things extremely well:

1. Asking detailed questions to identify what your customer really wants and needs

2. Understand why your product may be important to them. Then, find out how it will meet their needs and most importantly, overcome a pain-point or a “burning issue”.

3. Finally, take the time to truly appreciate how they feel when they make a good buying decision.

At this point it becomes much easier to explore the benefits of your product or service in value terms that your customers will instinctively buy into it.

Training to help you move from selling to helping customers to buy

There are many excellent training programmes to help salespeople to focus on creating value for customers so they can buy with confidence.

These include and Value Added Selling and SPIN Selling

We’ve also interviewed professional salespeople to understand what makes them so successful. You might like to download these 10 tips that they shared during these interviews

Here’s a quick refresher on Value Added Selling and SPIN Selling

What is Value Added Selling?

Tom Reilly’s ground-breaking book was published 25 years ago. However, it is even more relevant today, in a world of accessible information and transparency between competing offers.

His basic premise is that to be successful salespeople need to add value, not cost and to sell on value, and not on price.

Critically, it is the buyer and not the seller that defines value. Therefore, value-added selling is all about the customer and not the salesperson.

The salesperson’s focus is on working with your buyer’s needs front and centre. By building solutions together with your customer, you not only fully meet their needs you also exceed their expectations.

What is SPIN Selling?

Around the same time that Tom Reilly was promoting the need to create value for the customer, Neil Rackham was researching complex B2B sales situations.

His research clearly demonstrated that the secret to selling in this environment was asking insightful questions, allowing the customer to do most of the talking.

Asking questions not only uncovers needs, it also builds rapport which in turn establishes trust.

The buyer feels comfortable and therefore talks more. The skilled salesperson is then able to probe further to discover exactly what the buyer requires for a successful purchase.

SPIN itself stands for the 4 types of questions that a skilled salesperson will ask. These are as follows:

  • Situation
  • Problem
  • Implication
  • Need

Just as with value added selling, the answers to these questions define the solution. If the salesperson can provide this solution, the customer’s needs will be fully met. This means of course that the customer will value the solution and be confident to buy.

Think “buy”, not “sell” and you will sell more

So, the next time you are pressured to sell more , don’t transmit this pressure to your potential customer. No one wants to be sold or chased.

Instead, relax and put yourself in their shoes. Ask the right questions. Then, define solutions together that create value on the customer’s own terms. Finally, help them to buy with confidence from you and your company.

Ps: If you are unable to obtain training on the techniques outlined in this article, but would like to hone your skills further, please buy the books on Value Added Selling and SPIN Selling.

You might also be interested in another 5 fascinating books guaranteed to challenge how you sell.

Are you interested in the psychology of sales?

If so, discover 9 reasons why sales success is all in the mind.

Chris Dunn Consulting also provides soft skills and value selling workshops. For more information, please do contact us