The reason is, all good salespeople understand what the buyer values.
The session didn’t run in an orderly fashion. Intentionally so. Thanks to being a rather small group we could divert from the presentation and bring up topics of interest. One thing that struck me during one of those discussions was how a good salesperson and a designer are a lot alike.
Traditional selling is about control and this is what we hate so much about being sold to. Traditional aggressive salespeople invade our personal space and bother us. They call us and approach us uninvited and then try to influence us by pushing for something we don’t see ourselves needing or using. It’s no wonder salespeople are compared to leeches or worse. They’re taught to “overcome objections” and that “a no is a yes in disguise.” They try to convince us by talking about the things they’re comfortable with such as product features.
Great designers know that they have to put the user in control. Designers aim to make users feel empowered and having the means to make good decisions. Whether those concern brush strokes in Photoshop, font choices in Keynote or reactor core temperature in a nuclear power plant. Great designers know how to talk to users in users’ terms and they know how to frame and express users’ needs in terms of features for the product engineers to build.
Great salespeople do the same.
By approaching the buyer in an inquisitive fashion and letting the conversation be about them and their needs, the seller acts like a facilitator and consultant. They genuinely care about the buyer’s needs and goals and help them connect the dots to see where the features of the product or service they’re selling can be of use and value.
If you’re someone who hates selling in its traditional form, it’s probably because you have the right instincts already. So instead of trying to be another pain-in-the-rear ABC seller, listen to your gut feelings and take a buyer-focused approach to sales. If you’re a designer, rely on your designer’s intuition. Ask, listen and help connect the dots between features and use with the buyer, and you’ll see results.
I covered this and more at the event. You can find all the slides here:
How to do value-based selling that generates better prospects and higher revenue by helping buyers visualize
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