My customers taught me how to sell

Monday, September 16, 2019

Save to My Library

I’m winging my way to Las Vegas today for the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference. There’s always a lot of interesting research on sales presented at the conference. I’ll share the highlights of what I learn in an upcoming email.

If you’re going to be at the conference, let me know. I’d look forward to meeting you.

Most of what I know about sales I learned from my customers.

I endured four months of formal sales training in just the first few years of my career.

I couldn’t forget it fast enough. Which is what you should do too.

You see, once you start talking to prospects, the primary question they want you to answer is “Why you?”

Why should I buy from you (the person) not you (the company.)

Your answer directly speaks to your ability to connect, be authentic, be curious, create an initial rapport, build credibility and develop a trust-based relationship.

I didn’t learn those essential human sales skills from company-issued sales training. Nope, that was designed for the benefit of my employer; to teach me how to sell their products and services.

Instead, I learned by putting myself into as many sales situations as I could. And asking a ton of questions.

And, if I was having trouble with any aspect of my selling, whether it was connecting on a personal level or just running into roadblocks and getting nowhere with an account, then I’d ask the buyer what they thought I could have done differently to achieve a different outcome.

A lot of the time they wouldn’t answer. But, on those occasions I did get feedback, it was priceless.

It’s in those moments when you’ll really learn how to sell.