Mike Myatt wrote an article for Forbes' online site called, To Increase Revenue Stop Selling. This article has been very heavily viewed and commented. I don't agree with most of Mike's suggestions, but in his defense, he is not a sales expert, sales writer, sales manager, sales leader or salesperson. He simply doesn't like being pitched or sold to and urges salespeople (he doesn't want them to sell or be called that) to simply let him buy - when he wants, where he wants, how he wants, from whom he wants, and for prices he is comfortable paying. Sounds like retail, doesn't it?
I disliked the tone of his article and I posted the following comment:
"Controversial article Mike – just the way it should be!
I didn’t have time to read all of the comments so I apologize if this has been covered.
I saw a number of comments about the similarity between Consultative Selling and your article, as well as people who say they’ve been pitched from consultative sellers.
Almost every client I have worked with in the past five years has claimed to have already been selling consultatively. In reality, that’s as far as they could take it on their own. A claim. They ask two more questions than they used to and then revert to a pitch. Well that isn’t consultative selling and that’s why you – and your readers – can’t stand salespeople.
It’s not the salespeople that are the problems, it’s the companies that employ them. And as long as people continue to buy, despite how ineffective salespeople are at identifying and solving problems, most companies won’t consider replacing their outdated models, processes, methodologies and salespeople.
By the way – it will always be CALLED a sales force, and they will always be selling (the verb), it’s just that the the description will continue to change in much the same way that cars still have horsepower even though the horses are long gone."
Mike isn't alone. There are are growing number of people who don't like being sold and your salespeople will find them difficult and resistant, and move on. Worse, your salespeople might actually be tenacious enough to continue trying to sell to them - further reinforcing those strong anti-salespeople sentiments.
With the increasing number of people who dislike salespeople and being sold to, it becomes even more important to develop an awareness for what makes people feel like they are being sold to and how to prevent it.
- Evaluate Your Sales Force to determine the gap between where you are today and where you need to be relative to getting your sales force up-to-speed and selling consultatively.
- Get your sales process optimized to support a consultative selling methodology.
- Get your sales management team trained so that they can coach to it and hold salespeople accountable to it.
- Replace the salespeople who won't be able to make the transition with those who will.
- Thoroughly train and coach your salespeople.