How To Stop Selling And Start Telling

stop selling

Resisting The Urge To Sell

stop sellingIt can be difficult for a seasoned salesperson to learn to stop selling but it’s got to be done – especially in the online world. Most of my old working life was spent in sales of one kind and another. I’ve been on plenty of sales courses, done the silly role-play stuff and bought the books. I thought most of it was bullshit.

For me loving and truly believing in a product or service is enough. Learning techniques and strategies for “Selling coals to Newcastle” never held any appeal. Natural enthusiasm and honesty were always enough. The sales bit comes in when I see an ideal match between product and potential customer.

If the customer is not seeing it the urge to pour it on and close the deal is strong but I’ve learned that this is the time to stop selling. That’s why internet marketing works for me. Selling just doesn’t work online. Building relationships does.

The Art Of Keeping In Touch

I did this during my traditional career in the events industry by dividing my database into categories I could bring up as lists:

Hot: A definite lead/opportunity/potential sale

Call back: In the notes, based on telephone or personal contact, I would add a timeframe. Usually the contact would have suggested they might be looking at doing something around a particular date.

Future Interest: Again with notes on when to follow up based on contact feedback

Keep In Touch: People who had no particular requirements but may have in future and were happy for me to keep in touch occasionally.

This worked well for that particular industry, as traditional selling wasn’t really appropriate. You couldn’t persuade a contact to hold an event or to hire some AV equipment if they didn’t need to after all!

All you could do was present your capabilities and keep yourself in front of them regularly. That way when they did have a requirement, they would hopefully think of you. The selling part was about making your company stand out from the competition.

Stop Selling – (That’s Why No One Is Buying)

stop selling

In many ways it was a great preparation for Internet affiliate marketing. With that business model you really have to stop selling and start telling. It’s not a face to face world and its very easy to be dropped like a stone if you get too “salesy”. Here’s an example:

Lat weekend an old friend stayed with us. Having just had his first child with his French partner he’s living a complicated life. They have homes in France where his partner and child are based and Scotland where he lives and works. Life at the moment, and for some to come, means spending more time apart than together.

As it happens one of the companies I promote as an affiliate could offer them a perfect solution. Since I’ve learned to stop selling I just mentioned this to him and suggested he have a look at my website when he gets a moment. In much the same way as you would recommend a good pub or film to a friend, that’s how affiliate marketing works best.

Sales Without Selling?…

The big difference between this and my old database system is automation. You put your goods and services out there in a highly targeted way. When someone is interested enough to take a look: Click a link, subscribe for information, they are added to an email list building system.

That allows you to build a relationship over time whether there is an immediate sale or not. Its very similar to my old methods but without the phone bashing, brochure sending or drop in meetings. The scale you can do this at online and the reach you have is simply staggering. You can do it from anywhere you can connect to the internet.

For anyone from a sales background (if they can just stop selling) this is a dream come true. For anyone who isn’t but has location problems like my friend, an affiliate marketing business is also a very viable solution. Like most technical people he hates the idea of selling – not a problem. We don’t do that here.

Click the image below to see Internet marketing supremo Stuart Ross explain the 5 steps to online success and get a free  7 -day video training series explaining why selling is dead into the bargain.

stop selling