How to Sell More By Not Selling at All

Selling a Smelly FishHave you ever heard someone complain that their fish is too fishy?

Isn’t it ironic that people will order a plate of fish and hope that it doesn’t taste or smell fishy? Yet, can’t you relate? I understand the whole fishy fish thing and would prefer to eat fish that’s not fishy myself!

We find the same irony with sales. Because most people like to shop and buy things, but they don’t like to be sold to. In other words, they don’t want a salesperson to be too selly.

Too selly means too cheesy, corny, pushy, overbearing, fake, selfish, robotic or just plain annoying. Even people who work in sales don’t like to be put through that sort of baloney.

When I worked as the Director of Sales for a Marriott hotel and did cold calls, I’d often introduce myself like this,

Hi, my name is Ashley…I work at the Fairfield Inn just down the street from you.

Instead of,

Hi, my name is Ashley…I’m the Director of Sales at the Fairfield Inn.

I didn’t want a potential new client to hear the word SALES right off the bat since that would get her rolling her eyes into the back of her head in no time. I wanted to have a chance to build a relationship with her and the only way that would happen is if she felt like she could relate to me as a real person.

Many sales people will do a cold call with a stack of pointless brochures or other advertising that doesn’t work. They will go in and ask for business right away, leave their information and hope someone gets back to them.

Keep it About  Your Customer…Not You

In sales, you will be more effective if you try to understand the person you are trying to sell something to first. Figure out what they need or want or even something personal about them.

Find some way to relate to that person.  Understand who they are and what they do.

Learn everything you can about your clients and potential clients – from their needs, to their fears, to their sense of humor. Most of all – help solve their problems! When you take the focus off of you and become a trusted adviser, you won’t even have to try to close the deal. It will happen naturally. Just like most relationships.

Keep it Real

Being genuine is important. It helps customers and clients relax, let the guard down and forget that you’re even trying to sell them something.

Most people are looking for a reason to say “No” to you. Instead – make them want to say “Yes!”

  • Be Yourself – Nothing is phonier than using a fake sales personality. Phony = too selly.
  • Be Helpful – Point your prospects in the right direction – even if it means to a competitor. They’ll respect you more and remain loyal to you.
  • Be Creative – Always have a bright idea! Think about specific ways your products and services can benefit your customers. Then they’ll actually thank you for selling to them.
  • Be Confident – A good sales rep knows his stuff. Prove yourself by backing up your claims with success stories.
  • Be Trustworthy – All good relationships are built on trust. Do everything you can to avoid letting people down, and apologize with sincerity when you or your company makes a mistake.

Let Them Figure Things Out on Their Own

customer researching contentToday’s consumers want to conduct their own research before they make a purchasing decision.

There’s a good chance prospects have already looked into what you have to offer as well as your competitors before you even make contact.

So it’s a good idea for your business to have a content marketing strategy. When you publish valuable content, you will build your credibility as a trusted source and lead consumers to purchase the products and services your business offers.

With content marketing – you can point your prospect in the direction of your company while making them feel empowered because they are making their own informed decision.

Make sure your business is contributing valuable information on your website or blog. That is where most people look when they are trying to figure out what to buy and where to make their purchase.

In fact, 85% of the world’s internet users have shopped online according to a 2008 Nielsen Global Online Survey regarding internet shopping habits.  That was a 40% increase from 2006! Now, six years later, we can only imagine how those numbers have grown.

My Recipe for a Rock Star Sales Personality!


Do you have a recipe for a Rock Star Sales Personality?

Share it with us in the comments section below!


Share this Stuff with Others!


    1. Hi Ashley,

      This is a great post and I love your take on how to be a great sales person. I’ve been involved with internet marketing for 7 years and many of the same things your pointed out apply in my niche as well. Building relationships is what it’s all about. People like to buy from people they know, like and trust – their friends. When you have a great relationship with potential clients, they pretty much close themselves.

      Thanks for sharing this awesome post with us on BizSugar. I appreciate it!


      • Hi Ti,
        Thanks for reading and I’m glad you found that the article relates to your niche in internet marketing! You make a great point about the importance of client relationships!
        Thanks for your comment, we appreciate it!

    Speak Your Mind