Altruism in Sales

For years, many sales books and sales philosophers had a type of “Glen Berry Glen Ross mentality.”

Always be selling. Force the sale. Find manipulative methods to get the prospect to sign. Use questions that require the prospect to say “yes.”

Neil Rackman’s book “SPIN Selling” used research and data to show that method of selling is not effective. Although Rackman noted that people who push a sale are more effective in one-off sales, they are less effective in situations that require continuous sales.

This is because clients want to buy from someone they like and trust.

Anthony Iannario in the “The Lost Art of Closing” takes it a step further. He actually notes that a salesperson should actually care about the client and see the client’s perspective.

This is quite the opposite perspective from the orthodox sales manager perspective in the corporate world.

Iannarino writes in “The Lost Art of Closing:”

“Your intention in sales must have an ‘other-orientation.’ That other-orientation requires you to work from a place of serving your dream client. You are not doing something to someone. You are doing something for someone and with someone. That something has to benefit them.”

“In human relationships, fast is slow and slow is fast. Trying to go fast and get what you want when you want it betrays your self-orientation, creates friction and resistance, and slows things down. Slowing down, making sure that your dream client has what they need to take the next step with you, speeds things up.”

I have the benefit of working in the same industry that Iannarino comes from: staffing. I can attest the two paragraphs that I quote from above are absolutely true.

There are times that I wish that the client moved faster and decided to hire someone faster. Often, I am right: the client does need to move faster.

But it never works to just push the client.

What does work is calling the client and asking questions, listening to what their concerns are, learning about what we can do to help, and understanding their perspective.

This is often hard and grueling. It’s difficult to stop being selfish. It’s difficult to stop looking from the prism of your own lenses.

But it’s always eye-opening and helpful to stop and look at your client’s perspective.







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