Is Selling Dead? (via Seth Godin). Selling is Dead. I've been meaning to write some entries on selling, which after all is what I do, train salespeople.
So is Selling Dead?
I've been out on the road with some salespeople over the last few weeks, observing them selling to SME businesses, and I can tell you that selling isn't dead.
What I'd like to see die, is the rhetoric of selling. Most attempts by writers and trainers (including myself) use the same old tired language as if selling is war. Strategy. Planning. Need. Win. Problem. Pain. Opening. Closing. Territory. And another level to make it sound nice. Consultative. Listening. Matching. Win-Win!!
You know something? Markets are Conversations! That's all. People on the whole want to talk to People. The trouble is, we've taken a scientific approach to selling, by trying to analyse what a "good" salesperson does and then try and apply it in books and workshops, to what other people "should" be doing. But that's like analysing why a joke or comedian is funny and then telling someone to get up on stage. Something of the spirit is lost.
I don't know where selling is going, but there really is nothing new in selling, just different ways to dress it up. The most refreshing thing I've read on selling over the last few years is The Cluetrain Manifesto, which was more aimed at the Marketing People, but it could also apply to selling and salespeople.
So chill people, and just have a conversation.
You know what I've observed over the last few weeks?
Genuine curiosity works the best (even if it kills the cat).
And I've ordered the Selling is Dead book from Amazon, so that I can be curious and amazed (before I criticise it).