What Is The Real ‘Definition Of Selling’?
What is the real definition of selling?
Is it what we’ve come to know from movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Room; or is it something completely different?
People have various opinions and perspectives on what the definition of selling is; and of course, this depends on people’s individual values, and personal experiences with sales and salespeople.
But what if selling was something a lot deeper?
In this article, we’ll explore what the real definition of selling is and should be, and why selling often can have a bad reputation.
What Is The Real ‘Definition Of Selling’?
The Definition Of Selling Is Not Self-Serving
Many people think of selling as salespeople using hard closing techniques, trying to swindle people into buying something that they may not want or even need.
Slogans made famous in the world of sales, such as ‘Always Be Closing’ and other similar analogies are partly to blame for this, as many people and businesses have taken this true to heart – making themselves the sole focus of the sale.
This self-serving attitude hurts salespeople’s reputation, and when practiced; hurts their own bottom line and leaves a bad mark on the industry.
The definition of selling is not to go into sales conversations with a mindset of taking – but rather an approach and mindset of serving.
The Mindset Of Serving
A serving mindset, versus a selling only mindset; changes the way we approach and have conversations with our potential clients.
The reason why the definition of selling can at many times have a bad reputation is because people have approached their sales conversations as an opportunity to win a sale – without truly understanding whether they can or can’t actually serve the potential client.
Prior to learning whether we can serve someone or not, there are a number of things we need to take into account:
- Can this potential client afford my product or service, and will it give them a return on investment if they bought?
- Are they the right person to speak with, to understand what truly is needed from our end to deliver and serve them completely?
- Am I approaching the sale completely with the mindset of helping them with their problems and desires – or am I more focused on my personal KPI’s?
These are important questions to ask, because it re-frames the approach of being one from self-serving, to serving others first and foremost.
Using concepts like BANT can help you understand up front whether you can in fact serve the person or not.
By leaning in with this different approach – we slowly change the definition of selling in a positive way – and get more referrals when deliver a positive experience.
The Definition Of Selling Is Not Presenting
Many salespeople and business owners have this definition of selling as going into a conversation with a potential client; and then trying to persuade them up-front on their product or service and why they should buy.
This approach is out dated and harms your sales.
I call this approach ‘Premature Presentation’; because it’s the activity of presenting your product or service without completely knowing whether you can or not in fact help them with their situation.
When I say situation – I mean focusing on two key things.
- What are their pain points, and what problems are they trying to move away from?
- Why do they want to buy – and what will it mean from a pleasure and desire point of view if they did?
People buy for emotional reasons and justify it with logic.
The two emotional reasons why people buy, is because they want to move away from pain, and move toward pleasure.
Therefore, prematurely presenting your idea prior to learning exactly what their pain points and desired outcomes are, is not the definition of selling.
In fact – it is completely the opposite.
Now you may have read my last paragraph and though well hang on – I’ve bought things before, and the person didn’t ask about my pain points or learn about my desires?
The reason being, is that person was not selling.
They were order taking.
The definition of selling and order taking are two completely different things.
In a moment, we’ll look at what the definition of selling is.
Order taking however, is the activity of where a potential client has already made up their mind in regard to what they want to buy, and the salesperson merely takes the order, and facilitates the sale.
It isn’t actually the definition of selling.
It’s purely being present to facilitate a transaction of some kind.
Order takers; although necessary in business and industry, is just a basic activity.
Selling as a professional though – is a different approach.
The Real Definition Of Selling
So what is the real definition of selling?
The parts of this methodology are:
- Building rapport
- Learning about their situation
- Finding out about their pain points, and desires
- Deep diving questions
- Asking for the sale – if they do in fact qualify
By qualify; I mean not only able to afford it, but in its true sense – will greatly benefit from your product or service.
The definition of sales in simple terms, is helping someone get a solution to their pain points, and desired positive outcomes.
To do this, we need to follow a process and step by step system, so we can do so consistently.
The Step By Step Process
At The 5% Institute, we’ve developed a step by step process to help Sales Professionals and Business Owners achieve this in a consultative manner.
The process we use and teach, is called The 5% Sales Blueprint.
The 5% Sales Blueprint has a number of key things covered:
- Why people buy
- The importance of using a sales process
- Building rapport
- Setting pre-frames and expectations
- Power questions
- The pain process
- Future pacing and pleasure
- Talking about money
- Handling objections
- Asking for the sale
To learn more about the process, click here for more info.
The definition of selling is not asking for the order, prematurely presenting, or using hard sales tactics and pushy techniques to close the sale.
Instead, the real definition of selling is using a consultative process, to learn about their situation, pain points, and desired outcomes – and then prescribing solutions just as a Doctor or specialist would.
This approach will position you as a partner, maintain trust – and help you win more referrals.
If more people practiced sales in this way; the industry would have a better name, and an even brighter future.