Overselling – The Keyboard Vs. The Mouth

Overselling today is a symptom of holding on to what does not work anymore.  Traditional marketing and sales creatively interrupted people.  The message was about talking about how great you and your products or services are.  This is what advertising, direct mail, and sales teams were used for.  Today, it misses the buyer.  They don’t need you to figure out what you do or offer.  They can find it for themselves.

The Mouth

It is expensive to hire a large sales team, much less train them and ensure performance.  This was the norm for the complex sale in the industrial age.  However, their job has become less relevant as information has become widely available.  Buyers can self-serve when it comes to finding what they need to educate themselves.  Google is pretty easy and powerful to hone in on what we are looking for.

They typical salesperson is at their best if they are in person and can read the buyer’s body language.  They have the art of persuasion.  They need close range to use it effectively.  Lots of calls and interruptions create a feeling of busyness.  It’s easier and feels like selling if they pick up the phone and can get you to talk.  It’s also overselling if it is not welcome.

So, if you have salespeople, how many times can they call a prospect in a week?  Once?  Twice?  More?  They would have to make up reasons if they are too frequent (this happens often).  They “are just following up” to check on if the person is ready, right?  The buyer is turned off by this.  They know what the salesperson is trying to do.  We have all been sold.  We don’t like it.

Furthermore, every call is a lost opportunity.  It’s not worth much.  Time goes by in a day and it’s a low probability day.  Perhaps some activities are captured in some emails or a CRM system.  Either way, there is nothing to show of lasting value, but activities which are in a private system.  It’s a one and done.  Overselling the buyer can also risk your credibility and opportunity.

The Keyboard

The customer is not looking for you to sell them something.  They will decide for themselves when they are ready and will pick you or your competition.  What they are looking for is valuable content which helps them understand your market, value proposition and competitors.  They are looking for answers to problems.

Helping them articulate their problem is part of their quest.  If you can help them with such value, you are positioned in the mind of the buyer when they are ready to buy.

What if your sales process was transformed from the mouth to the keyboard?  Instead of the busy work of interrupting and foraging for the hot lead, provide value for everyone and build a digital pipeline.

The tendency of most salespeople is to pick up the phone and waste their one call for the week.  It’s a losing proposition.  You are in the begging position.

Instead, pick up the keyboard and share your knowledge.  Create content which connects for your prospective buyer.  Publish it.  Distribute it.  Position it.  Persist in it.

This is how selling is done today.  Credibility comes from a give and take in value.  You provide knowledge (assuming you know something) and the buyer responds digitally.  Every click, open, share, and page visit can be measured and trigger next steps that make sense.  Follow-up becomes congruent with what the buyer is doing, not what your itchy sales side wants.  It becomes about helping and buying rather than bugging and selling.

The keyboard builds you an asset.  You have content which lives and is a renewable resource and durable asset.  The phone can work a bit, but it is based in getting past caller ID and catching people with attention and desire.  It’s a tough sell without an asset to show for when all is said and done.

Your buyers are ignoring you if you don’t understand the new rules of marketing.  Stop wasting their time and yours with outdated approaches.  There are more cost effective and beneficial ways.

What is holding you back or what have you experienced from changing your strategy and sales approach.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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