Value based selling. Consultative selling. Relationship selling. Whatever you call it they all focus on one thing and that's giving.
The art of building and deepening relationships with a resulting sales is based on helping the buyer through their decision making process. Sales people are enrolled on courses to teach them how to do this however, according to this article from Adam Grant, it takes more than a course to get results.
Adam analysed sales people (and others in the workplace) to understand how their behaviour influenced their success. He discusses his findings in this TED Talk:
Essentially you have four personality types:
⭐ Agreeable Givers: Say yes to everything.
⭐ Disagreeable Givers: Rough & tough on the surface but have others best interests at heart.
⭐ Disagreeable Takers: Like the Lannisters on Game of Thrones. They take and they don't care.
⭐ Agreeable Takers: Allow people to think they're generous whilst secretly undermining the organization.
He argues that the Agreeable Takers are by far the most dangerous. They say that they care but in reality they have only one ambition and that's to win a deal.
The big problem with this approach is trust.
Whilst on the surface it looks helpful to the customer, the underlying objective is driven by a more self-centered need to sell. It compromises trust if a sales person is selling something that the customer doesn't need. Compromising trust at both an individual level but also at a brand level.
So, when it comes to Social Selling, we're not just teaching people how to operate digital platforms to become better informed about their prospects. We're also teaching people to hold back.
Not jump feet first into a cold call.
To pull back when they're tempted to fire off their email or invitation request.
Social Selling is actually more about (as my first ever boss once taught me) "selling like you don't need to sell".
For me, relationships start with helping. I personally don't start any call or interaction with an expectation of a sale. That is not the goal. I'm there to help impart knowledge, help them along their journey and give some advice.
My goal is to leave them with a positive experience of our Tribal Impact brand. An experience that they don't forget...for the right reasons.
For that reason, I really believe sales should focus more on the giving and less on the taking. As I wrote in this post last year, customers can smell desperation. Be comfortable in the knowledge that the more you help, the more outcomes you will see.
Speaking in Chicago at the annual conference of the Society for Human Resource Management, Grant said he separates workers along two axes: givers and takers, and agreeable and disagreeable. Givers share of themselves and make their colleagues better, while takers are selfish and focused only on their own interests. The agreeable/disagreeable spectrum is what it sounds like: some workers are friendly, some are grouchy. Grant has found there’s no correlation between being friendly and being a giver, nor being a grump and a taker. Givers and takers both can be either agreeable or disagreeable.