The Evolution of Selling

 If we are going to separate ourselves from the competition in the eyes of our clients, we cannot be just another “me too” salesperson. We need to have a better sales approach.

I’d like to take you through the U.S. Learning model we refer to as “The 5 Stages in The Evolution of Selling.” The key today is to develop a “selling style” that customers are comfortable with, or we will be unable to build trust. We need to sell them in a way that increases the probability that they will get engaged with us, talk openly about their issues, opinions, and preferences. If we can get them talking and feeling comfortable with us, we have a great shot at getting an order and establishing a long term relationship.

The first two stages of the evolution of selling are outdated and unacceptable for high integrity selling today. They are presented here for your consideration as a historical perspective only. They are manipulative, unprofessional, and contributed to the negative image of selling that still exists in many people’s minds today.  Here are the five stages with three descriptors of each stage to further our understanding. 

  1. The Product Pitch:
    1. A narrow, self-serving approach
    2. No tailored solution, but an attempt sell the masses
    3. Often offering products of little or no value

  2. The Hard Sell:
    1. Pressure based
    2. Often “closing” before earning the right
    3. Destroys rather than builds trust

  3. Relationship Selling:
    1. A high level of trust is enjoyed by the parties
    2. Relationship stress is kept at a minimum
    3. Adaptability is present among both parties

  4. Needs-Analysis Selling:
    1. Information gathering is the cornerstone
    2. The customer’s agenda is ever-present
    3. Constant monitoring for pertinent changes

  5. Symbiotic Selling:
    1. Allegiance is present in the relationship
    2. Eagerness to work together toward common goals
    3. Collaboration grows from the symbiotic competencies developed

If we are attempting to sell with the last three approaches we have a good chance of creating a strong following in the marketplace and enjoying high levels of success. Craft a selling style that is respectful of others, focused on their needs, and their definition of value, and you are on your way to a successful selling career.

For more strategies, visit: Click here to discover more about Don Hutson’s new book Selling Value: Key Principles of Value-Based Selling


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