Sales today requires the ability to build trust and create win-win solutions. If you’re a subject matter expert who is reluctant to sell, know that this may be an indicator of your ability to be an effective salesperson.
What Do We Think of When We Think of Sales?
Before the internet, a salesperson’s role was to inform prospective enterprise customers about their products and services. In order to fulfill this role, salespeople were often expected to engage the customer in friendly conversation and use what are now considered outdated sales tactics.
From the perspective of someone who is sales reluctant, this approached might be summarized as “act as a friend and then manipulate into buying.” This sales stigma prevents many people from ever taking on the challenge of selling and causes sales reluctance.
What Should We Think of When We Think of Sales?
Due to customers' access to information via the internet, an enterprise salesperson is now expected to advise customers on their business. Customers are unlikely to take advice from someone who is selling to them unless the customer believes that the salesperson has their company’s best interest in mind. Therefore, the ability to build trust is a requirement for an effective seller.
The other key requirements is the ability to understand the customer’s problems and have a deep enough knowledge of the features and benefits of the offerings to identify solutions (products, configuration, pricing, implementation, support, etc.) that address their problems in a way that is still profitable to the company the salesperson represents.
Do You Think I Can Sell?
If you’re someone who’s reluctant to sell because you don’t want to be perceived as manipulative, this means that you want to be perceived as trustworthy. You likely already know how to build trust but, if not, it can be learned (start with the Trust Equation).
Additionally, if you’re a subject matter expert (i.e., you have a thorough knowledge of the offering that you’re selling and/or your customer’s industry) then you have access to the information needed to identify win-win solutions. You just need to be able to take a diagnostic approach to identify a customer’s needs. If you’ve ever succeeded in roles like engineering, product, consulting, or customer success, then you have diagnostic skills.
Consider why you’re sales reluctant, the root cause may indicate that you have the prerequisites to be an effective seller.