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If you are using a ‘system of selling,’ ask why

From an e-mail: Why should one never use a sales system?  I’m guessing you think it takes the individuality out of the pitch. David.

 Over the years there have been hundreds of selling systems, all designed to increase sales. I don’t use them, I don’t teach them and I don’t believe in them.

 Find the pain. Create the deficit. Create an up-front contract. Spin the questions. And other sales system crap needs to be eliminated from your selling scenarios. 

 Does that mean all systems of selling are bad? No. What it means is most systems of selling are confusing, sales-based rather than customer-based, manipulative and in general cumbersome. 

 While I acknowledge that there are hundreds of these systems, and it’s obvious I’m not in favor of them, here are a few questions people ask me, and you should ask yourself as you consider adopting a selling style and a selling voice. 

Is there one system of selling that works best? No.

Is there one system of selling that stands out over the others? No. 

Is there one system of selling that works all the time? No. 

Is there one system of selling you have used successfully? No.

Is there one system of selling you recommend? Absolutely no.

NOTE WELL: A system requires tons of study, memorization and often manipulative techniques about “it.” Wrong concept. These are “selling” concepts.

RULE ONE: People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. 

None of the systems of selling deal with concentrating on the customer’s motive to buy. Hug mistake. Actually fatal error.

I have asked audiences for years, “How many of you have learned some system of selling?” About 20-30 percent of the audience raises their hand. “Keep your hand up if you use the system every time you make a sales call.” Zero hands stay up.

 Why? These are the answers I get:

n Doesn’t always fit the situation.

n Too manipulative.

n Too confusing.

n Too complicated.

n Doesn’t work.

n Doesn’t feel right.

n I’m not comfortable with it.

The difference between using a system of selling, and being yourself by creating a buying atmosphere will become apparent at the end of a month or at the end of a year when you look at your productivity, your income, and your relationships. 

I have referred to it as authenticity. 

What makes you authentic? The consistent positive actions you take that build confidence, belief, and trust in you. These elements also build your personal brand and your reputation. And of course to make sales.

NOTE WELL: Authenticity is never a part of someone’s “system of selling.” That’s why I’m against all systems. Systems focus on the “selling” process. Mistake. Big mistake. Authentic people create buying atmospheres with all the other things they do that get them to the sales meeting. 

Is that you? It better be, or you will lose to someone who is. The authenticity of the sale is in the salesperson, not the system. If you’re authentic, you don’t have to say it or prove it. It shows and speaks for itself. The most powerful part of authenticity is that, if done properly, it’s unspoken.

PERSONAL NOTE: When I go into a sales call, my authenticity is not my business card, my brochure, my sales jargon, and certainly not my system. My authenticity is my book. Autographed. Which sales educator or sales trainer do you think gets the job – the one who read the book, or the one who wrote the book? 

And about now you’re complaining that you don’t have a book. OK, how about just writing a white paper about how your customers can produce more, profit more, and succeed more? Think that’s more powerful than your system? You bet it is!

If you’re going into an important sales call, do you think it’s more important to be prepared with questions about the other person, with ideas in favor of the other person, and with knowledge about their business and their present situation – or do you think it’s more important to concentrate on your memorized, manipulative system? No need for an answer here. 

And I will acknowledge that sometimes a system of selling will actually work. Just not most of the time. 

Your job, as an engaging person and a value-driven salesperson, is to make your presentation in terms of the customer. How they benefit, how they profit, and how they produce will trump every system of selling ever created. 

If you’re looking to make more sales, all you have to do is create more atmospheres where people are willing to buy. 


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to salesman@gitomer.com.


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