Selling has been taught and practiced as a process in business for many years. Today it’s becoming more evident that selling isn’t a process to be done to people or even for people. Selling is an engagement between people and has to be done with them. This new age of business requires people to people selling to be successful. For this to happen, people have to connect, communicate and relate. What we now know is, people don’t want to be sold and they don’t want a relationship with a salesperson either. They also aren’t as interested in being wowed as they are about getting what they really want after they buy. Think enriching lives more than enchanting them. Think serving people, rather than pleasing people because what they continue to say they want is, ‘Help’.

As it turns out, sales as a process didn’t work very well because the steps of a sale are more a map of the buyers journey than the steps of a process after all. This makes sense when you realize that critical path sales training originated from modeling top salespeople and attempting to replicate what they did to be successful. It also follows that relationship selling and all its variations still focus on executing a process.  The missing ingredient when modeling top salespeople was the intentions of the top salesperson when they engaged people in a sales conversation. This missing ingredient is what causes people to connect, open up and communicate. It’s this connection and communication that allows the steps that have been taught to happen as a normal part of the buyers journey to finding and owning what they want.

When selling is seen as a process, it’s focus is the steps and the seller’s execution of the process. This places the focus on the wrong side of the engagement. It makes the seller the focal point and leads a salesperson down a road the buyer doesn’t want to take. It will ultimately make the buyer retract from a salesperson and resist taking their buying journey.

The right side of a sales engagement will always be the buyers side, not the sellers side. When the seller focuses on their process they lose focus on the buyer. When this happens they lose the buyers interest or connection, and communication becomes poor at best. When the original steps of a sale are viewed as a map of the buyers journey, they make the seller aware of where the buyer is in their journey. This enables the salesperson to know how to stay connected with the buyer to help them reach their destination…Owning what is best for them. When this approach is taken, sales increase as a result of the connection and communication, rather than the execution of a process.

The best way for a salesperson to keep the right focus and maintain connection with the buyer is to focus on the buyers ownership experience, not their buying experience. When a salesperson stays focused on the buyers ownership experience they communicate with the buyer about the buyers reason to buy and not a process, presentation or the sellers reason to buy their product. This will result in increased sales, loyal customers and a healthy growing business.

Change your focus to the buyers reasons to buy, their ownership experience, align your intentions with theirs and stay aware of the steps of a sale as a map, not a process, and you’ll begin to connect, communicate and relate to today’s buyers, make customers, not just sales, and your sales will increase immediately.

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