When can I go sell again?

When can I go sell again?

 

This is not the time to be selling

 

 

We see them everyday on social media.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  Some are even appropriate, inspirational and helpful.  While others are misguided, inaccurate and cause more harm than good.  I’m referring to inspirational quotes.

Since the pandemic quarantine, I repeatedly see this quote about selling.  I guess that means it’s “viral”.  And as we all know, if it’s on the internet and it’s viral, well then, it must be true.  It goes like this, “This is not the time to be selling.  This is a time to be out there helping your customers”.

What could possibly be wrong with that viral quote?  Everything!  On the surface, it sounds good and we want to forward it to all the salespeople we know.  Don’t, and here’s why.  It implies some very poor selling skills and implies a bad mental impression of what selling is.  First, it indicates that there is a right and wrong time to be selling.  Secondly, it indicates that when we “sell”, that we are just out there pushing products onto customers.  Many of these articles actually say those words in one way or another.  “Salespeople shouldn’t be out there pushing product at this time.”  Here’s my opinion, you shouldn’t be out there pushing product, ever.

Why not push your product?  Well, you certainly can and there are many salespeople that successfully do.  Customers actually expect you to do so when you sell to them.  However, in agribusiness, we are involved in long term relationships.  Our customers have multiple or even dozens of alternatives to buying from us.  Wear out your welcome or get too opinionated about your product and you’re out.  We need to learn a lot about the farm, their operation, how they make decisions, and their financial situation.  This understanding is what allows us to sell just the right product or service to best fit our customer.

Starting your selling process off by pushing your products is taking a wild stab at hitting just the right need.  This is an unproductive and short-lived selling strategies.  So, this notion that “now” is not the time to be out there “pushing” products, is pretty good advice no matter whether it’s Covid time or not.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I think highly of the products I sold and currently sell.  I want and think I can truly help everyone and anyone.  I also realize that I don’t get paid unless I sell them.  That’s the best part of selling, in my opinion.  You create your own success every day by your direct actions.  Then, you get paid according to how well you did.  I also know that if I spend a tremendous amount of time selling someone a product they truly don’t need; they will eventually leave me.  Thus, I wasted a lot of time and effort.  I now have to go back out and redo my efforts to get another customer, instead of continuing to sell to the first customer.

For a better selling experience for both you and your prospects, start with understanding their business.  Help them by first understanding them.  Then match your products.  This simple change in perspective relieves a lot of stress for salespeople.  And I’m sure for their customers as well.

So, the question is, “When can I go sell again?”  The answer, as you may have guessed, is right now.  Sell now when selling is needed most.  Your customer is suffering and you have products and services that help reduce that suffering.  Is there ever a bad time to bring those solutions to your customer?  I know it may look different during a pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we stop doing our jobs.

 

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