Have you found yourself in a situation where you have had to sell a product you don’t believe in? In an increasingly political world, we are often faced with decisions that we are morally against, yet find ourselves doing things anyways. In this guest blog, Tiffany Early recounts her early days as a saleswoman, and how she was able to overcome the challenges of selling something she wouldn’t buy, without becoming a “sleazy car salesman”.
When I began my career in outsourced b2b sales, the product I began selling I believed in and knew it would be easy to sell. I was one of the top 2 salespeople on a 20-plus person account. Through different transitions within our office I ended up on accounts that I didn’t really believe in the product as much as I had the first.
Not believing in a product I was selling that my livelihood depended on became a very big problem for me. How can I be expected to sell a product I didn’t believe in myself? How would I convince other people to buy this? I struggled with this for a very long time. I struggled with getting to a place of helping the client understand how my product and/or service would best fit their needs when I myself didn’t believe it would actually help them. Most of the time I had an underlying feeling of this will definitely hurt them financially in the long run and in turn I would not push on the close.
So many people struggle with selling a product or service when they are not naturally good at lying and so many are not natural born “sales type people”. I’m sure you can relate the type of person I’m referring to, your everyday car salesman. Those type of salespeople that will sell you a car that has no engine and convince you that that car is the best car you’ll ever buy our own. For a lot of us we aren’t designed that way. A lot of us in sales are good at selling because of our level of empathy for people and how personable we are.
BECOMING A CAR SALESMAN
So how do you become that grimy car salesman? Easy, you don’t. Now I know that sounds very contradictory to what you thought you would be told. When I began my career in sales, I always thought sales people were liars. During my training on my very first account this was one of the questions I asked do we lie to the customers? My manager at the time said never ever lie to a customer that is not what we are in the business to do. Now I am confused as I am sure you are too!
One of the things that I have found that has been helpful to being a great sales person without being a sleazy lying sales person is first, understanding that your product or service has worked for some, it may not work for all, but it has had a track record of working. Lastly, the biggest and most important aspect is also understanding your product or service well enough to understand how it can fit their business model. This is not only one of the key aspects and pillar in sales, but will also be a foundation in helping you convince your customers, or as I like to call it, helping them gain knowledge and understanding of the product or service to see the bigger picture and how it will help them.
Whether it is one minute thing that you feel can benefit the customer and relate to that. You have to hone in on that alone and that will allow you the comfort of feeling and understanding how it could potentially help that customer. Make sure you understand each customer is different so there will be different aspects of your product or service that fit them uniquely vs the next. Your entire product or service may not fit, but there may be one aspect that will.
So you see, you do not have to be that sleazy car salesman to be great at selling! The key to sell a product you don’t believe in is through understanding.
Senior Sales Executive