If you sell anything...READ THIS ARTICLE NOW!

Sep 22, 2023

In the world of sales training, It appears as though a non-stop carnival-style sideshow of content pushing hype, pressure, and blustery arrogance as the fuel to fast results has taken centerstage. The hyper-focus on "closing" people and seeing the salesperson as the hero is old, tired and broken. People are not looking for egomaniacal "hero" salespeople. They loathe the vanity and façade of pretentiousness.

Today's buyers, whether B2C or B2B, know that they have options. They are beyond weary of the obnoxious nonsense thinly disguised as arrogance and self-aggrandizing as some immutable form of confidence.

"Fast wins" in sales often leads to a long tail, and tale, pun intended, of employee turnover, client churn and destruction of trust inside the culture of your business and outside in the marketplace.

Behind almost every "overnight success" is a backstory of challenge, disappointment, hard work and persistence. Long-term success and sustainable high performance in building our businesses can be hard, unrewarding and often far less glamorous than the stage shows we are fed through social media and hype platforms.

There's an undeniable and powerful truth that has been overlooked throughout the duration of the "COVID bump" that many industries experienced as market demand far outstripped supply. It's a truth rooted in integrity, transparency, and delivers success long-term...Always has, always will.

This truth revolves around understanding what buyers fear most, value least, and why it matters now more than ever.

The #1 fear of any buyer, whether it is a B2C or B2B client...Making a bad decision or a mistake.

Clients don't care about pro wrestler style antics...they have one question, "Can we help them solve a problem?"

What does a mistake look and feel like to most buyers? Choosing the wrong person to help them select a product or service, paying too much, buying the wrong package, product or service or missing an important detail or feature that they will regret later. (i.e. Buyer's Remorse) When this occurs, it is often because the experience was based on closing the deal, not valuing the trust of the client and the opportunity to forge a real relationship.

Without a foundation of trust, we forfeit long-term success fueled by passionate repeat clients who actively and passionately advocate for us in a crowded marketplace. Third party advocacy produces no-cost, warm referrals. When we operate from a posture of generosity and giving with our clients, those warm leads will always feed into a fat pipeline of HOT LEADS!!

This strategy focuses on connecting with actual, real people, forging unshakeable relationships and delivers success by serving, not manipulating people. It's called playing the long game, and the unwavering commitment to helping clients make decisions that are genuinely in their best interest.

Let's start by acknowledging a fundamental aspect of human nature—the fear of making a mistake or a bad decision. When buyers embark on their journey to make a purchase, they carry with them a weighty burden: the fear of regret. The fear that they might choose the wrong product, the wrong service, or the wrong partner. This fear is the elephant in the room, and addressing it head-on is essential for any sales professional committed to ethical and effective practices.

The Client's First Decision Is The Most Influential and Important

Before buyers even begin evaluating your product or service, they make a crucial first decision. It's not about what you're selling; it's about whether you are someone who genuinely respects them, values a long-term relationship with them, and wants to act as a passionate advocate for how you serve them. This initial decision sets the stage for everything that follows.

In a world filled with "sales trainers" who often focus on superficial aspects like their physical prowess or self-promotion, buyers are not interested in these distractions. What they genuinely value most is trust—in the person who will guide them through the decision-making process. They seek someone who will help them gather and review all the information necessary to make the very best decision available...FOR THEM. It has nothing to do with us in terms of unit volume or income.

The Shift Towards Authenticity

The world is changing quickly, and with it, the dynamics of sales are evolving. The days of high-pressure sales tactics and convincing buyers to do something against their best interests are numbered. In their place, a new era of authenticity is emerging—one where sales professionals prioritize understanding, empathy, and genuine connection. People want to know that we get them, not that we "got" them.

Here's a recommendation that aligns with this philosophy: Be curious, sell less, listen more, and connect with clients in a way that conveys your sole purpose is to help them make the very best decision possible for them. When this philosophy becomes our North Star, everything we think, do, and say will connect us with our clients at a deeper and more meaningful level.

The Ripple Effect of Authenticity

Embracing this philosophy isn't just about being a better salesperson; it's about fostering lasting relationships that lead to massive repeat and referral business. When clients recognize that you are genuinely committed to their best interests, they become passionate advocates for your brand. They trust you, and they trust the choices you help them make.

This trust doesn't just translate into increased sales and profits; it also leads to personal fulfillment. Knowing that you've made a positive impact on someone's life by guiding them towards the right decision is incredibly rewarding. It's about more than just closing deals; it's about making a meaningful difference.

The Path to Life and Career Success

Understanding the immense difference between old-school pressure selling and today's values-driven business development separates the one-month wonders from #1 producers who live at the top of the business. Our goal should extend beyond immediate sales. It should encompass the broader concept of success, which includes not only financial gains but also personal growth and fulfillment. When we commit ourselves to helping clients make decisions that align with their values and aspirations, we are on the path to both life and career success.

The time is now to shift our focus from the hype, egomaniacal narcissism and pressure tactics of the past to the authentic, client-centered approach that defines selling success now and for the future.

What buyers fear most—making a mistake or a bad decision—is what we can help them overcome. By valuing trust, building long-term relationships, and prioritizing our clients' best interests, we not only elevate our sales performance but also contribute to a more ethical and fulfilling profession. It's a win-win for everyone involved, and it's the way forward in the world of KILLER business development.

Sandy Cerami is a nationally-recognized Business Development Expert and Speaker. He is the creator of THE 7PILLARS OF KILLER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT™, the most relatable, people-driven B2C and B2B revenue growth strategy in business today. He speaks, teaches and writes about topics ranging from Business Development and Leadership to Recruiting & Retaining Top Talent and Organizational Culture. For more information or to contact Sandy to speak at your next event or on-site with your team schedule a quick call here today!