Buyers question the sales motivation of every seller. There's nothing we can do about that.
What we can control is our intent. We can check our own sales motivation and make sure we're not legitimizing our buyers' doubts.
There's no shame in being motivated to make a sale. The "fire in the belly" that fuels you and the adrenaline rush that comes with closing a deal are not what we're talking about here.
3 Ways Your Sales Motivation Could Derail the Sale
Selling is a noble profession. As a seller, you help people get what they want or need. You solve problems. You create and deliver answers that others have been hoping for.
Your desire to help someone is what keeps your motives pure. You get to make money AND help people at the same time when providing value is your sales motivation. Buyers sense this and appreciate it. They respond to it, and they recognize when it's missing.
When it's missing, there are other motivations in play that buyers admire less and often resist. Without an intent to help the buyer, you may be costing yourself sales.
Sales motivation to crush quota, close deals and make more money
You're all fired up after that sales rally, ready to go sell everything to everybody. The problem is that your buyers don't want to talk to hunters, don't want to be part of something you're crushing, and don't want to be closed.
Buyers want help. If it seems like your motivation is to make a sell, fist pump and move on to make another sale, buyers will resist you. They want to know that they're more to you than a "win" and that you value them for more than the extra commissions or bonuses you'll get once you close them.
Sales motivation to win at all costs
Don't let negotiations ruin your relationships with buyers. Instead of preparing for battle and entering the negotiating arena with a gladiator's intensity, look for win/win solutions that help your buyer.
You may not have to give anything up to meet your buyer's needs. You may be able to find mutually satisfactory solutions. But it will never happen if your motivation is to win (meaning your buyer loses).
Buyers can spot a "winner take all" seller. They avoid doing business with sellers like these because, really, who wants to sign up for a battle?
Sales motivation to be a consultant
Surprisingly, you can overdo it. You can be driven by an intent to only help the buyer and to avoid being seen as a "pushy" seller.
You'd rather be seen as a trusted advisor, consultant, partner or friend to your buyers. Up to a point, that's fine.
Buyers (and sales managers!) have a problem with this when nothing else happens. Sellers who don't sell are just hanging out and offering free advice. But to what end? If a seller doesn't bring a solution, they're wasting the buyer's time.
Buyers -- especially those who work with numerous sellers -- don't respect a seller who won't sell. If they sense you're not confident enough to truly help them, the won't meet with you.
Next Steps to work on demonstrating your intent and to Join the Stop Selling & Start Leading® Movement:
- Participate in our seller-side research. Tell us your Personal Best story and be entered into a prize drawing. We might feature your story in future publications.
- Learn more about our research with buyers and the Stop Selling & Start Leading® movement.
- Read the book that shows you how to build trust and engage buyers so you can create this kind of experience. (Named one of "The 20 Most Highly-Reviewed Sales Books of All Time" by HubSpot!)
The award-winning CONNECT2Sell Blog is for professional sellers who believe, as we do, that Every Sale Starts with a Connection. Our 2017 emphasis will be on reporting buyer-side research and how sellers can connect with buyers and sell more effectively by adopting the behaviors of leaders. The Stop Selling & Start Leading® movement is all about the future state of sales and your success as a Sales Professional.
Deb Calvert is President of People First Productivity Solutions, a UC Berkeley instructor, and a former Sales/Training Director of a Fortune 500 media company. She speaks and writes about the Stop Selling & Start Leading® movement and offers sales training, coaching and consulting as well as leadership development programs. She is certified as an executive and sales coach by the ICF and is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge®. Deb has worked in every sector and in 14 countries to build leadership capacity, team effectiveness and sales productivity with a “people first” approach. Her bestselling book “DISCOVER Questions® Get You Connected” has been named by HubSpot as one of "The 20 Most Highly-Rated Sales Books of All Time."