The Definition of Selling

Several months back, I had an opportunity to meet with an individual about a potential project.  Though he was not offering the opportunity exclusively to me, I was the one in his office at the time, meaning I was in a strong closing position.  As we discussed what he really needed, it became apparent to me that, though I felt I could serve him, I knew of someone else who was better positioned for the specific type of project he had in mind.  Rather than offer myself as the solution provider, even though that is the basis upon which he reached out to me, I referred him to what I felt was a better solution.  He met with the individual I recommended, and they moved forward with the project.  I did not walk away with the sale, but did I sell him?  My litmus test is this – did I lead him to a decision that was good for him? Yes. Then I sold him. 

Zig Ziglar defines sales as “transference of conviction or feeling”.  Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan defines sales this way, “Selling is getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them and getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result”. My personal definition for sales is this: “Leading people to decisions that are good for them”.

As illustrated in the true story above, I may “sell you” without you buying my product or service.  In accepting my “sale”, you will however, take my advice – which may be to not buy, to buy elsewhere, or to buy differently. 

You see, most people see a sale as me selling you to buy from me.  Thankfully this is not the case - because that is a lot of pressure! The only pressure I have felt in “selling” since starting my coaching and training company has been to serve the person I am communicating with.  I feel no pressure to get you to buy, but a lot of pressure to sell you.  I do this by taking on the responsibility to learn about you, your situation, your needs and wants and your interests (through great questions) and then providing a professionally credible set of solutions. 

That type of pressure I can handle and even look forward to!