Qualities of a high-performing seller #1: Sales as an act of service

by Deb Knupp /

Traditional sales approaches operate mainly out of self-interest: the seller wants to get the buyer to behave in a manner that is good for the seller’s revenue generation, even when that is not in the buyer’s best interest. A traditional seller focuses narrowly on making the sale that is right in front of him or her.

But at GrowthPlay, we focus on building long-term profitable relationships and a sustainable, collaborative sales culture. By turning the traditional paradigm upside down, sales becomes an act of service, and sellers are finally free from the negative stereotypes that color so many sales interactions—that sellers are pushy, aggressive, slick, untrustworthy. When sellers focus on serving their clients, they give solutions, insights, connections, and even hope. They give buyers what they need to solve their problems.

What does this look like? Sellers who approach buyers with a desire to serve

Listen. These sellers don’t come in with a script. Instead, they establish an open dialogue with the goal of authentic connection. They ask questions and listen to the answers.

Seek to understand. When buyers feel heard they are more forthcoming, and sellers become knowledgeable about the big picture of the buyer’s situation and learn about their priorities, goals, and objectives. They also learn about what conditions would need to be present for the buyer to purchase what the seller is selling.

Provide solutions. When sellers listen and understand the buyer’s needs, they can provide a range of possible solutions. This range may include the seller’s product or service offering, but it might also include an introduction to another service provider or the sharing of an insight or other relevant information that will help the buyer advance their goals.

Plant seeds. When sellers focus on the long term, they are able to anticipate future solutions and trigger new buying conditions through conversation that engages buyers on a deeper level—specifically their curiosity, confidence, and desire for connection.

Discovering a buyer’s “pain point” is a foundation of traditional selling, but what does a seller sell to a buyer when the buyer doesn’t have a pain point or known concern? Many traditional sellers would then try to induce pain to get the buyer to make a quick purchasing decision. But this purchase may not be in the buyer’s best interest, so is it any wonder that traditional sales creates negative seller stereotypes? Sales as an act of service brings a refreshing willingness to meet the buyer where he or she is and create a sales experience that focuses on generosity.

This philosophy generates three currencies: revenue, of course, but also two equally valuable things, relationship access and reputation building. Sales are the natural outcome of providing buyers with solutions to problems that need to be solved.