Sales and Sales Management Blog

August 9, 2012

Nobody Likes to be Sold? Au, Contraire


One of the sales truisms today is that no one likes to be sold but people love to buy.  This phrase is tossed around with such casualness and is so oft repeated that it has become accepted without question.

And why wouldn’t it be accepted since its pithy, it sounds so common sense and a ton of salespeople don’t like it when another salesperson tries to sell them and they naturally feel that everyone else will have the same reaction?

The problem is it isn’t common sense—and it isn’t true.

I know lots of people who love to be sold.  My wife likes to be sold.  A couple of my good friends like to be sold.  I have clients who like to be sold.

If nobody likes to be sold how come I know quite a few people who like to be sold?

The answer is quite simple—people aren’t all the same.  We don’t live in a world where everyone has the same likes, the same wants, the same needs, the same anything including the same way to shop.

Some people want to buy, others want to be sold.

What a wonderful world where there’s variety in opinions and wants and needs—and desires when it comes to buying or being sold.

But the very fact that people are different is what makes selling so difficult.

If we want to be successful in sales we have to know our prospect—and that means knowing how they shop—by buying or being sold.

If you buy into the myth that no one wants to be sold and thus treat everyone as “buyers” you run the risk of missing the sale to those who want to be sold.

Likewise, if you treat everyone as a prospect who needs to be sold, you’ll blow your opportunity with those who want to buy.

Making assumptions about the prospect is the real issue.  Allowing yourself time to get to know and understand your prospect will tell you who the prospect is and what they want from the relationship.  They’ll let you know if they want to buy or to be sold.

Once they let you know it’s your job to meet them where they are and deal with them on their terms, not where you wish they were.

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3 Comments »

  1. Well said! If a sales person only knows one way to sell, they most likely can only sell one type of client/customer. When a sales rep can sell in multiple ways, they will sell exponentially more!

    Comment by Jeff Bendum — August 9, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. Agree. If I trust a sales rep, I want to get sold to. It helps me get stuff done faster. Nice post.

    Comment by Kyle Porter — August 14, 2012 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  3. Give me the solution to my problem before I know i have one!

    Comment by Kendra Hubbard — September 5, 2012 @ 6:29 pm | Reply


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