People love to buy but they hate being sold.

Ask any consumer what “selling” means and words like pressure, used car, and untrustworthy, abound.  Most consumers would associate words like coercion, force, strong arm, and manipulation when hearing terms like sales, sold, or selling.  Salespeople regularly re-label themselves to appear more “trustworthy”, but the consumer is rarely deceived!

The other problem with the Sales Paradigm is that it also comes at a significant personal cost to the person doing the selling.  While human beings are universally different the things we have in common are strong. The need for human beings, indeed for all living things, to exercise their autonomy or agency, to exercise power, dominion, and control over oneself is well established.  When one attempts to override some else’s autonomy or agency it creates internal conflict. We have difficulty doing to someone else what we wouldn’t want someone doing to us. This is commonly referred to by psychologists as “cognitive dissonance”.

If one of the prime objectives of any organisation is to have people buy more of it’s products or services why would we focus on a process that so obviously alienates any potential client and costs so much of the person doing the selling?

The short answer is because we don’t know any better.  It is the way we have been taught.

There is a better way!

A better way is to change the way we think about the nature of our role.   We can see ourselves firstly as educators and as coaches of clients, rather than as seller’s of products and services.  When we make this paradigm shift, we will experience a new way of approaching and dealing with our potential and established clients.  As consumers we often look for people who are willing and able to help us clarify our needs and wants.

This new way of thinking will allow the people we deal with to WANT to buy.  They will become Willing and Able to Naturally Transact. The educator/coach will no longer have the internal conflicts that create significant stress in their lives.

This new way of thinking will see more people buying more of the products and services to better meet their needs and want.  The client gets a better outcome as do you. A genuine Win / Win.

Note: The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce Inc advises that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the Chamber, or a committee or other group or individual associated with the Chamber.

Leonard Whittaker

Leonard Whittaker is the Principal of Action Cycle Learning, member of the Chamber Executive, and Chamber Secretary.